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Last Updated: Friday, 28 May, 2004, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Witnessing Tiananmen: Student talks fail
Wuer Kaixi during 1989 protests
Wuer Kaixi's image was broadcast around the world
Fifteen years ago, China witnessed huge protests and calls for change, before these were brutally crushed by tanks around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

The BBC's Chinese Service has interviewed some of those who witnessed the protests and subsequent bloodshed.

Wuer Kaixi, one of the best-known student leaders, fled China after the protests and now lives in Taiwan.


The student movement of course wanted to achieve political aims. Our expectations at the time ware quite clear and definite.

We wanted legal recognition of the student organisation, we wanted an organisation in China similar to the trade union Solidarity in Poland, which could become a platform for promoting democracy in China, for promoting multi-party politics and for promoting freedom of speech as well as a series of other democratic developments in China.

Therefore, if we could have the opportunity to put great pressure on the government, to meet and talk with government officials, we would of course greatly value such an opportunity.

On that day, because of my hunger strike I got some inflammation of the heart muscle and was admitted to hospital.

But I ran away from the hospital and returned to Tiananmen Square. That is why I was dressed like that. [Wuer Kaixi was seen on television dressed in something like a pair of pyjamas.] Let me clarify it. I wasn't wearing pyjamas. I was still in the hospital clothing for patients.

1989 TIANANMEN EVENTS
Zhao Ziyang, 19 May 1989
15 April - Reformist leader Hu Yaobang dies
22 April - Hu's memorial service, thousands call for faster reforms
13 May - Students begin hunger strike as power struggle grips Communist party
15 May - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev visits China
19 May - Zhao Ziyang (pictured) makes tearful appeal to students to leave
20 May - Martial law declared in Beijing
3-4 June - Security forces clear the square, killing hundreds