The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese, were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing in the spring of 1989 that received broad support from city residents and exposed deep splits within China's political leadership but were forcibly suppressed by hardline leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law in the country's capital. The crackdown initiated on June 3–4 became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or the June 4 Massacre as troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted thousands of casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance on Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, which student demonstrators had occupied for seven weeks. The scale of military mobilization and the resulting bloodshed were unprecedented in the history of Beijing, a city with a rich tradition of popular protests in the 20th century.
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