Talk:Tiananmen Square protests of 1989/Archive 2

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Death toll?

"The resulting crackdown on the protestors by the PRC government left many civilians dead, the figure ranging from 200–300 (PRC government figures)"


"Estimates of civilian deaths vary: 23 (Communist Party of China), 400–800 (Central Intelligence Agency), 2600 (Chinese Red Cross)"

Appear in the article. Was the official number 23 or 200-300?

Google vs

550 000 hits:

429 hits:搜索&meta=

should this be in the article? or perhaps under censorship, i dunno but i think people should be aware of this!

I think it belongs in 'Internet censorship in mainland China' rather than in this specific article - the Tiananmen protests are censored like any number of other controversial topics. --Artificialard 05:20, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Did you mean:


WETA has a good program on this; additionally the website has some good info.

Someone might want to add this content. mcpaige

Picture problems

The picture under the section Crackdown does not appear and, if you click on it, apparently does not exist and under the section Future of Political Reforms, the picture of the broken bicycle and tank track obscure some text. I am unsure how to fix these problems, can someone help? Hydraton31 14:50, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I've moved the second picture to make it look a little better. But the first picture has been deleted because someone listed it for deletion and the relevant info wasn't provided. If you can find the picture again and give it the correct copyright tag (and sourcing info) then it can be put back in. Until then I'll remove the reference to it. John Smith's 15:00, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

US Involvement

I've reverted this addition three times now; twice it was unsourced, once it was only vaguely sourced with something that I could not locate. Obviously I think that if you're going to make claims like that it's going to have to be pretty-well documented. Does anybody else have a take on this? Fightindaman 02:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Wow .. whoever did the edits to this article either has a major problem or has a distinct propaganda intention .. sheesh Bob K 15:34, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Hugely POV, inaccurate, and lack of sources

I cannot see how this article doesn't have the NPOV tag on it. Look at this one quote alone:

At present, the Western world still uses this event, which occurred almost two decades ago to break down the Chinese unity. This is a propaganda still used by the West. It is clearly obvious that China is the world's next superpower and has changed a great deal since 1989. However the West still insists that nothing has changed, even though an immense change has taken place.

The term propaganda is used numerous times by the pro-PRC author/editor(s) on the article page, with nary a citation in sight. The American/Western (see: Response of Western Powers) involvement portions also reek of actual propaganda, if not inaccuracy, as though the West was responsible for 100k people gathering in a foreign land.

An anon editor keeps making these changes. They've been reverted. Fightindaman 21:59, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I can find more POV remarks though. "Bravely ventured" for one. These need to be cleaned up. --The1exile - Talk - Contribs -Flag of Denmark.svg 17:13, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I took out "bravely." Just fix what you see when you see it. The lack of sources is a bigger problem. I'm going to offer extra credit to my students if they help add citations. Sigrid 22:30, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
This is incorrect I am putting the first paragraph back in, because its fact. Shahathens 20:00, 13 April 2006


Soldiers and tanks from the 27th and 28th Armies of the People's Liberation Army were sent to take control of the city. The 27th Army was led by a commander related to Yang Shankun. The army was well experienced and armed unlike the ones sent on May 20 that was reluctant to put down the students(Spence 1999, 701).* In his press conference of the 5th, announcing sanctions on Communist China in the face of threats to do the same from US Senator, Jesse Helms, President Bush also suggested intelligence he had received concerning not only some disunity in the military ranks, and even the possibility of some military on military clashes during those days, but that these units were brought in from outside provinces because the local PLA were considered to be somewhat sympathetic to the protest and the people of the city. Reporters described elements of the 27th as having been most responsible for the carnage, and after the attack on the square of having established defensive positions in the center and east in Beijing, not the sort against civilian uprising, but as if anticipating attack by other military units. The 38th Army, on the other hand, was said to be one sympathetic to the uprising. They had no ammunition. And it was they who were said to be torching their own vehicles, on various streets, as they abandoned them to join the protests.

  • In his press conference of the 5th on the 5th of May ? no other mention of 5th in the article   who Bush Sr. I guess, this could be better wrote.
  • 38th or 28th which was it ?
  • May 20 martial law was declared, no armys were sent. Although the government declared martial law on May 20, the government failed to enforce it and the demonstrations continued.

mcpaige 04:28, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Request for page protection

Looking over the page history, I'm not inclined to protect this page. It's having to be reverted a few times a day, yes, but that appears to be being handled well enough. In the case where an article is being reverted multiple times by a single editor (or a few determined editors) awareness of the three revert rule is usually better than protection. - brenneman{T}{L} 02:02, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Featured on CBS

As a note, this page was featured in an article on the Chinese censorship of the Internet that aired on the CBS Evening News, 2/14/06. 04:11, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Not too neutral

I think the article is not too neutral, you'll have a feeling against the students after reading the article, it seems that someone should use better words to describe the protests. User:TonySapphire 15:31, 18 February 2006 (HKT)

This article is terrible. If it's going to stay this way, then we need to remove its featured article status. The text, particularly the "aftermath" and "present" sections, is very poorly written. I just went through killing a bunch of stub sections and restoring the lead section and image captions, but didn't manage to rewrite the prose or fill some jarring gaps in the chronology.--Jiang 09:12, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Why delete paragraph on violence against PLA?

Hello. I noticed that Gabbe deleted a paragraph and photo on violence against the PLA in the final stages of the protest. Would you please explain why you removed it? The paragraph mentioned NSA documentation, and while the actual documents should have been cited, the content is certainly verifiable. (FYI: I didn't post the original content, but I am curious as to the reasons for its removal.) Sigrid 18:00, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I believe the photo was removed because it's out of copyright. John Smith's 00:46, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to John and Gabbe for clarifying this. I noticed the deletion of the caption text (see below) and was concerned that people were trying to eliminate content that described violent behavior on the part of civilians.
Here's the caption again for the sake of reference: "This National Security Agency photo shows the results of violent resistance to the PLA. U.S. NSA documents state that both sides began resorting to violence on June 2, when arsonists burned government vehicles in an attempt to stop the advance of the tanks and crowds besieged troops with rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails." Sigrid 18:35, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't buy it. Removing copyright does not mean the information should be deleted. Anyone saw the PBS Tank Man should note the Chinese government did investigate, and the released casualty figure of 240 some dead is in line with our NSA estimate of 180-500 some. bobby fletcher 17:00, 6 June 2006 (PST)
The caption itself was useless without the picture - it looked ridiculous. If someone wants to use the information in the main article that's different. I thought there was already a reference to the violence anyway. John Smith's 16:03, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Creating a new article

I suggested someone to create a new article about the protests in other parts of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Canada and Western Europe at the same time. This article mainly talks only the protests in Beijing, but there were many mass protests in other cities such as Shanghai. On June 4, besides a massacre in the Tiananmen Square, there was a massacre in Chongqing as well. This was not mentioned in this article. Tony Sapphire 02:01, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Working for compromise on the issue of Yu Dongyue

This edit war should be resolved by addressing the issue of relevancy. I agree that tacking Yu Dongyue's release from prison onto the end of the article risks turning the page into a current events bulletin. On the other hand, the incident of the spattered ink was significant, not only in what it said about the ink-spatterers' opinions of Mao, but also in what it said about the students who helped police arrest them. For these reasons, I removed the blurb about Yu Dongyue at the end of the article and added a bit on the incident itself to an earlier section of the article (while also mentioning Yu Dongyue's time spent in prison). I hope this moves us toward consensus! Sigrid 23:54, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Fine. John Smith's 15:56, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
The article states that Yu Dongyue fled to Canada. I believe this is actually Lu Decheng. [1] [2] heqs 00:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

The Simpsons

In an episode of the Simpsons, there are two references to the protests: in the square there is a sign: " On this spot, in 1989, nothing happened" and Selma stands in front of a tank like the Tank man. Can this go to the article? igordebraga 17:33, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

It's amusing, though I'm not sure it would add much by itself. If you created a section on "popular culture" or something then perhaps it could go in. John Smith's 21:26, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
The first two lines of the System of a Down song "Hypnotize" are "Why don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen Square/Was fashion the reason why they were there" you think something about that should be in the article?
I think a section on its ripple effect through popular culture (perhaps in both the East and West?) might be interesting, and worth adding so long as people keep the list of references short and to the point. 20:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Expanded on Computer firms/economic impact

Added information on how Yahoo, Google, Cisco, and Microsoft gave into the PRC's requirements, and that their technology has censored the internet, captured (and led to their torture and death) dissidents, enforcing police and PRC control over the populace, intercepting messages, and have violated US law concerning American companies and the PRC.

I have also added a sentence on economic "sectors", which have introduced business and led to the prosperity of many urban Chinese.

This is all information directly from Frontline by PBS

-- 04:50, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


There are only seven citations/footnotes in the entire document. Considering the importance and relative controversy surrounding the massacre (the Chinese wiki page is, of course, marked as controversial and under protection at the moment) you would expect lots of pretty blue footnotes throughout this "featured article".

(Some of the prose is quite laboured as well, and the article contains some of the longest paragraphs I have ever seen on Wikipedia. This pretty much put me off reading the article in its entirety.)

I considered suggesting that it be delisted, but I thought I'd post here first. I don't know enough about the event to be of much help, but I really think someone should really go through this article and start adding citations. Bueller 007 01:19, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I recommend we list this for removal of featured status. Anyone else agree? Skinnyweed 00:32, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Having just read through the whole thing, I found it rather satisfactory and deserving of its featured status; however, I agree about the paragraph length and one or two particularly awkward sentences. Though I'm leery of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, seeing as this article seems to capture the reader's attention while adhering to factual content as well as wikipedia's policies. 10:52, 17 May 2006 (UTC) russ.

EU Arms Embargo

Am I right in thinking this is no longer in place? I was under the impression that the arms embargo was removed during British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's visit in 2005. There was quite a lot of media hubbub about the effectiveness of the EU embargo, including the suggestion that arms exports to the PRC from the EU actually increased under the embargo.

I cannot provide citations, so I leave it for someone else to have a crack at.

I don't know who said that, but their information is simply wrong. The embargo is still active and won't be lifted in the foreseeable future. The issue was still being discussed by Barroso after he became President, and he made it clear he wouldn't push for it to be lifted while China's human rights record was so poor. Also Angela Merkel made it very clear before she became Chancellor that she wouldn't back lifting it either. John Smith's 16:00, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


There are a number of problems with this statement: "However, it is important to note that NSA documents declassified in 1999 show that their intelligence gives an estimate of 180-500 killed."

  1. Whether or not it is important to note is a matter of opinion.
  2. It's not clear that the documents were National Security Agency documents.
  3. The documents were made available by the National Security Archive... big difference![3][4]
  4. It's not clear that National Security Agency intelligence actually estimated 180-500 killed, but rather they passed along reports of that many killed after the first day.[5]
To answer your question, the report was from the intelligence secretary of the US embassy in Beijing. He does not need to lie.
  1. A cable from the US Embassy in Beijing stated that "the true figure is probably over one thousand" [6]. It also stated that "civilian deaths probably did not reach the figure of 3,000 used in some press reports" and that the Chinese Red Cross figures (2,600 military and civilian deaths, 7,000 wounded) were "not an unreasonable estimate."

I'm preserving the comment here in case anyone wants to rework it, but I'm going to remove it from the article in that it is not entirely accurate and does not add new information about the figures. -AED 06:49, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

The US source of the 180-500 death toll.

Nanjing Anti-African protests

Hello. The Nanjing Anti-African protests page states that it was the precursor to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. But I find no reference of that event on this page. Can anyone verify that the information at that page is true? Ewlyahoocom 03:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I doubt the claims that it was a "pre-cursor" to the Tiananmen Square protests simply because the two events are about totally different themes, it would seem. I'm also not sure about the notability/infamy of these "Anti-African" protests, because I can't seem to find any reference to them outside of scholarly books/articles about racism/xenophobia in or outside of China. --Sumple (Talk) 10:13, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
It would certainly be an extreme irony if what many view as a great democratic uprising started out as a simple racist backlash. (Although I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time for that.) Ewlyahoocom 05:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
The Nanjing protests probably could have taught the students something about demonstrating and organising the masses (something they'd otherwise only learn from CPC organs, haha), but I doubt there is much direct correlation. -- Миборовский 00:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


According to universities, 23 students were murdered.

Murdered is a strong word. For consistency and balance, unless the universities actually claimed they were murdered (as opposed to killed) we should stick with killed as with most of the rest of the article. However as this claim is not cited, I can't check to see whether it says murdered or killed (although it could be in Mandarin or something anyway) Nil Einne 00:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

"Murdered" requires a mental element - intending to kill or to at least cause grievous injury. It really shouldn't be there. --Sumple (Talk) 07:12, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Well it depends who it's referring to. If you say the State murdered them, then that's debatable. But it isn't necessarily wrong to say they were murdered at all. From the reports they were deliberately fired at - they weren't accidental. So that would indicate mens rea and thus murder. John Smith's 09:10, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
For soldiers, killing is business. Where's the mens rea for that? -- Миборовский 00:43, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Even if the requisite mens rea exists, they have a valid defence (legally - note that I'm not condoning the suppression of the protests). In this case, state security. --Sumple (Talk) 00:56, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I've sources available

Some time ago I got Amnesty International's report on this, it's not available online from their website, but if anyone wants it, I can scan it and email it to him. It's titled "Preliminary Findings on Killings of Unarmed Civilians, Arbitrary Arrests and Summary Arrests Since 3 June 1989", dated 30 August 1989. It is 49 pages long. As my only motivation for getting that report was to prove the protestors were commies, it's unlikely I'd be touching it any time soon. If anyone wants a detailed chronology and eyewitness reports of the incident (I've scanned through it, it's quite thorough) I'd be more than happy to get it to him. -- Миборовский 00:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


The title of this article is "Tiananmen Square protests of 1989". However, I've seen a lot of articles using a slightly different title notation for such events, such as the 2006 FIFA World Cup, for example. Maybe we should use this notation as well, since it seems to be the trend by now? It would mean a rename to "1989 Tiananmen Square protests". —Michiel Sikma (Kijken maar niet aanraken) 09:52, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea, actually. John Smith's 12:01, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't know... the Communist tanks don't exactly drive onto the square and run down thousands of people once every four years... How are other historical events named? E.g. the 19xx Battle of Wherever?? --Sumple (Talk) 05:13, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
There's another protest at Tiananmen, Tiananmen Square protests of 1976, which is why there is a year in the article name. I would prefer to see Tiananmen Square protests (1989), to tell the truth. -- Миборовский 23:54, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
There was also the May Fourth movement of whenever (1918? 1919?). --Sumple (Talk) 00:22, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The May Fourth Movement is at May Fourth Movement. -- Миборовский 01:04, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Memorial at Tiananmen?

Has the Chinese government erected a monument to their victory over the people at Tiananmen Square? I am wondering because, after President Ronald Reagan fired all the striking Air Traffic Controllers, the Congress re-named Washington National Airport after him.

Ok let me break this down for you: when Reagan "fired" those people, they lost their jobs. When the PRC "fired" the students, the firing squad started shooting.
No, there is no monument to the victory of capitalism at Tiananmen Square. -- Миборовский 19:53, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course there is no monument over the 1989 killings. After all, the Chinese government pretends nothing happened there. Rather lets the cat out of the bag if they had a monument there to commemorate an event they'd rather not talk about! John Smith's 10:10, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I would like to add this statement - It is now generally accepted that few, if any, students were killed or injured in Tiananmen Square. There was violent confrontation between the citizens of Beijing and the army in the streets leading to the Square and there were deaths and injuries here. The Tiananmen Square Massacre Myth was a creation of the Western Media subsequently used to damage the CPR in the West. I have inserted it at the relevant page a couple of times but it is being removed by persons unknown. Can someone help me with this?

Came here via RC Patrol, so I don't have experience with the article, but I can tell you right off the bat that you need to read one of our core policies: the threshold for inclusion on Wikipedia is not truth, but verifiability. Please find reliable sources to back up your desired edits; we're not a place for original research, but if other notable people or publications have made the argument, it may well be worth a mention. Luna Santin 09:21, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm one of the apparently unknown persons. Luna Santin has it dead right about what you need to do to have your edits included. You may also want to read the neutral point of view policy. Kevin 10:30, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm another of the "unknowns", and I concur with the comments above by Luna and Kevin. --Sumple (Talk) 11:12, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

The principle of verifiability is essential but much of the text in this section is unverifiable and there is no reference to the source. A neutral point of view is also important but much of the material here is far from neutral. It seems to me that western propaganda is ok here with no verification needed and no source required. The first part of my proposed edit is factually correct and can be supported. The second part is a statement which summarises the overall political consequences of the Tiananmen Square Myth which has been created around the actual events and which largely serves Western interests. Here is one example, there are many others. ----An unnamed BBC reporter spoke of "indiscriminate fire" within the square. --- I think this might refer to Kate Adie who was in Beijing but was a mile or so away from the square at the time of these events. This statement is far from neutral and is unsourced.

I think things have moved in my direction!

I thought it was already generally accepted that the Square itself was cleared peacefully? If not mentioned here, this article has serious POV issues. A FARC might be in order. -- Миборовский 18:42, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
"Generally accepted"? Well I believe that in itself is disputed. However I don't see what the problem with the article is. It doesn't say (as far as I can see) that the casualties occurred in the square. Those people did die and were injured. Where are the POV problems?
If it could be properly sourced that there is now a consensus/growing consensus that the casualties happened away from the square, a few sentences could easily point out the popular misconceptions about where they happened. The principle behind what went on was that the State used lethal force against unarmed civilians, not that blood was spilt in the Square. John Smith's 22:22, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I have heard of stories about citizens attacking the soldiers. I saw on TV the protesters throwing stones to a group of Liberation army soldiers, who were jogging/marching down the street. I have seen photographs of burnt Liberation Army vehicles and burnt soldiers. But I haven't got the sources.Hillgentleman 11:25, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
PRC says, "Nothing to see here." Rest of the world says otherwise. I find it amusing that PRC agents are posting on wikipedia though.

Apologies for a Software Problem

Hi could someone revert my edits (Addhoc), as there appears to be a software problem and the end of the article has not been saved. Thanks. Addhoc 10:55, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

It's been taken care of by another user. Thanks for letting us know. Luna Santin 15:49, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Google censorship

So, seems editors are warring a bit about whether to include mention that Google's censorship is against its "mission statement" (see [7] and [8]). While the issue seemed to center on whether a blog is a WP:RS, I think the issue is different. This is an article about the protests, and the section in question is about how the topic is censored in China. It correctly notes that Google censors its results accordingly. That's all that needs to be said here. Whether or not this is against Google's mission statement (which, BTW, I think it is), is not a matter for this article. I'll provide a wikilink to the Google censorship article, which readers can link to for more information. --MichaelZimmer (talk) 12:30, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I messed up my edits and reverted them all. Will start over after I have a cup of coffee. --MichaelZimmer (talk) 12:30, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, fixed it. I strongly feel that lengthy mention of "against Google's mission" is inappropriate in this article, and we should simply point readers to more detailed treatment elsewhere in WP. I added a "see also" link, but not sure if it works aesthetically or in terms of MoS. Improvements are welcome. --MichaelZimmer (talk) 12:36, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I just tapped it down a line to look better.
I don't mind, just wanted to have a reference in to the censorship. John Smith's 17:40, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Conceptual question

Is this article about the Tiananmen Square protests only (that is, the protests which occurred in and around Tiananmen Square, Beijing), or is it about the June Fourth movement generally (by which I mean the whole series of student and civil unrest across China in 1989)? In my edits I've proceeded on the footing that it is about the latter; and parts of the article, e.g. the last section about compensation, can only be about the movement generally. However, many parts of the article read like the former is the case. --Sumple (Talk) 09:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

"June Fourth Movement" is a misnomer

The protests did not take place on June the Fourth. We may call the series of protests 1989 movement. We may call the crack-down June Fourth Incident. They should not be confused. A correct way to phrase it is, The June Fourth Incident was the end/endgame/outcome of the 89 Movement. Please note that May Fourth Movement did take place on May the Fourth, 1919.Hillgentleman 11:06, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

WP:OR. --Sumple (Talk) 11:10, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
What is the relevance here?Hillgentleman 11:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
What I mean is, sure it might be a misnomer, but that's how it is referred to by ppl everywhere, so whether or not that name is inaccurate is irrelevant. --Sumple (Talk) 12:45, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

To be anal about it, I would say that "June Fourth Movement" is the translation of the common Chinese name for it - 六四運動. - Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 14:59, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I mean what I said. The term is a misnomer. We may use it out of habit, but it is still wrong. Hillgentleman 09:02, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I have not seen the term June Fourth Movement in any serious news report. There are only June Fourth Incident (referring to the crackdown) or 89 Movement. In this sense I say that the usage "June Fourth Movement" is a piece of original research.Hillgentleman 09:02, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


I just saw a brief piece on the Tiananmen Square protest on the History Channel. In the piece it quoted the "tank man" as having said afterwards "I think, not kill". Has anyone heard this before, and, if so, do you know it's original source? I searched the entire Wiki article, but couldn't find reference to it; but that doesn't mean it's not there. I'm going to do some more research on it and try to find out. ---Michael David 13:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I contacted the researchers at The History Channel about this, and this was their response:
"A year after the Tiananmen Square riots, American newsmen asked Chinese leader Xong Xiemen [sp?], what had been done to the man who had stood in front of the tanks. His only response was, I think not killed....".
The History Channel piece gave the impression that the quote was from the man himself, so I took the quote "I think, not kill" as meaning "I think. I don't kill."
What I gather from the Channel's researchers is the quote came from someone else, and actually meant, "I think [he was] not killed". I certainly hope this is the case.
Any thoughts?
Michael David 10:15, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah okay. That's actually a quote from Jiang Zemin, who said that (in English) in a TV interview. --Sumple (Talk) 10:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Tiananmen

In September 2006, Wikipedia refused to censor it's Chinese content site, resulting in it being blocked by the Chinese government. The Chinese Wikipedia's article on the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre continues to exist.

This is asserts a cause-effect relationship that has not been demonstrated to exist. Also, I suspect that this statement was used by the Guardian to print something highly incorrect.

Roadrunner 02:29, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

lol you must be joking 8—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Agree. Now if Jimbo/the Wikimedia Foundation can produce a letter from some CPC honcho... -- Миборовский 05:50, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
What became of this incident? I see reporting by the Guardian from September 10, don't find any other sources, though at the time I saw it in other places. I assume Wales actually made these statements? Castellanet 21:15, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
The guardian simply picked up a world news story, as it is listed here [[9]] as well. The fact that China has blocked wikipedia does not necessarily belong in this article, rather in an article concerning China's position against free speech, or in some other article. --Mattarata 22:43, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the response and cite. It helped me figure out where this stuff goes - Blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China. It seems the link shouldn't be so hard to find, since it took a bit of searching. Castellanet 21:42, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


I'm concerned that very large portions of this article are lacking sources. This seems particularly important since I would imagine this article is highly vulnerable to PRC propaganda efforts.

As hard as it may be for some to grasp, anti-PRC propaganda is what is plaguing this article. -- Миборовский 01:36, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Either way, the reader should be skeptical of anything without a source, and consideration should be given to deleting those portions that cannot be verified.

Illegal student riot

I put the following based on the fact that this student riot was illegal based on the law in China. Also, the main point is that a martial order was ignored by the illegal student organization for more than 2 weeks. Also we will need to mention that the students did possess weapons at that time.

The student riot, also known as the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, June 4th Incident, or Tiananmen Square Massacre, were a series of illegal protests and illegal occupation of Tiananmen Square led by students, intellectuals and labour activists in the People's Republic of China between April 15, 1989 and June 4, 1989. The protests centred on in Beijing, but protests also occurred in few cities in China, such as in Shanghai. The violences were put to an end after martial order being declared, but ignored by the illegal student organization for more than 2 weeks. -- Pingbal1 02:42, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Peaceful protest leads to 2000 dead students...OH BUT SPEAKING AGAINST THE PRC WAS ILLEGAL SO IT'S OK. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Please provide source for your claim WP:SR. As I stated above, those student did possess or used weapons including incendiary devices and guns. To see why it's not peaceful, please check all those following sub-topics. -- Pingbal1 02:25, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
  • What do you mean by June the Fourth Incident? The protests or the crackdown?--Hillgentleman 04:11, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • There is a problem here:
    • Quote--"The student riot, also known as the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, June 4th Incident, or Tiananmen Square Massacre"
    • For somebody who knows nothing about these events, the above quote sounds like that the students rioted and massacred some folks, all on 4th June 1989.--Hillgentleman 04:13, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Illegal protests

The protests including those in Shanghai were illegal based on the various documents from Shanghai and Beijing city governments -- Pingbal1 02:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Moved comments to bottom. -- Миборовский 05:49, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
It is the POV of the Chinese government that the protests were illegal. Therefore we cannot present it as fact as you did. -- Миборовский 05:50, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Miborovsky, it's a fact that this student riot was not legal as I stated above based on various points, and it's not only illegal in China, but also illegal in all the other nations including the U.S. If you think that this is just "POV of the Chinese government", please give your verifiable and reliable source: WP:V & WP:RS -- Pingbal1 02:21, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
If you are going to be talking illegal, then I think removing the de facto head of state without going through the People's Congress is tantamount to treason. --Sumple (Talk) 14:03, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Well pointed out, Sumple. And keeping him under house arrest without even so much as a warrant. John Smith's 14:43, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Since Sumple couldn't provide the source for his claim, you're obviously misled by him. --Give source pls 16:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Well pointed out? Sumple, please give source for your claim!? Based on my research, the decision was made by "中共十三届四中全会": -- Give source pls 17:19, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Hah! and where is your source for that? Since when can a political party impeach a head of state? What do you think would happen if the Democratic Party national conference declared that President Bush was "deposed"? Do you think anyone would give a shit what they say?
I also note the distinct lack of sources in your post, which is surprising, given your user name. --Sumple (Talk) 00:02, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Sumple, you may use Google to find out easily the source for "Give source pls"' claim. It's HERE actually. By the way, I've also tried to search something for your claim "removing the de facto head of state without going through the People's Congress is tantamount to treason", but I found none. Could you kindly point me to your source? Remember WP:V && WP:RS, otherwise, everything is BS. -- Pingbal1 04:22, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, this is an article page all of a sudden is it? What about WP:SOCK and single purpose accounts, my friend? Your understanding of "source" is indeed twisted if you think that something that can be found via Google is as good as referenced. Try that in your next academic paper, see how it goes. For more information on what I said, see treason, Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and Zhao Ziyang. As to why I will not reply to your messages again, see Troll (Internet). --Sumple (Talk) 05:54, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
It's obvious that Sumple couldn't provide source for his claim period. -- Give source pls 16:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Illegal organization

The newly formed student organization called "北京市高校学生自治联合会" was illegal based on the law in China. -- Pingbal1 02:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Illegal occupation of public property

The occupation of public property "Tiananmen Square" was illegal based on the law in China -- Pingbal1 02:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Illegal possession of weapons

It's illegal to possess incendiary devices and guns, but those students did possess or used those against the government. -- Pingbal1 02:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Illegal student riot

The student riot was illegal based on the martial order -- Pingbal1 02:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I reverted again. The point about it being a "student riot" is mostly POV. It was really a protest first that turned into a riot second, and overall most people were probably there to protest and were probably forced to fight back against those forcing them out. Either way, the article cannot simply be changed in this manner without lots of discussion and consensus, which will be hard to achieve on such a hot button topic.--Mattarata 17:15, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Based on List of riot, almost all riots started in a peaceful way. Anyway, the Wikipedia policy requires that all verifiable POVs with reliable sources be presented -- Give source pls 16:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I am against using the term "student riot" first and other references to the event second, as "student riot" does not begin to summarize the entire event. Use of the word "illegal" 3 times in the summary section of the article is unwarranted and very much against WP:POV. I am against removal of mention of the labour activists as from everything I have read, they were a very large part of the event. I am against using terms such as "in few cities" to downplay the significance of the event. Basically the entire re-wording that Give source pls, Pingbal1 and Flow m are trying to change to is very POV and I will not allow it to be inserted. As Sumple said above, all three of you are WP:SOCKs or single purpose accounts and that combined with your multiple reverts is enough to get all of you banned.

All of this being said, the only thing I can see that might be able to be changed is the wording "by the government of the People's Republic of China" which is a little POV. If that is how that government refers to the event, then it should be included as an alternate name without the POV slant. --Mattarata 22:59, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
If you think mentioning the term "illegal" is against WP:POV, then I would think you know nothing about Wikipedia: Wikipedia states that WP:POV should be neutral, and all POVs should be INCLUDED, but they need to be reliable & verifiable. Also please provide source for "labour activists". -- Pingbal1 02:20, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Your claims of illegality fundamentally violate Wikipedia's prohibition against Original Research, because they are based on your interpretation of the laws. While that may be all the rage in your particular socioeconomic context, personal interpretation does not judicial interpretation make.
More specifically, because no-one at Tiananmen 1) received a fair trial with due process, and 2) even in the Chinese courts they were not convicted of your allegations, they did not break the law in the manner you described.
Finally, illegality as alleged by Mr Pingbal1, Supreme High Chief Justice of Absolutely No Court Whatsoever, is not notable. --Sumple (Talk) 02:56, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
One more point, even your interpretation of the Chinese law at the time is totally wrong. Do you even have any legal training at all, to be spewing forth such declarations on the guilt of others? I recommend that you read the following article, for a start: WP:OR; WP:V; Self-defense (theory); Necessity; Provocation; Martial law; Due process; andJudiciary. --Sumple (Talk) 03:00, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Sumple, Many activities are known to be illegal even without a trial.
For example, crossing the street when the light is red is illegal, yet it is rare
that one would be arrested and tried for doing that.--Hillgentleman 19:23, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
There is a difference between a criminal act, and the manifestation of that criminal act. To use your jaywalking analogy:
In general, to cross the street when the light is red is illegal, which we know by virtue of traffic regulations. However, whether it was illegal for me to cross the street when I did, while the lights were red, yesterday at 9am outside the local train station, is debatable, since it may be that I had a valid defence (necessity, self defence, malfunctioning lights, or some other kind of exception). Because of Wikipedia's insistence on verifiability and citations, it would not be proper to label my particular act as illegal unless you had a source or citation to back it up - e.g. a conviction, a fine, or some published opinion on this fact.
In my discussion with the sockpuppets above, I sought to point out that 1) there is insufficient verifiable evidence to point out that the protests were an "illegal riot". Just saying "I think this law makes it illegal" is not enough, unless you are the judge. 2) even if the protests were illegal, that factor may not be notable enough to be included in the definitional sentence or paragraph, which I have tried to illustrate with the Rosa Parks example below.
To give another analogy, some people would view certain recent military actions in the Middle East as illegal, based on their reading of the international law. However, if there are no reliable sources to back up that claim, do you think that view should make its way into a Wikipedia article? Furthermore, even if there are reliable sources to back up that claim, it is a separate question whether that opinion, that the military actions are illegal, is notable enough to be inserted into the definitional sentence.
I welcome your discussion. Sorry if I don't reply quickly to your further replies - I'm "officially" on "wikibreak" until mid-November. --Sumple (Talk) 12:37, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Sumple, for whatever you mentioned, please provide source, claims without source are simply BS, and unknowledgeable people will get misled. If you think that these are only someone's interpretations, then you're totally wrong, these are facts, please see the following sources. -- Pingbal1 02:38, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we would have more of those "asked for" (human) resources to our avail right now if the Chinese government didn't had them all locked up for the time being. Oh wait, that's not right... a few actually made it out of China in time. But those're all notorious self-mutilating liars anyway, so you better don't trust their word. -- Pingbal1 02:10, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
"The wanted list of rioter" published by Beijing Police Department:
"Rethink about June Forth Event", published by a historian in HK.
In English Law, riot forms part of the Public Order Act 1986 under section 1. The Public Order Act 1986 s.1 states:
1) Where twelve or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot.
2) It is immaterial whether or not the twelve or more use or threaten unlawful violence simultaneously.
3) The common purpose may be inferred from conduct.
4) No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.
5) Riot may be committed in private as well as in public places.
You are certainly on the right track, having provided two blog entries, and an irrelevant piece of English (or so you claim) statute as sources for your claims. If I am not mistaken, Beijing is not in England. Now try harder.
And while you are trying, consider this: what has illegality got to do with it? By your argument, the second paragraph of Rosa Parks should read like this (additions in bold):
"Parks is famous for her illegal refusal on 1 December 1955 to obey bus driver James Blake's legal demand that she legally give up her seat to a white passenger. Her subsequent legal arrest and legal trial for this illegal act of illegal civil disobedience triggered the illegal Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the largest and most successful illegal mass movements against legal racial segregation in history, and launched Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the illegal organizers of the illegal boycott, to the forefront of the illegal civil rights movement. Her illegal role in American history earned her an iconic status in illegal American culture, and her illegal actions have left an enduring legacy for illegal civil rights movements around the world."
--Sumple (Talk) 04:19, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Rosa Parks was a heroine, that there is no dispute. As far as I know what she did was not illegal in US federal law, so it was the state law that was illegal, and it was this point which needed to be clarified. When asked why she did it, Rosa Parks simply said that she was tired and had enough. And she was right. What the subsequent movement wanted was not privilege for the Negro, but equality.
The demands of the Chinese students were totally opposite to that of movement supporting Rosa Parks. The Chinese students demanded privilege for themselves because they saw themselves as the elite, and not equality for the entire Chinese population. The students were not asking for democracy; the democracy part came from foreign correspondents. The students wanted guaranteed good jobs after they finished university, because they saw that the good jobs went to all with the right connections. In the confusion that followed, the students thought that in a democracy they would have good jobs automatically, why, because that was the impression they had from foreigners. So a demand for good jobs became a demand for democracy.
It is a pity that within the discussion here, some 17 years after the incident, there was no mention of how the students lost their lives because of the manipulation of information and expectations by the foreign communities.
Every country has its own set of emergency laws. Take the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US. If anyone left destitude by the hurricane took a loaf of bread from a shop, he could be classified as a looter, and could be shot on the spot, and indeed people were shot on the spot. There were pictures of people sitting down with nothing (no food and no water) and armed troops watching them, without trying to help them in any way. In the Chinese case, emergency law was declared well in advance before any military action was taken. If people did not know what emergency law was about then, they unfortunately found out the hard way.
As for the so called student leaders, their real life abilities were naive and limited. It is true that people like Mao and Deng in their twenties were already identifiable as potential great leaders, but in their time they already had over 10 years of hard work experience and organisational experience. These students and the student leaders were puppies in comparison, and although they did not think it, they led privileged, sheltered and protected lives away from the toil and sweat of the ordinary Chinese, and given time they were expected to manage China. But they wanted more, quickly, without going through the process of learning society's ways.
Does democracy bring good jobs for the so-called 'highly educated'? Wu'er Kaixi found out that in America he was only good enough to be a gas-station attendant and a bus-boy in restaurants. He very soon realised that to have a life he wanted, he could only get it on Chinese soil. Cai Ling found out that for a young woman, to get what she wanted for herself, to have the 'American Dream' she had to sleep with an older, rich and powerful American man; what in Chinese is called selling the spring of your youth.
So after 17 years, and looking back, what was it that the student leaders actually wanted for themselves? It would appear that certainly, some of them just wanted a (much)better life for themselves. In that they are no different from any other student from around the world. However, their method was wrong. In the process they got many of their fellows killed. The students did not show any concern for the wealth of the rest of the Chinese population, only more privileges for themselves; that was their mistake.
The irony is that after 17 years, the West is doing more business with China than ever, because, in a capitalist world (which the students demanded implicitly), political stability is one of the most important things. Tiananmen demonstrated that the the government of China is extremely stable. I just hope the so-called student leaders know what they have done, so that they could live with the many hungry ghosts that must roam through their consciousness for the rest of their lives. 16 Nov 06 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

That's a pretty cynical (and possibly libellous) view. Wuer Kaixi's limited opportunities in the USA may have arisen from his lack of good English rather than a lack of marketable skills. As for Chai Ling, you are free to criticise her political views and actions, but your suggestion that she is little more than a whore should either be supported by evidence or withdrawn.

And if you think China is stable now, you haven't been paying attention. There are numerous factors (the wealth gap, unemployment, regional separatism, corruption, the perilous financial situation of many banks and state enterprises) that could plunge the country into chaos again, which is exactly why the Party keeps such a tight rein on things. Rodparkes 09:40, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually you are the one who is using libellous words. May be 'good English' is a marketable skill in itself? Going by your definition of stability, then there probably are not many places that are stable- just take a look at the US financial deficit, wealth gap, racial separation, Enron, etc. 17 Nov 06. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Good illustration, Sumple. :)
As to the Public Order Act. 1986. Well I'm sure you guys didn't realise this, but any such law has to be read considering Article 11 of European Convention on Human Rights, which gives the right of freedom of assembly (implied peaceful). Any other law on that topic has to be read to be compatible with the ECHR, or it's declared incompatible. The Chinese constitution also gave (and still gives) the right of assembly. So any Chinese law couldn't ban assembly just because the leaders felt uncomfortable. It was peaceful until martial law was declared, and the violence was started by troops. John Smith's 09:13, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Has the UK law been tested in the European Court in for example the Northern Ireland scenarios? 20 Nov 06 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


article should be titled Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

First, please should put your signature. Second, you should read about the meaning of "Martial Law", in China, it was called "Martial Order". --Pingbal1 02:28, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
If no one claims the responsibility for this section, the section SHOULD be removed. -- Give source pls 16:38, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
John Smith, please state clearly why this article should be titled Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 and also provide the source for this. -- Pingbal1 03:31, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't have to do anything like that, because the article has not been changed in such a manner. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they don't back it up and thus cannot get people to agree with them to make such a change. John Smith's 13:21, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I was not the person who brought this up, but I had actually never heard of the term "Tiananmen Square protests" until I came to wikipedia--I thought that people had always referred to the event as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. It seems to me 2 main factors come into play in whether we should call this article "...Protests" or "...Massacre": 1) What is the common name to which this event is referred to?, and 2) Historical accuracy. Regarding point 1), I got curious, and quickly googled both the phrases "Tiananmen Square protests" and "Tiananmen Square massacre", and got 73,600 hits for protests, and 242,000 hits for massacre. This is certainly not proof, but my quick-and-lazy test does seem to give us reason to think that "...massacre" might actually be the more common name to which the event is referred, so maybe we should do a more detailed study on that. As for 2), all I am saying is that we should take into account whether the term "massacre" or "protest" better reflect the actual event. I do think that both factors have influence as to how we should name this article. -- Notveryfunny 07:07, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
The term "massacre" is somewhat POV, whereas the term "protests" is more encompassing of the entire event. Overall the event was a protest and during part of the protest a massacre occurred. Just because the world takes a POV stance that it was overall a massacre, does not mean that wikipedia has to take that stance, as long as there is reference to it being, in large part, a massacre. Oh and it certainly was more than a riot. --Mattarata 17:21, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Should be in Massacres category?

Should this article be included in the Massacres category? The criterion for inclusion is defined as "A mass killing of a number of people done for some aim". Although the killings (which certainly fit this definition) largely occurred (as the current form of the article correctly states) in the surrounding streets and not the Square itself, they were clearly related to and arising out of the protests in the Square, and any reader searching for details of what has become known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre would be led to this article. I approached this by way of the category listing and was surprised to not find it there. Rodparkes 04:15, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

In the absence of any objection here, I have added the categorisation. Rodparkes 01:45, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Why traditional Chinese spelling?

Why do we have traditional Chinese spelling for the names here? As far as I know, the traditional spelling isn't used anywhere near Beijing. --Apoc2400 10:56, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Because it is Wikipedia convention to use both forms. -- Миборовский 18:16, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • That is not right. someone should change it to PinYin. That is how the names are spelt in China. Otherwise, it will cause confusion due to different spellings.

3rd paragraph

The third paragraph of "Arrests and Purges" appears to have been written by a non-English speaker and needs some sprucing up, particularly the sentence that includes the text "the need for Taiwan issue", as it is unclear what that phrase is supposed to mean.