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Did the pro-democracy movement of the 1980's ever have a realistic chance of suceeding?

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Introduction

Question: Did the pro-democracy movement of the 1980's ever have a realistic chance of suceeding? Communism took over China soon after the second world war. Mao Zedong, the leader of the communist party who came from the country, remained paramount until his death on the 9th of September 1976. During his rule, he modified Marxist-Lenonism to suit China's population of peasants, and went through many "leaps" to try and revolutionise China's economy as he had done with the political system. But in the end, Millions of Chinese men, women and children died. When Mao himself died after a life of stubborness and an apparent inability to listen, Deng Xiaoping came into power even thought being exiled twice before. Deng Xiaoping, after seeing the errors of Mao's long rule, began to introduce political and economic reforms to China. Politically, he wanted to deal with leadership change, the constitution, dealing with dissidents, more power for the state rather than local, changes of area's and branches, and perhaps even village democracy. ...read more.

Middle

The demands were divided into four main issues 1. An end to political corruption 2. Better treatment of students and teachers 3. Free speech, freedom of press and demonstration rights 4. Political Reform, which is what the western media mainly focused on. But the problem the students were facing, was trying to get the Chinese government to pay attention to their protests, and to force the government to respond. The government seemed stubborn, treating the students like mere children. Even though the students had developed their own groups, started a city wide protest involving up to five million students, teachers, workers and intellectuals and created turmoil; the government just wouldn't respond. The movement of the students wasn't conforming to what the government wanted, so the government paid no attention. Only "soft-liners" like Zhao Ziyang paid attention, and he managed to get exiled because of his "rebellion". ...read more.

Conclusion

While the west saw this as the students desire to have western ideals, the government merely saw it as an attempt to overthrow the them. Apparently, Li Peng told Deng that the spear was pointed at him to take action. With the government's stubborness, and the student's refusal to back down, the pro-democracy movement never really had a chance in suceeding. If the government had been more accepting and listened, this could have been averted. But the Chinese power systems never really listened to what the people wanted so this was not going to happen. If all the students chose to understand the momentum they had gained and decided to back down after the martial law order then the death could have been averted. But the students were hyped by the words of "radical" leaders such as Wuer Kaixi and Chai Ling, and would not back down the government they had rebelled against for so long. This resulted in the Tianenman Massacre, and the fall of the pro-democracy movement in China. ...read more.

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