Today in History: Hunger Strike3
At the square, the hunger strike reached its fourth day. Six hundred ofthe three thousand hunger strikers lost consciousness and were taken tohospitals. About sixty returned from the hospitals to the strike. Anestimated several hundred thousand people were at the square protestingthe government's reluctance to establish open discussions.The enthusiasm for Gorbachev by the Chinese citizens was obvious asmany prepared banners in Chines and Russians hailing him as a greatreformer. One banner, carried by a student, read,"Democracy is our shared dream" "In the Soviet Union,they have Gorbachev. In China, we have whom?" When Gorbachev drove pastthe Great Hall of the People, a crowd of onlookers applauded him. At about 5.40 pm, Yan Mingfu, the secretary of the CPC Secretariat,went to visit the hunger strikers and urged them to returned toschools. At roughly the same time, Zhao Ziyang, general secretary of the Party,met with Gorbachev. He told Gorbachev that "although Deng has retiredfrom many positions, we still need his wisdom and experience… Becauseof that, ever since the first plenum of the Thirteenth Party Congress,it is imperative that comrade Deng give his final words on majordecisions."The wave of student movements escalated in other cities in China. InHong Kong a dozen students staged a hunger strike outside the XinHuaNews Agency.
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