China after Tiananmen: the Death That Sparked a Movement


Thirty years ago yesterday, the death of high-ranking official and former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang prompted thousands of Chinese students sympathetic to the liberal official to take to the streets of Beijing in mourning and solidarity with Hu’s desire to increase transparency in government and end corruption. At RADII China, Jeremiah Jenne recalls how the nascent show of support for a fallen leader coalesced into a movement that would forever change the country, China Digital Times reports:

[…] The day after Hu’s death, people gathered in Tiananmen Square in a spontaneous demonstration of grief. The politburo was also receiving reports of student-organized memorial activities on university campuses.

Thirty years after the 1989 protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and their brutal suppression captured global attention, repression is on the rise in Xi Jinping’s China. In a special set of five articles, activists and scholars reflect on  the legacy of Tiananmen in the newly released April issue of the Journal of Democracy along with articles on Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, how populist leaders govern, the authoritarian abuse of Interpol, and much more.

Visit the new JOD website for an updated, easy-to-use archive of articles, Journal news, and web-exclusive content.

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