AP PHOTOS: Images of Tiananmen in 1989 and now
Published: June 3, 2014 11:35AM
Updated: June 3, 2014 09:27AM
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In this two-picture combo, a file photo taken June 5, 1989, top, shows a lone Chinese man standing to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Changan Blvd. near Tiananmen Square, and in a May 27, 2014 photo of the same spot, bottom, almost 25 years later, a convoy of cars drive across Beijing's Changan Blvd. near Tiananmen Square. A quarter century after the Communist Party’s attack on demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, the ruling party prohibits public discussion and 1989 is banned from textbooks and Chinese websites. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener, top, Helene Franchineau, bottom)

Beijing • Tiananmen Square in the middle of Beijing has long been the center of political activity in China. But it is most well-known outside of China as the place where a student-led pro-democracy movement was crushed by the People’s Liberation Army in 1989.

Hundreds of students and residents were killed when the army pushed into the city to retake the square from the student protesters.

China’s official verdict is that the protests aimed to topple the ruling Communist Party and plunge the country into chaos. Protest leaders said they were seeking greater democracy and freedom, along with an end to corruption and favoritism within the party.

Wednesday is the 25th anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown that is a taboo subject in China banned from textbooks and websites.

Here are images from Tiananmen Square in 1989 and now: