5 April 1976

In China, the April Fifth Movement leads to the Tiananmen Incident

Tiananmen Incident
Part of the Cultural Revolution
Tiananmen Incident 1976.jpg
Crowds of mourners gathering in Tiananmen Square during the Qingming Festival.
Date5 April 1976 Edit this on Wikidata
Location
Caused byDeath of Zhou Enlai
Discontent with the Cultural Revolution
Parties to the civil conflict
Mourners
Protestors
Lead figures
Jiang Qing
Hua Guofeng
No centralized leadership
Number
Unknown
100,000
Casualties
Death(s)0
Arrested40
Tiananmen Incident
Simplified Chinese四五天安门事件
Traditional Chinese四五天安門事件
Literal meaning5 April Tian'anmen Incident

The Tiananmen Incident (Chinese: 四五天安门事件; pinyin: sìwǔ tiān'ānmén shìjiàn or the April 5 Tiananmen Incident) was a mass gathering and protest that 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.

Origins

The death of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, a widely respected senior Chinese leader, on 8 January 1976, prompted the incident. 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, with Zhou's most visible and powerful antagonists being the four senior members who came to be called the Gang of Four.[1] The leader of the clique, Jiang Qing, was a woman, and the wife of 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.

On 4 April 1976, at the eve of China's annual Qingming Festival, in which Chinese traditionally pay homage to their deceased ancestors, thousands of people gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square to commemorate the life and death of Zhou Enlai.[2] On this occasion, the people of Beijing honoured Zhou by laying wreaths, banners, poems, placards, and flowers at the foot of the Monument.[2] The most obvious purpose of this memorial was to eulogize Zhou, but Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, and Yao Wenyuan were also attacked for their alleged evil actions against the Premier.[3] A small number of slogans left at Tiananmen even attacked Mao himself, and his Cultural Revolution.[4]

Up to two million people may have visited Tiananmen Square on 4 April.[4] First-hand observations of the events in Tiananmen Square on 4 April report that all levels of society, from the poorest peasants to high-ranking PLA officers and the children of high-ranking cadres, were represented in the activities. Those who participated were motivated by a mixture of anger over the treatment of Zhou, revolt against Mao and his policies, apprehension for China's future, and defiance of those who would seek to punish the public for commemorating Zhou's memory.[3] There is nothing to suggest that events were coordinated from any position of leadership: it was a spontaneous demonstration reflecting widespread public sentiment. Deng Xiaoping was notably absent, and he instructed his children to avoid being seen at the square.[4]

Incident

People gather in Tiananmen Square to mourn Zhou Enlai, on April 1976

On the night of 4 April, the Central Committee held a meeting to discuss the situation in Tiananmen Square. Party elders such as Hua Guofeng and Wu De, who were not close allies of the Gang of Four, expressed criticism at the protesters and some of their slogans which were critical of the Gang of Four and party leadership. Meanwhile, the Gang of Four seemed to have been alarmed by the personal attacks at the event, and began to use their controlled newspapers to accuse Deng Xiaoping of encouraging and controlling the protesters.[5] They consulted with the sickly Mao Zedong, claiming these people to be "capitalist roaders" who were hitting back at the Proletarian Revolution.

Government action began on the morning of 5 April, when the People's Liberation Army began removing articles of mourning from Tiananmen. On the morning of 5 April, crowds gathering around the memorial arrived to discover that it had been completely removed by the police during the night, angering them. Attempts to suppress the mourners led to a violent riot, in which police cars were set on fire and a crowd of over 100,000 people forced its way into several government buildings surrounding the square.[4]

In response, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China made the decision to forcefully clear Tiananmen Square of mourners.[6] Security forces under the PLA's Beijing detachment, alongside urban militia under the control of the Gang of Four, went into the Square to forcefully clear the area.[6] The militia were reported to have been carrying wooden clubs and leather belts.[6] Approximately 40 arrests occurred and with no casualties, and by the morning of April 6, all articles of mourning had been removed.[6]

By 6:00 pm, most of the crowd had dispersed, but a small group remained until 10:00 pm, when a security force entered Tiananmen Square and arrested them.[citation needed] Many of those arrested were later sentenced to "people's trial" at Peking University, or were sentenced to prison work camps.[citation needed] Incidents similar to those which occurred in Beijing on 4 and 5 April occurred in Zhengzhou, Kunming, Taiyuan, Changchun, Shanghai, Wuhan, and Guangzhou.[citation needed] Possibly because of his close association with Zhou, Deng Xiaoping was formally stripped of all positions "inside and outside the Party" on 7 April.[citation needed]

Legacy

After Mao's death, Hua and Wang[who?] played an important role in arresting the Gang of Four in October 1976. They subsequently expressed their opinion that the Tiananmen Incident was not a counter-revolutionary activity. Along with other party elders, they rehabilitated Deng and brought him back to Beijing. Nonetheless, Deng and his reformist allies subsequently became involved in a power struggle against Hua and Wang, who were more traditionally minded Maoists. Deng emerged as China's Paramount Leader in 1978.

Many of the 1976 demonstrators had written poems in memory of Zhou Enlai and as an expression of political opposition to the political situation in China.[7] Poetry created during the incident was later published in four unofficial editions by students from Beijing's Number Two Foreign Language Institute, a school with close ties to Deng Xiaoping.[8]

In December 1978, at the Third Plenum of the CPC Eleventh Central Committee, the Communist Party of China reassessed its position on the Tiananmen Incident of 1976 and declared it a "revolutionary event", a complete rebuttal of the previous position put forward by the Party.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Bonavia, David. China's Warlords. New York: Oxford University Press. 1995. Pages 24. ISBN 0-19-586179-5
  2. ^ a b 寒山碧原著,伊藤潔縮譯,唐建宇、李明翻譯 (January 1993). 《鄧小平傳》. 香港: 東西文化事業公司.
  3. ^ a b Wong, J. (1995). Red China Blues. New York. Doubleday/Anchor Books. 406 pages. Pages 165–171. ISBN 0-385-47679-5
  4. ^ a b c d Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1999. ISBN 0-393-97351-4.
  5. ^ Cheng, Nien, (1996). Life and Death in Shanghai. New York. Penguin Books. 543 pages. Pages 470–471. ISBN 0-14-010870-X
  6. ^ a b c d Teiwes, Frederick C. and Warren Sun, "The First Tiananmen Incident Revisited: Elite Politics and Crisis Management at the End of the Maoist Era," Pacific Affairs Vol:77 Issue:2 (2004) pp. 211–235.
  7. ^ Lattimore, David (April 12, 1981). "Politics an Poems". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  8. ^ Kraus, Richard Curt (1991). Brushes with Power: Modern Politics and the Chinese Art of Calligraphy. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 132–135. ISBN 978-0520072855. Archived from the original on October 15, 2002. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  9. ^ Jian, Guo; Song, Yongyi; Zhou, Yuan (July 17, 2006). Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Scarecrow Press. p. 288. ISBN 9780810864917. Retrieved November 12, 2019.

5 April 1879

Chile declares war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

War of the Pacific, Spanish Guerra del Pacífico, 1879–83, conflict involving Chile, Bolivia, and Peru, which resulted in Chilean annexation of valuable disputed territory on the Pacific coast. It grew out of a dispute between Chile and Bolivia over control of a part of the Atacama Desert that lies between the 23rd and 26th parallels on the Pacific coast of South America. The territory contained valuable mineral resources, particularly sodium nitrate.

National borders in the region had never been definitively established; the two countries negotiated a treaty that recognized the 24th parallel as their boundary and that gave Chile the right to share the export taxes on the mineral resources of Bolivia’s territory between the 23rd and 24th parallels. But Bolivia subsequently became dissatisfied at having to share its taxes with Chile and feared Chilean seizure of its coastal region where Chilean interests already controlled the mining industry.

Peru’s interest in the conflict stemmed from its traditional rivalry with Chile for hegemony on the Pacific coast. In 1873 Peru agreed secretly with Bolivia to a mutual guarantee of their territories and independence. In 1874 Chilean-Bolivian relations were ameliorated by a revised treaty under which Chile relinquished its share of export taxes on minerals shipped from Bolivia, and Bolivia agreed not to raise taxes on Chilean enterprises in Bolivia for 25 years. Amity was broken in 1878 when Bolivia tried to increase the taxes of the Chilean Antofagasta Nitrate Company over the protests of the Chilean government. When Bolivia threatened to confiscate the company’s property, Chilean armed forces occupied the port city of Antofagasta on Feb. 14, 1879. Bolivia then declared war on Chile and called upon Peru for help. Chile declared war on both Peru and Bolivia April 5, 1879.

Chile easily occupied the Bolivian coastal region and then took the offensive against more powerful Peru. Naval victories at Iquique and Angamos enabled Chile to control the sea approaches to Peru. A Chilean army then invaded Peru. An attempt at mediation by the United States failed in October 1880, and Chilean forces occupied the Peruvian capital of Lima the following January. Peruvian resistance continued for three more years, with U.S. encouragement. Finally, on Oct. 20, 1883, Peru and Chile signed the Treaty of Ancón, by which Tarapacá province was ceded to the latter.

Chile was also to occupy the provinces of Tacna and Arica for 10 years, after which a plebiscite was to be held to determine their nationality. But the two countries failed for decades to agree on what terms the plebiscite was to be conducted. This diplomatic dispute over Tacna and Arica was known as the Question of the Pacific. Finally, in 1929, through the mediation of the United States, an accord was reached by which Chile kept Arica; Peru reacquired Tacna and received $6 million indemnity and other concessions.

During the war Peru suffered the loss of thousands of people and much property, and, at the war’s end, a seven-month civil war ensued; the nation foundered economically for decades thereafter. In 1884 a truce between Bolivia and Chile gave the latter control of the entire Bolivian coast, with its nitrate, copper, and other mineral industries; a treaty in 1904 made this arrangement permanent. In return Chile agreed to build a railroad connecting the Bolivian capital of La Paz with the port of Arica and guaranteed freedom of transit for Bolivian commerce through Chilean ports and territory. But Bolivia continued its attempt to break out of its landlocked situation through the Paraná-Paraguay river system to the Atlantic coast, an effort that led ultimately to the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay. See also Chaco War.

5 April 1958

Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada is destroyed in a controlled explosions.

Ripple Rock, an underwater mountain within Seymour Narrows near Campbell River BC, was a marine hazard responsible for more than 20 large vessels and at least 100 smaller vessels sinking or being damaged. Before its destruction in 1958, Ripple Rock claimed at least 114 lives.

A Marine Commission’s findings brought a recommendation to remove Ripple Rock as early as 1931, but it was 1942 before this was finally authorized. Despite the extreme hazard the rock created, its removal was bitterly opposed by some, who had envisioned it as a bridge support for a railroad connecting Vancouver Island to the mainland.

The following year, a drilling barge 46 metres long was floated over the rock, held in place by one and half inch steel cables attached to six concrete anhors totaling 1,100 tons.The plan was to drill holes into the top of the rock, fill it with explosives and blast Ripple Rock away bit by bit. The enormous drilling barge quivered and tossed in the violent water, the anchor lines vibrating continually. The attempt failed as anchor lines broke at an average of one every 48 hours.

A second plan was made in 1945 that attempted to hold the drill barge in position by attaching it to two enormous steel overhead lines, each weighing 11 tons. The 3,500 foot cables were stretched across Seymour Narrows 135 feet above high water. Again, water turbulence severely hindered the operation; of the estimated 1,500 drill holes needed only 139 were drilled and 93 blasted, before the contract was terminated.

Eight years later the National Research Council directed a feasibility study on tunnelling to the rock. The idea was to sink a shaft from Maud Island, go under Seymour Narrows, and up into the peaks of Ripple Rock. The underground approach was recommended and Dolmage and Mason Consulting Engineers were retained to plan the project.

5 April 1862

The Battle of Yorktown during the American Civil War begins.

 photo american-continental-troops-capture-guns-560_zps1lg9hsek.jpg

Union forces under General George McClellan arrive at Yorktown, Virginia, and establish siege lines instead of directly attacking the Confederate defenders.

This was the opening of McClellan’s Peninsular campaign. He sailed his massive Army of the Potomac down Chesapeake Bay and landed on the James Peninsula southeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. He reasoned that this would bring him closer to Richmond, and the Confederates would have a difficult time gathering their scattered forces to the peninsula. The first resistance came at Yorktown, the site of George Washington’s decisive victory over Lord Cornwallis to end the American Revolution 91 years earlier.

McClellan was discouraged by what he thought was a substantial force resting inside of strong and well-armed fortifications. The Confederates he saw were actually 11,000 troops under General John B. Magruder. Although vastly outnumbered, Magruder staged an elaborate ruse to fool McClellan. He ordered logs painted black, called “Quaker Guns,” placed in redoubts to give the appearance of numerous artillery pieces. Magruder marched his men back and forth to enhance the illusion. The performance worked, as McClellan was convinced that he could not make a frontal assault.

He opted to lay siege instead. Not until May 4 did Magruder’s troops finally abandon Yorktown, giving the Confederates valuable time to gather their troops near Richmond. The campaign climaxed in late June when McClellan was driven away from the gates of Richmond in the Seven Days’ battles.