The Tiananmen Papers: The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - in Their Own Words
THE TIANANMEN PAPERS, which contains documents unearthed from the guarded core of the Chinese Politburo, is the most important book on China published in decades. It reveals the highest-level processes of decision-making during the tumultuous events surrounding the terrible massacre in Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989. Drawn from about 2,000 documents, THE TIANANMEN PAPERS have been compiled and edited as part of an extraordinary collaboration between America's most prominent China scholars and a handful of Chinese people who have risked their lives to obtain them. The Chinese pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 were the longest lasting and most influential in the world. THE TIANANMEN PAPERS exposes the desperate conflict during the period among a few strong leaders, whose personalities emerge with unprecedented vividness. Its revelations of the most important event in modern Chinese history will have a profound impact not only in China, but in every country in the world that deals with China.
student protests.... As of this spring, the relevant personnel are predicting that a third nationwide student protest [after those of 1985 and 1986-1987] could occur in September and October , owing to the fact that the reform program has entered its most difficult and critical phase and students are looking mostly at its negative side. Based upon preliminary statistics, from January through June of this year, student unrest, major and minor, has surfaced in forty-six institutions of higher
handful;' is (like jishaoshu, "a tiny minority") a familiar term of political abuse in Chinese Communist rhetoric. It refers to a small group of wrongheaded people who are responsible for misleading a large group of good-hearted people. In practice the term is used to try to split a movement by suggesting that only a few leaders will be punished. Later in this book we will see the government using yixiaocuo against the demonstrators and the demonstrators using it against Li Peng and his allies in
dispersing the student troublemakers at Xinhua Gate; it also dispatched buses to return students to their campuses. Fourth: Calling an emergency meeting to enlist the cooperation of people in charge of districts, counties, bureaus, universities, corporate headquarters, and enterprises. Beijing Mayor Chen Xitong chaired the meeting, and Party Secretary Li Ximing and Deputy Secretary Li Qiyan 18 Caiqu jieyan cuoshi, which implies short-term, limited use of martial law measures, as distinct from a
economic work. The other is the need to accelerate the reform of our political system, especially the building of a system of socialist democracy based on law. Times have changed, and so have people's ideological views. Democracy is a worldwide trend, and there is an international countercurrent against communism and socialism that flies under the banners of democracy and human rights. If the Party doesn't hold up the banner of democracy in our country, someone else will, and we will lose out. I
on the issue of martial law at the crucial meeting of May 17 as the expression of his preference not to impose martial law). But also like Zhao, he deferred to Deng Xiaoping by xxxii Introduction: The Documents and Their Significance refraining from casting what would have been the deciding vote to block martial law. 8 Qiao's indecisiveness was no doubt explained by his knowledge that resistance to Deng would have been futile. But his wavering led to the sacrifice of his political ambitions,