The Tiananmen Papers: The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - in Their Own Words

The Tiananmen Papers: The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - in Their Own Words

Language: English

Pages: 736

ISBN: 0349114692

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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.

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need for martial law. In a Standing Committee meeting later that day, Zhao and Li continued to clash, and the Standing Committee split on martial law, 2-2-1, with Qiao Shi abstaining. The Elders then stepped in, firing Zhao, using Li Peng to implement their plans for repression, and selecting Jiang Zemin to succeed Zhao Ziyang once peace was restored. Now the descent into disaster accelerated. We observe a process of demonization unfold, both between the regime and the students and between the

and Law:' "Important intelligence bulletin" (Yaoqing kuaixun), no. 173,April21 School authorities reported that three students went to Tiananmen Square on the evening of April 19 to take part in memorial activities. Shortly after 11:30 P.M. they decided to take a number 22 bus back to school, but because of crowding on Chang' an Boulevard they opted for the subway instead. When they reached the street south of the Great Hall of the People, they were met and driven apart by two columns of PAP.

Beijing and around the country. The next day some members of the Politburo met informally with senior Elder Deng Xiaoping at his home. The briefing was dominated by those most antagonistic to the students. They persuaded Deng that hostile forces had become involved and that the students were getting more radical, their ultimate target being to overthrow him and the Chinese Communist Party. Deng denounced the movement. His views were reflected in an April 26 editorial in the People's Daily, the

view, the publication of this book is likely to damage the careers of the two most powerful leaders in China, Jiang Zemin and Li Peng, and to boost the authority of several of their high-ranking rivals. Since the fault lines in China's leadership run deeply throughout the Party at all levels, the fates of millions of officials throughout the political system will also be affected. Jiang Zemin is China's supreme leader, occupying the triple posts of Party general secretary, state president, and

Jiang Zemin told Comrade Wang Daohan 30 about the situation, and then he and Wang went to the Herald editorial offices, where Jiang Zemin sternly reprimanded Qin Benli. Comrade Daohan, having read the proofs, said, "It's not appropriate to publish these sensitive materials in the current situation. We have to be responsible to the Party. Some of the issues can be brought to the attention of Party Central through proper internal channels. It's also incautious to publish references from the

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