April 27 - 1989 - The April 27 Demonstrations

In the spring of 1989, university students throughout China had been protesting the Communist Party of China. Although there were significant economic reforms throughout the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping, the Party was still secretive and authoritarian. In particular, the sudden death of reformer Hu Yaobang caused many students to take to the streets, arguing for more openness and change in the Communist leadership. On April 26, the People's Daily then issued an editorial which criticized the protesters as counter-revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the Communist Party and destabilize China. In response, even more students took to the streets on April 27. Across China, most major cities saw wide-scale protests, with the largest numbers appearing in Beijing. The Beijing protesters scaled back their planned march to Tianenmen Square and toned down anti-Party slogans in their midst. This made many Communist leaders begin to seek dialogue with the students. Over the next month, though, tensions would escalate once again, as the protests were ended with Tianenmen Square Massacre on June 4.

William Floyd