23 Year Remembrance of Tiananmen Square – May 1st 1989, Beijing China

Written by Diane Gatterdam

30670_1387949892689_1050321016_31183641_1052229_n Twenty-three years ago on this day Monday May 1st 1989, Zhao Ziyang chaired a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee. In this meeting there was a back and forth dialogue between him and Li Peng.

*** (This speech shows what a great man Zhao was and is one of the reasons he spent the rest of his life under house arrest. I often wonder how different China would be if he rose to the rank of President.)


“We must continue to focus on guidance and should pursue multilevel, multichannel dialogue in many ways, even while putting pressure on the students to return to their classes without delay. We 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 ideological views.

Our Party must adapt to new times and new situations and learn how to use democracy and law to solve new problems. For instance, we must increase transparency in political life, bring the NPC into full play, reinforce and perfect multiparty cooperation and political consultation under Communist leadership, perfect and reform the electoral system, increase the masses supervision of the Party and the Government, guarantee and regulate freedom of speech by law, allow legal demonstrations, and so on.

In summery we must make the people feel that under the leadership of the Communist Party and the socialist system they can truly and fully enjoy democracy and freedom.”

3212_1139649525335_1050321016_30421437_1518483_n LI PENG:

“Some socialist countries launch political reforms only when conflicts in society are severe and the Party is crippled. This makes control of the process nearly impossible. So our first order of business should be stability. Once that is achieved, we can talk about reforming the political system.

The seriousness of this protest movement is unprecedented and the range of it’s impact is also serious. Leaders of illegal student organizations are plotting even bigger activities. They openly promote slogans that reject our opposition to bourgeois liberalization, because what they want is the kind of absolute freedom that tramples on the Four Basic Principles. They spread all kinds of rumors.

They attack, slander, and insult Comrade Xiaoping and other Party and state leaders. They called for the establishment of illegal organizations, for which they demand Party and government recognition. If they get their way, then everything – reform and opening, democracy and law, building socialist modernization, you name it – will vanish into thin air and China will take a huge leap backward.”


“It’s quite true that the protests are very serious and have far-outreaching effects. And no one is denying that a tiny minority of people are fishing in troubled waters and pushing bourgeois liberalization. But the student slogans that uphold the Constitution, promote democracy, and oppose corruption all echo positions of the Party and government. I share everyone’s views that we must move quickly to defuse a situation that has nearly gotten out of hand. Reform of any kind has to be based on social stability. A great country like ours cannot put up with any more provocation, so I am going to put great stress on the importance of national stability.

Our young people, especially the college students, must understand it’s critical importance. If stability is lost, then we lose everything.

All we get is turmoil.”

30670_1387951252723_1050321016_31183658_4166186_n 30670_1387956332850_1050321016_31183663_3029995_n More and more foreign journalist came to Beijing, they discovered that the news center at Beida was a good place to fine spokesmen for the movement. Students were being interviewed by Hong Kong reporters, the BBC, ABC news and the Asian Wall Street Journal.

In an interview with ABC news about the fake dialogue meeting the government conducted, Shen Tong said,


“It reignited the students. The Federation is pressing the government for negotiations, but Yuan Mu says that we are unreasonable. If the government doesn’t agree to discussions, the students will probably demonstrate on the anniversary of the May fourth Movement, and it could be an even bigger rally than the one on April 27th.”

Just as top Government Leaders were in disagreement, so too cracks within the student leaders began to appear. Shen Tong was told that Chai Ling was overheard calling him a traitor for originally wanting to only go part way on the April 27th march.

Others were over heard criticizing Wang Dan and Wu’er Kaixi for the press conference they held on the 29th.

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