Why didn't the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown result in a domino effect and bring down the government?

Nov 2014
421
ph
Basically how much support throughout the country did the protesters have, because if they were overwhelming popular, then a crackdown would have led to a general uprising, basically how did China defy the democratization pressure that the governments of Korea and Taiwan succumbed to in the late 80s, was it because it was not dependent on the US for its external security, unlike South Korea and Taiwan in the late 80s?
 
Nov 2019
11
GMT+8
Basically how much support throughout the country did the protesters have, because if they were overwhelming popular, then a crackdown would have led to a general uprising, basically how did China defy the democratization pressure that the governments of Korea and Taiwan succumbed to in the late 80s, was it because it was not dependent on the US for its external security, unlike South Korea and Taiwan in the late 80s?
No idea about Korea, but in Taiwan, after losing US diplomatic recognition in 1979, the then-dictator, Chiang Ching-Kuo saw democratisation as the only way to secure US in the face of the threat from the PRC, and that was certainly decisive.

China is also a much larger country and I’d guess that the students in Beijing were more easy to isolate from the rest of the population at a time before the internet. And even today of course, a lot (maybe the majority) of Chinese don’t necessarily want democracy, whatever issues they might have with the current regime. In 1989, you would have had a larger rural, basically peasant, population who were largely uneducated and/or indoctrinated, so were not going to naturally start agitating for democracy. On top of which, the cultural instinct is one of seeking social harmony; not of securing individual rights and freedoms.
 
Feb 2019
97
Mumbai
Basically how much support throughout the country did the protesters have, because if they were overwhelming popular, then a crackdown would have led to a general uprising, basically how did China defy the democratization pressure that the governments of Korea and Taiwan succumbed to in the late 80s, was it because it was not dependent on the US for its external security, unlike South Korea and Taiwan in the late 80s?
Do we have any first hand evidence to suggest that there was widespread discontent brewing in PRC just prior to Tianmen? The whole protest died down pretty quickly after a harsh crackdown, suggesting it did not gain critical mass. In any case PRC was crucial to american FP in the region, so even if China was at a fragile state, US would not have let it collapse.
 
Jul 2019
71
hongkong
Because the Western media over-hyped the Tiananmen incident, it looks very serious.

The truth is like the emonstrations in Hong Kong today. It is only a local event and has little impact on the Chinese government.

The Chinese government today is more mature and the Hong Kong issue will soon be resolved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Karst Hill Fort

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
No idea about Korea, but in Taiwan, after losing US diplomatic recognition in 1979, the then-dictator, Chiang Ching-Kuo saw democratisation as the only way to secure US in the face of the threat from the PRC, and that was certainly decisive.

China is also a much larger country and I’d guess that the students in Beijing were more easy to isolate from the rest of the population at a time before the internet. And even today of course, a lot (maybe the majority) of Chinese don’t necessarily want democracy, whatever issues they might have with the current regime. In 1989, you would have had a larger rural, basically peasant, population who were largely uneducated and/or indoctrinated, so were not going to naturally start agitating for democracy. On top of which, the cultural instinct is one of seeking social harmony; not of securing individual rights and freedoms.
Yeah, I do wonder as to just how much value abstract concepts such as democracy actually had (and still have) to Chinese peasants. I mean, if Communist rule was relatively good for Chinese peasants in the 1980s, what exactly would they have to complain about? I mean, Yes, there was the one-child policy, but was it actually enough to get Chinese peasants to riot en masse?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,793
Republika Srpska
Because the Western media over-hyped the Tiananmen incident, it looks very serious.

The truth is like the emonstrations in Hong Kong today. It is only a local event and has little impact on the Chinese government.

The Chinese government today is more mature and the Hong Kong issue will soon be resolved.
Perhaps this is the best answer. Several protesters later went on to say that the crackdown stories were exaggerated and I have also read reports that the protesters were also hardly innocent and that they also killed soldiers.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Basically how much support throughout the country did the protesters have, because if they were overwhelming popular, then a crackdown would have led to a general uprising, basically how did China defy the democratization pressure that the governments of Korea and Taiwan succumbed to in the late 80s, was it because it was not dependent on the US for its external security, unlike South Korea and Taiwan in the late 80s?
To my knowledge, in China, the government was willing to aggressively crack down on the protesters. That, combined with the fact that China's population was still largely rural back in 1989, might have helped to ensure that these protests never actually gained a mass following. Korea and Taiwan were in the US sphere of influence and thus might have been more susceptible to Western ideas such as human rights and democracy. Interestingly enough, Communist Mongolia likewise democratized during this time--though in Mongolia, like in the rest of the Soviet sphere of influence, the Communist government was unwilling to actually use force to crush demonstrations (unlike in China)--thus paving the way for these demonstrations to grow and to eventually result in revolution and regime change there. BTW, Mongolia's Communist party is still around today, but it renamed itself and changed its platform in a more social democratic direction.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Perhaps this is the best answer. Several protesters later went on to say that the crackdown stories were exaggerated and I have also read reports that the protesters were also hardly innocent and that they also killed soldiers.
What did the protesters actually want? Did they want Western-style democracy like the protesters in Eastern Europe and Mongolia apparently wanted? Or did they want something else?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,793
Republika Srpska
What did the protesters actually want? Did they want Western-style democracy like the protesters in Eastern Europe and Mongolia apparently wanted? Or did they want something else?
Someone more familiar with the events would be a better choice to answer to your questions, I was merely pointing out the possibility that the events were not as simple as presented in the Western media.