Mikhail Gorbachev, general secretary of the Soviet Union, arrived at the Beijing Airport at noon for the first Sino-Soviet summit to take place since 1959. The welcoming ceremony, which was originally planned for 4pm in Tiananmen Square, took place at the Beijing Airport because of the students occupying the Square.
At Tiananmen Square about a hundred fifty thousand students and spectators rallied for democracy and in support of the hunger strikers on the third day of their strike. About a hundred thirty students were taken to the hospital because of malnutrition and weakness. Family members of many students gathered at the square to support and care for the hunger strikers. The crowds at the square were significant not only for the shadow such a large crowd cast over the summit meeting, but also because it was the first time workers and intellectuals organised themselves to join the student demonstrations.
At around 5pm, a group of prominent intellectuals and journalists, including Yan Jiaqi, rallied to the square to show their support, and announced the "May 16 Declaration", which contained six points:
1. A denouncement of any violent measures taken by the government against the student movement
2. Recognition of the legitimacy of the student self-governing organisations
3. A plea for the strengthening of political reform
4. A denouncement of any news organisation that attempted to conceal the truth about the student movement
5. An objection to the determination that the student movement was a "riot"
6. A denial of any suggestion of backstage plotting within the movement
A three-hour meeting was held from 9am to 12pm, between Li Tieying, Yan Mingfu, and some 50 representatives from 22 colleges and universities, including Wuer Kaixi and Wang Dan, to discuss the situation of the student movement.
In Hong Kong, 20 university students and a total of approximately eighty other people fasted outside the NCNA to support the hunger strikers at the Square and to protest against the Chinese government's action.
Trainloads of Soviet tanks and artillery units started to withdraw from the Mongolia-China border as part of the overall reduction of five hundred thousand Soviet troops from the border that Gorbachev had promised at the United Nations in December 1988.