A Chronology of the Democracy Movement
April 15, 1989: Former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang dies. Students take to the streets initially to mourn his death, but protesters soon begin to demand democratic reforms from Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Hu had resigned his office in 1987 after student protests.
April 22: Number of protesters increases to 100,000.
April 23-May 4: Unrest spreads to other major cities, including. Xian, Changsha and Shanghai.
April 26: Communist party daily orders an end to the protest.
April 27: More than 150,000 student protesters defy direct Party order and march through streets of downtown Beijing. Crowds of cheering workers ignore police and prevent soldiers from approaching students.
May 4: More than 100,000 protesters in Tiananmen Square celebrate the anniversary of the May 4 movement by increasing their demands for reform. More than 20,000 rally in Shanghai to support Beijing protests. Demonstrations are also reported in Nanjing and Changsha.
May 14: Embarrassed by the continuing presence of demonstrators, Chinese officials move site of official welcoming reception for Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev from Tiananmen Square to Beijing airport. Some 2200 students begin a hunger strike.
May 16: China and the Soviet Union resume normal diplomatic ties, ending 30 year Sino-Soviet Split. In Beijing, 300,000 take to the streets to demand glasnost for China.
May 17: One million protesters demand ousters of Deng and of Prime Minister Li Peng. Number of hunger strikers increases to 3000. Martial law declared.
May 18-20: Troops ringing city attempt to move in on Tiananmen demonstrators. Over 1.25 million workers take to the streets to prevent soldiers from reaching the square. The army again withdraws from the city.
May 20: Communist party chief Zhao Ziyang, who had urged a moderate response to the demonstrations, is stripped of his power and placed under house arrest.
May 21-27: Hardliner Li consolidates his power within the Communist leadership.
May 28: Wuer Kaixi and other student leaders express their willingness to negotiate an end to their occupation of Tiananmen.
May 29: More than 300,000 march in Hong Kong to show support for democracy movement.
May 30: Student leaders announce the indefinite continuation of the protest, saying the government refused to negotiate in good faith. Students erect the "Goddess of Democracy" statue in Tiananmen Square.
June 2-3: Troops moving on Tiananmen are turned back by Beijing workers sympathetic to the protest.
June 4: People's Liberation Army troops storm the center of the capital in a pre-dawn raid. protesters are dispersed by machine-gun fire and tanks. Hundreds of students are killed and many more wounded.
June 5-30: Crackdown continues. Troops seize the universities. Some students flee the country. Workers sympathetic to the democracy movement are arrested. Amnesty International reports over 1000 workers and students executed.