Module 4: Write-out

Hi everyone, I’m Qiqi. Today I will be talking about the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, which is also called the June Fourth Incident, or, the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The protests lasted from April to June, led by a million people including students, intellectuals, labor activists and people who wanted to end the communist one-party rule. They called for democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of press. They occupied the Public Square. Many of them were on hunger strikes. Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese writer and human rights activist, was one of the leaders of the protesters. He was there with the people. When he knew that the government was going to use force, he persuaded the students to leave the square and thus saved hundreds of lives.  

On June fourth, the protests ended. Army and tanks ordered by the Chinese government cleared the Tiananmen Square. Many protesters were arrested, so was Liu Xiaobo. When he got out of prison, he continued to advocate democracy in China. On December 10, 2008, the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights, he published the Chapter 08. The Charter calls for 19 changes including an independent legal system, freedom of association and the elimination of one-party rule. Soon, he has sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment again, for “inciting subversion of state power”. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

The goals of the Tiananmen Square Protests were to make China more liberal, but it ended worse than the days before 1989. Back then, activists were able to go in public and protest against the government, now they can’t even do that at their home because the government is watching everyone. Also, because of the Great Firewall of China, news like this is blocked by the government which means many of the young people don’t know about this history. In a country where you can’t talk about liberty or criticise the politics, being an activist is like committing suicide. Democracy and freedom of speech seem further and further away from China.