The Fourth of May is commonly known in modern day pop culture as ‘Star Wars Day’.

It is a catchphrase among Star Wars fans and geeks, and they greet each other with the longer phrase ‘May the Fourth be with you‘, using ‘Fourth’ as a pun for ‘the Force’, which is the name of the metaphysical power in the Star Wars universe.

To many of us then, the Fourth of May may be a fun and light-hearted day, but not to the Chinese policy-maker.

About a century ago in May 1919, massive protests broke out in China’s capital of Peking (now Beijing). Students and reformed-minded citizens took to the streets to protest against the Republican government. This event would later be chronicled as the ‘May Fourth Movement’ (五四運動 in Mandarin).