Hu Yaobang, former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and supporter of democratic reform in China died. This inspired students and workers to start protesting for more freedoms from the government.
20th May, 1989
Since April, 50,000 students and workers have protested in Tienanmen Square. On May 13, 3000 protesters went on hunger strike two days before the Russian President made a state visit to China. The purpose of the strike was to bring attention to the protests.
Premier Li Peng responded to the hunger strike by inviting students for a televised conversation.