Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict: the Basic Documents

By Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan et al. | Go to book overview

1
Death or Rebirth? Tiananmen: The Soul of China

COMPILED By LI QIAO ET AL.

TRANSLATED By H. R. LAN AND JERRY DENNERLINE


Compiler's Preface

It is a great pleasure to see "Death and Rebirth" published in English. In April 1989 a spontaneous, peaceful, and far-reaching movement began in Beijing with demands for more freedom and democracy. More than a million people from all walks of life, including students, workers, and intellectuals, took part as the movement developed in Tiananmen Square. The democratic movement was both spectacular and unprecedented. It has stimulated the hearts and minds of all Chinese. Inspired by the events, I was determined to do something to record what was truly a people's democratic movement. To obtain a rich, vivid, and authentic account of the events, I started in early May to organize a group of people for the undertaking. This writing group consisted of some of the best and brightest young people in China. Several of them had themselves been leaders of student movements over the past few years. But, because of the April 26 People's Daily editorial, by the time we had finished sixteen chapters, we were still unable to find a publisher in China who would dare to publish our account. As a last resort, at the very beginning of June, at some risk to myself and others I brought the manuscript to the United States. Fortunately, in America our essay has found a publisher through the efforts of Professors Jerry Dennerline and H. R. Lan, who spent a great deal of time and energy translating it into English as well. On behalf of all the writers, I extend my sincere thanks.

At the same time, I regret that we had to leave out many names and details, including the names of the other authors and the whole of one essential chapter of the original manuscript, to preserve the safety of student participants and contributors to the project. My apologies to the readers for this omission.

Li Qiao, August 10, 1989

-7-

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