28 March, 2015 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
08/23/2004 CHINA
Deng Xiaoping's legacy comes in for praise and criticism
05/29/2009 CHINA
Authorities forced to respond to Zhao’s Memoirs on Tiananmen

Editor's choices
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”
CHINA - VATICAN
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
by Bernardo Cervellera
CHINA-VATICAN
Nothing to toast between China and the Vatican: Beijing wants complete control
by Bernardo CervelleraFor the Global Times (the People's Daily) China does not like the "Vietnamese model" of agreed episcopal ordinations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s embarrassment in front of the Holy See’s countless efforts. China wants the Vatican to accept all excommunicated bishops and to keep silent on those who are underground and imprisoned. The case of Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang. Without religious freedom, diplomatic relations are pointless. The work of mission and the unity of Catholics in China. A task for Xi Jinping: implement the anti-corruption campaign in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Patriotic Association, which have grown rich over the decades on the backs of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.