Long before June 4, 1989, there was another huge student protest in Tiananmen Square. China's May Fourth Movement unfolded exactly 100 years ago, sparked by the refusal of delegates at the Paris Peace Conference to return former German colonies in China to Chinese sovereignty at the conclusion of World War I.To get more may 4th movement, you can visit shine news official website.
The students protested not only Western imperialism but their own government's weakness. Today, the Chinese government celebrates the anniversary of this "great patriotic revolutionary movement" - in sharp contrast to Beijing's silence on the Tiananmen events in 1989.
Since the Opium Wars of the 19th century, Chinese had looked for ways to respond to Western power. The Qing Dynasty embarked on a "self-strengthening movement" to reform itself, looking to European and American models of industry, politics, technology and education.
Moderate reformers advocated a "ti-yong" approach - "Chinese essence; Western application" - to keep China's politics and culture intact while adopting Western military and industrial technology. Others in China sought more extensive reforms that would fundamentally change Chinese institutions and society using Western models.
As the 19th century turned to the 20th, self-strengtheners had few successes to show. China had lost a war with France in the 1880s and a war with Japan in the 1890s. Conservatives at court scuttled an ambitious reform program in 1898. In 1900, Western armies forced the ruling Qing dynasty from its capital, as they lifted a siege of their embassies by xenophobic "Boxers."
The republic was key to China's adoption of Enlightenment principles, and with it the idea that China would now partake in the progress that these principles promised. Science and Democracy - personified as "Mr. Sai (Science) and Mr. De (Democracy)" - emerged as essential aspects of a New Culture Movement that would challenge China's traditional culture and replace it with something new, modern and Western.
The Great War gave China another chance to make good its Western-style political ambitions and confirm its status in the family of nations. Chinese troops did not fight, but the Republic sent more than a 100,000 men to Europe to work as laborers in support of the Allied war effort.
The war itself destroyed illusions about the Enlightenment and its promises of unlimited progress thanks to science and democracy. The Great War turned that on its head: Science led to mustard gas; democracies raced enthusiastically to their destruction. China could see European colonies, promised a better future, drawn into the fight, contributing their blood and treasure to the conflict. Was this the "modern civilization" China aspired to?
When the war ended, Chinese delegates hoped to be rewarded for China's participation. They asked for an end to extraterritoriality - the legal principle that enabled European and American citizens to live in China subject to their own laws - and for the return of the former German colonies.