Police used pepper spray as the protesters smashed barriers and climbed over fences in chaotic scenes in the heart of the Asian financial centre, following Beijing's decision to rule out free elections for the city's leader in 2017.
One student leader, Joshua Wong, a thin 17-year-old with dark-rimmed glasses and bowl-cut hair, was dragged away by police kicking and screaming as protesters chanted and struggled to free him.
Baroness Thatcher said later that Deng Xiaoping, then China's leader, told her directly: "I could walk in and take the whole lot this afternoon."
Deng was also the architect of Hong Kong’s managed democracy structure.
And, of course, Deng greenlighted the entry of the armed forces into Beijing on June 3-4, 1989.
With Tiananmen on the lips of so many commentators, the assertion that Xi Jinping should take his grievance-management cues from Deng Xiaoping is borderline ludicrous.