Tiananmen Incident

Tiananmen Incident
Chinese四五天安门事件
Literal meaning5 April Tian'anmen Incident

The Tiananmen Incident took place on 5 April 1976, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year. Some people strongly disapproved of the removal of the displays of mourning, and began gathering in the Square to protest against the central authorities, then largely under the auspices of the Gang of Four, who ordered the Square to be cleared.

The event was labeled as counterrevolutionary immediately after its occurrence by the Communist Party's Central Committee and served as a gateway to the dismissal and house arrest of then–Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, who was accused of planning the event, while he insisted that he came to Tiananmen Square only for a haircut. The Central Committee's decision on the event was reversed after the Cultural Revolution ended, as it would later be officially hailed as a display of patriotism.

Cause

The death of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, a widely respected senior Chinese leader, on 8 January 1976, prompted the protest. For several years before his death, Zhou was involved in a political power struggle with other senior leaders in the Politburo of the Communist Party of China.[citation needed]

Zhou's most visible and powerful antagonists were the four senior members who came to be called the Gang of Four.[citation needed] The leader of the clique, Jiang Qing, was married to Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong. To defuse an expected popular outpouring of sentiment at Zhou's death, the Communist Party of China limited the period of public mourning.