Tiananmen Square


No one who has suppressed a student movement ever came to a good end.

--Mao Zedong, from comments made to Liu Shaoqi in July 1966

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Some of the most symbolically important demonstrations in 20th-century Chinese history took place in Beijing in the 1910s and 1920s. Many of those demonstrations, including the May 4th demonstration, were aimed against foreign aggression and the suppression of student and worker activists by the warlord government. When the capital of the nation was moved to Nanjing, the center of demonstrations also moved. Many important demonstrations like the May 30th workers' protests of 1923 were centered on the major industrial city of Shanghai. Later, although many student and worker demonstrations were held in other cities around China, those early protests in Beijing retained their historical importance. After 1949, the Beijing protests became enshrined in Communist Party history, in its story of its rise to power on a wave of popular support.

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