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ChinaTen Years After Tiananmen 26 May1999 The 4th June 1999 marks the tenth anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians in Beijing and the arrest of tens of thousands of demonstrators in major cites and provinces around China On the night of 3 to 4 June heavily armed troops and hundreds of armoured military vehicles stormed into the city to clear the streets of pro-democracy demonstrators firing at onlookers and protesters in the process These events were caught on television screens around the world and caused an international outcry and demands for an open investigation The number of those killed or injured during the crackdown is unknown but witnesses estimate fatalities to be in the hundreds There were also fears that the crackdown was severe in other parts of China where no foreign media were present and punishments much harsher The authorities reacted vigorously to the threat caused by the wide-ranging support for the 1989 pro-democracy movement The protests started in April 1989 and spread quickly to various provinces in China The demands included an end to official corruption and calls for political and economic reform Demands which are similar to those being reported today on a smaller scale throughout China The demands in 1989 drew wide public support and millions joined peaceful demonstrations as the 1989 pro-democracy movement gained momentum in Beijing and throughout China Many of those killed were unarmed civilians killed by soldiers during the night of 3 to 4 June 1989 when martial law troops and military vehicles moved from the outskirts of Beijing - toward the city centre after martial law was declared on 20 May 1989 Others were summarily shot and killed by soldiers during the days which followed the massacre when martial law troops were already in full control of central Beijing The troops movement towards central Beijing was ostensibly to enforce martial law
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