Thousands of Chinese students tried to force their way into the national Communist Party headquarters in the heart of Beijing today but were repulsed by lines of troops.
A massive crowd of students calling for democratic freedoms and demanding to speak with Chinese Premier Li Peng surged against the gates of the heavily guarded Zhongnanhai Compound, witnesses said.
About 5,000 onlookers cheered them on as they clashed with soldiers in scenes never seen in 40 years of Communist rule.
The unprecedented protest came on the fourth day of mounting unrest after the death of former Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, popular among students because he championed the rights of intellectuals. Today’s action followed student demands for democratic freedoms and rehabilitation of the former party chief.