Tiananmen had been the site of Anti-Japanese demonstrations in 1895 and 1919 (the May Fourth Movement), inspirational moments for Mao and other Communist leaders. Fittingly, Mao chose Tiananmen to announce his new People’s Republic. One of Mao’s early acts as China’s ruler was launching a grand redevelopment of Tiananmen Square. Already very significant in the… Read more »
On September 21, 1949, Mao triumphantly proclaimed to assembled Communist Legislators that the Chinese people had “stood up.” On October 1, 1949, from Tiananmen Square, Mao announced the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Liu was arrested on June 6 and spent 20 months in prison, released in January 1991. He was deeply moved by the events at Tiananmen, and the protests remain one of the primary subjects of his work. Liu’s book of poetry, June Fourth Elegies, reflects on the events in the square. In Liu’s words, he… Read more »