Focus: GS-III International Relations
Why in news?
- Hong Kong police on 1st June 2020 banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the first time the gathering has been halted in three decades.
- The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed.
- But police rejected permission for this year’s rally saying it would “constitute a major threat to the life and health of the general public” – In the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Tiananmen Square Protests
- The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations calling for democracy, free speech and a free press in China in 1989.
- At issue was a frustration with the limits on political freedom in the country—given its one-party form of government, with the Communist Party holding sway—and ongoing economic troubles.
- Although China’s government had instituted a number of reforms in the 1980s that established a limited form of capitalism in the country, the poor and working-class Chinese still faced significant challenges, including lack of jobs and increased poverty.
- The students also argued that China’s educational system did not adequately prepare them for an economic system with elements of free-market capitalism.
- The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing.
- In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military’s advance into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded.
-Source: The Hindu