Democracy Wall MovementDemocracy Wall
was wall in the Xidan District in Beijing
where, beginning in December 1978
, in line with the party's policy of "seeking truth from facts," activists in the democracy movement recorded news and ideas, often in the form of "big-character" posters, during a period known as Beijing Spring
. These activists were encouraged to criticize the Gang of Four
and previous (failed) government policies, but the wall was closed in December 1979
when the leadership and the communist party
system were being criticized along with past mistakes and leaders. The shutdown coincided with suppression of political dissent.
The Fifth Modernization was a signed wall poster placed by Wei Jingsheng on December 5, 1978 on the Democracy Wall in Beijing. It was the first poster there that openly advocated further individual liberties. It caused a spectacle, espousing that freedom was the only "modernization" that really mattered, rather than improved living standards. The poster was in response to the government's Four Modernizations campaign.
See also: History of the People's Republic of China (1976-present)