James Miles - the BBC's China correspondent at the time - spoke to the crowds in Tiananmen Square in the weeks before the violence. Here - using his and other archive material - we recall how events unfolded.
I remember the day I stood on Tiannamen Square in 1997. After a long trip from across the waters standing there on a cool day watching the Chinese fly kites and seeing the people as they squat and talk or just walk around pondering, it seems surreal to think that one day, I would be part of the group of freedom protesters who blog online to give attention to our same plight back at home - the struggle to regain our destiny.
As the struggle between illegal government and Church drags on, our only reminder again to our leaders, Nothing comes easy or without someone paying a prize.
We can't keep waiting for OTHERS to come and protest peacefully on our behalf! It's US who must stand up for US!
Give me liberty! or Give me death!