Monday, June 01, 2009

Tiananmen Square - 1989 revisited - part 12

The twelfth part in a PBS piece published in 2001 by Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link:

May 16

More than 3,000 people are now participating in the hunger strike. The embarrassing protests during Gorbachev's visit further polarizes the Politburo. During an emergency meeting, Zhao maintains that the way to end the strike is for the government to retract its April 26 editorial, accept the students' demand for dialogue and begin reforms.

"[T]he vast majority of student demonstrators are patriotic and sincerely concerned for our country. We may not approve of all of their methods, but their demand to promote democracy, to deepen the reforms and to root out corruption are quite reasonable," says Zhao.

Li Peng insists the government cannot capitulate: "It's more and more clear that a tiny minority is trying to use the turmoil to reach its political goal, which is repudiation of Communist Party leadership and the socialist system." Li says. "Their goals are to topple the Chinese Communist Party … to completely repudiate the people's democratic dictatorship."

June 5

Tim White

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