Background Info

On June 4, 1989, troops from the People’s Liberation Army moved into Tiananmen Square, Beijing. The Chinese government sent the army to put to end large-scale demonstrations protesting corruption and the government’s political and economic policies.

 

In wide-ranging protests lasting seven weeks, millions of Chinese students, intellectuals, and workers met in the 44-hectare (109-acre) square in the heart of Beijing. Protesters marched through nearby streets, held hunger strikes, and spoke their minds over megaphones.

 

What seemed like a promising start to political reform ended with military intervention. Foreign journalists were expelled, and the Chinese government has not made information about the event public. Due to this secrecy, the number of protesters killed, injured, or imprisoned is not known. 

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

army

Noun

military land forces.

economic

Adjective

having to do with money.

government

Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

imprison

Verb

to confine or put in a jail-like facility.

journalist

Noun

person who reports and distributes news.

military

Noun

armed forces.

political

Adjective

having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.

protest

noun, verb

demonstration against a policy or action.

reform

noun, verb

change or improvement of a policy or process.

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Editor

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Producer

Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society

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