Above, Zhao Ziyang addresses student protesters in Tiananmen Square less than a month before the brutal crackdown. His conciliatory speech, in which he implored the students to end their hunger strike and engage in dialogue with the government, offered a rare admission of Communist Party failings. "Whatever you say and criticize about us is deserved. My purpose here now is not to ask for your forgiveness," he said, before asking the students to accept a more realistic pace for reform. "If you stop the hunger strike, the government will not close the door on dialogue, definitely not! What you have proposed, we can continue to discuss." The speech earned Zhao an early exit from party leadership and a lifetime under house arrest.