Beijing [China]: The Tiananmen Square, located in the centre of the Chinese capital, will remain temporarily closed from coming Saturday evening to Sunday morning to facilitate preparations for the celebration of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, authorities said on Tuesday.
The 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China will be observed on October 1.
According to the city’s arrangements for the preparatory work, the Square will be closed to the public from 6 p.m. (local time) on Saturday to 10 a.m. (local time) on Sunday, the Tiananmen area management committee said.
Tiananmen means “gate of heavenly peace.”
On June 4, 1989, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square and fired on students gathered in the largest pro-democracy demonstration that mainland China had ever witnessed. Estimates of the death toll ranged from several hundred to thousands.
The protests that had begun in April that year were forcibly suppressed in June when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing. More than 10,000 people were arrested during and after the protests.
Several dozen people have been executed for their parts in the demonstrations.
Amid the backdrop of rapid economic development and social changes in post-Mao China, the protests reflected anxieties about the country’s future in the popular consciousness and among the political elite.
The students, who had played a major role in the pro-democracy protests, had called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, although they were highly disorganized and their goals varied.