30 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/15/2009
CHINA
Zhao Ziyang’s memoirs reveal new “secrets” about the Tiananmen Square massacre
Zhao describes how party hardliners took advantage of Deng Xiaoping’s paranoia to prevent dialogue with students and get the army involved. Beijing responds to book release with an embarrassed silence.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – On the night of 3-4 June 1989 a massacre could have been avoided in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Instead the army fired on hundreds peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, slaughtering hundreds of them, perhaps thousands. Had it not been for the Deng Xiaoping’s paranoia and the scheming of die-hard conservatives like Prime Minister Li Peng, Vice- Premier Yao Yilin Mr Li and Beijing Mayor Chen Xitong inside the Communist Party of China (CPC), China might have even undertaken democratic reforms. At least this is what Zhao Ziyang, then CPC secretary general, writes in ‘Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang’, which was released yesterday in English in Hong Kong and which will be published in Mandarin before 29 May.

Zhao, a supporter of democratic reform in mainland China, was jailed after the massacre and then placed under house arrest for the simple reason that he sympathised with the students.

To this day official Beijing describes the students and workers who were slaughtered on that fateful night as dangerous counterrevolutionaries.

Across the country the wound is still open as the authorities continue to refuse to discuss the events, censoring and jailing anyone who dares to talk about it or seek the truth about what actually happened.

In his memoirs Zhao notes that students had come to the square to speak out against corruption, and demand democratic reforms, not to overthrow the system of government.

However, the situation precipitated when a controversial editorial was published on 26 April in the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, labelling the students as “anti-party, anti- socialist turmoil”.

For Zhao the editorial paraphrased statements made by then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in a private discussion, in which he had taken a position against the demonstrators. This led protesters to continue their demonstrations and prevented any dialogue, making a violent showdown almost inevitable.

“The crux of the issue was Deng Xiaoping himself,” Zhao writes.  “If Deng refused to relax his position, then there was no way for me to change the attitude of the two hardliners, Li Peng and Yao Yilin.”

Ultimately though, the final responsibility was with the paramount leader.

“Deng Xiaoping had always tended to prefer tough measures when dealing with student demonstrations because he believed that demonstrations undermine stability.” He “had always stood out among the party elders as the one who emphasised the means of dictatorship” and “often reminded people about its usefulness. Every time he mentioned stability, he also emphasised dictatorship.”

The memoirs are based on 30 hours of recorded tapes that were smuggled out of China for the book, and edited in the strictest secrecy by friends and aides of the late leader.

Mr Zhao's former secretary, Bao Tong, said he was behind the scheme to publish his former boss's memoirs.

Mr Bao spent seven years in prison because of his involvement in the Tiananmen crackdown and is still under house arrest in Beijing.

He said that he edited both the Chinese and the English edition (with the assistance of his son Bao Pu), hoping that it “will cause party members to reflect deeply.”

In his revelations, Zhao Ziyang calls on the Party to review its judgement of the protests and massacre and adopt democratic reforms including multiparty politics, a free press and an independent judiciary.

In mainland China the release of Zhao’s book has been received so far with an embarrassing silence.

No official comments have been.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/18/2004 china
Pressure mounts for release of Zhao Ziyang
01/17/2005 china
Reformist Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang dies
01/29/2005 CHINA
About 2,000 people attend Zhao's funeral
05/29/2009 CHINA
Authorities forced to respond to Zhao’s Memoirs on Tiananmen
08/23/2004 CHINA
Deng Xiaoping's legacy comes in for praise and criticism

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.