Lecture # 8-The Tank Man Documentary
What happened to tankman?
Tiananmen Square is the largest public square In the world and created on inhuman
spaceReflects how small you really are.
Soldiers and policemen demand papers and authorities are not afraid of foreigners or anyone.
There are cameras everywhere
In June 3rd, the Square was a warzone. The PLA forced themselves into Beijing with orders to
converge on the Square. The students faced tanks, soldiers, and soldiers armed with semi
The “tankman” changed the world esp. the Russian Revolution.
Aprilstudent demonstrations started. People thought that the old regime was about to fall.
For the first time, the press was reporting everything freely. It moved across the country and
uprisings started right across the country.
From these cities, hundreds and thousands of supporters converged on the capital.
The movement from student to worker uprising scared the CCP. Student uprisings were what
parties could handle but when it evolved into worker uprising, they were terrified of losing
There was infighting between crackdown vs. peaceful negotiation.
Li Peng advocated for a hardliner crackdown. (Martial law) Soldiers (300 000) were used and
Beijing’s response surprised many people
The citizens surrounded the tanks and they could not go forward into Tiananmen Square.
The citizens brought their children to talk to soldiers. These soldiers were not experienced with
big city life. They did not want to hurt anyone
4 days after the attempted entry, they withdrew to the outskirt bases. Beijing lost face and they
feared the entire communist movement was going to collapse just like Soviet Union.
o They have to make a bloody stand to make a statement.
Deng Xiaopeng sent in armed troops into the districts. On the night of June 3 , the huge
invasion force coming from all directions with LIVE ammunition.
o The Square has to be cleared by 6 am.
Armed personnel began to ram the buses, soldiers started to fire on the people.
o Armies used bullets that would split into upon impact (shrapnel) and causes extreme
By 4:15 a.m. the lights went out and a choice was to be made. Either die or clear the streets
In the morning, the parents wanted to go back into the square to look for their children. But the
army stopped and shot them.
o Soldiers shot everyone: doctors, nurses, etc…
o Shooting down nonviolent students
o The message was to shock and scare the citizens Ernie Tam
By June 5 , the square was cleared and the “tankman” made his defiant act then.
China television produced executed people as hooligans, counter revolutionists etc….
After 1989, Deng Xiaopeng halted political reform but NOT economic reform. (there are two
doors: Politics and economics).
o Open the economics door and be prosperous.
o Open the politics door, you will run into the state
Intimidate opposition (Do not challenge the party) but on the other hand, you can be successful.
“Social Contract” and “Deal with the Devil”- To not return to the events of 1989/not hold the
government responsible for those events in exchange for a chance to be successful
There are many people who are still in poverty and are not successful in the new industries.
China Abig city and businessmen, shanghai, and are modern. Rise of criminal organizations.
These are all problems of the rich and richer countries
China BDeveloping China which is vast majority of country. Still very poor and thanks to
economic zones, these people face problems in developing countries (low education, lack of
water, not enough economic resources)
System of contradiction
o Fast modern subways vs. villagers
Under the collective system back then, the peasants were not allowed to sell crops. The state
has granted freedom for agriculture so their income has increased BUT education/healthcare
was taken away
o There were school fees, heating fees, etc… that are need to be paid in order for access
o State gives on one hand but TAKES on the other
What is in the mind of China’s leader?
o Is it to make China a powerful country in the eyes of the world or bring real change to
The sons and daughters of peasantry are sent off to find work in industrial zones.
40 000 migrants work in the city of Chein chuen. Cities are designed to be specialized. (one city
make toothbrush, toothpaste etc…)
Factory employers like to hire young people because they can work faster. When they recruit,
they look at the health of workers.