• Hu Yaobang Dies

    The former Party General Secretary dies of a heart attack. "We're deeply saddened and shocked at Comrade Yaobang's passing." –Zhao Ziyang
  • Students mourn the death of Hu Yaobang

    "Analysis of more than seven hundred posters, memorial couplets, and eulogies shows that their contents seem to fall into three catagories: (1) normal expressions of mourning (most are this), (2) protests against injustices that Comrade Yaobang suffered during his life, and (3) inflammatory attacks on the current sate of society." –"Report on mourning activites for Comrade Hu Yaobang at Beijing institutions of higher education" from the Beijing Municipal Government
  • Students lay siege to Xinhua Gate

    "It is clear that the student protests in Beijing began moving in a new direction on the eighteenth." –Li Ximing, refering to the seige of Xinhua Gate
  • April 26th editorial

    Government publishes the infamous April 26th editorial, mocking the students' efforts at reform. "It's crucial that we maintain social order throughout the country, especially in the capital. We certainly can't allow a few people with ulterior motives to make use of this movement to manufacture turmoil We've got to expose them as quickly as possible." –Yang Shangkun, on why to publish the April 26th editorial
  • Zhao Ziyang delivers speech at Asian Development Bank

    His statements contradict some made in the April 26th editorial, which angers and confuses party leaders. "We should meet the students' reasonable demands through democracy and law, should be willing to reform, and should use rational and orderly methods." –Zhao Ziyang, from his Asian Development Bank speech
  • Hunger strikes begin

    "Though our shoulders may be frail, though we are too young to die, we must leave, we have no choice. History demands this of us." –Hunger strike declaration
  • May 17th proclamation is released

    The proclamation is written by Yan Jiaqi, Bao Zunxin and other intellectuals. It states that the government has become a dictatorship and that the protesters’ demands were being ignored. It called the collapse of 700 hunger strikers a national tragedy.
  • Zhao Ziyang urges students to go home

    Zhao Ziyang wanted the students to go home to save their lives. Martial Law was imposed the same day. "But I have to ask you to think carefully about the future. Many issues will be resolved eventually. I beg you to end the hunger strike." –Zhao Ziyang
  • Zhao Ziyang is replace by Jiang Zemin

    "We should handle the student demonstrations the way Jiang Zemin would." –Chen Yun "He's got it just right politically, has strong Party loyalty, and can see the big picture." –Li Xiannian, remarking on Zemin leading up to Ziyang's dismissal
  • PLA troops and tanks clear Tian'anmen Square

    "And let me repeat: No bloodshed within Tiananmen Square–period. What if thousands of students refuse to leave? Then the troops carry away thousands of students on their backs!" –Yang Shangkun, on how to deal with students, on June 3rd