Remaking the Square

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 history of Chinese reform, Mao wanted to make the square into a public gathering place that would outshine Moscow’s Red Square.