Tanks near Tiananmen Square during the unrest culminating on June 4, 1989. Source: 64memo


Following the death of General Secretary Hu Yaobang in April, thousands of students held demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, demanding democratic reforms and an end to corruption. On June 3, the government sent in military troops to clear the square. Tensions between the US and PRC continued into the next year. While both sides lobbed criticisms at each other, diplomatic ties were never severed and China remained open to foreign trade.