Languages
Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 08:28 UK

Timeline: The Tiananmen protests

PLA troops guard a strategic avenue leading to Tiananmen Square (6 June 1989)

In the spring of 1989, more than one million Chinese students and workers occupied Beijing's Tiananmen Square and began the largest political protest in communist China's history. Six weeks of protests ended with the Beijing massacre of 3-4 June.

Here the BBC charts the events that led to the deadly crackdown - using archive audio and video from the time.

15 APRIL - HU YAOBANG'S DEATH

Former Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, a leading reformist, dies of a heart attack aged 73. Mourners begin to gather in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. They are expressing their sadness, but also their dissatisfaction with the pace of reform in China.

18-21 APRIL - DEMONSTRATIONS SPREAD
Students carrying banner of Hu Yaobang
Students carry a memorial banner to Hu Yaobang

Numbers in Beijing swell into thousands in the following days, and demonstrations spread to cities and universities nationwide.

Students, workers and officials shout slogans calling for greater freedom and democracy and an end to what they called dictatorship - others complain about inflation, salaries and housing.

22 APRIL - HU'S MEMORIAL