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

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

ately admitted into a hospital and received transfusions.

Hu Yaobang's death was not only a great shock to the proreform faction within the party, but also a great shock to the tens of thousands of Chinese people. Its depth of influence and degree of impact will surpass that of Zhou Enlai's death. For Hu Yaobang was viewed as the chief banner-waver of the firm political reform faction within the CPC. And in the latest development, the reform line advanced by Deng Xiaoping had received setbacks, and with Zhao Ziyang caught in a dilemma, there was an urgent need for Hu Yaobang to shake off the status of being merely an empty Politburo member and truly return to the Chinese political arena. It was not expected that just when the CPC needed Hu most, Hu would go down for good.

For many years, among high-ranking CPC officials, Hu had won hearts by having integrity, by being "clean," enlightened and open, and by firmly upholding reform. People thought, "Those who should have died did not, while those who should not, died first." (A couplet pasted on the wall of a courtyard at Beijing University.) These moods, which requested fair judgment of the victim of injustice, and incensed by the harsh acts committed by the octogenarian party members, erupted like volcanoes, pushing the present democratic movement to a new height. If Hu Yaobang knew this, he would be happy about the students' new awakening, and the new start of the democratic movement.


24
A Document Circulated among Senior Party and Government Officials Earlier This Month [April 25, 1989]

Source: South China Morning Post ( Hong Kong) ( May 31, 1989): 12; FBIS, May 31, pp. 35-36.

On the morning of April 25, 1989, ( Prime Minister) Li Peng and ( President) Yang Shangkun reported to Deng Xiaoping on the situation in Beijing. The Beijing Municipal Party Committee requested that the Central Committee give them the authority to broadly mobilize the masses to struggle with the opposing force, that is, the people behind the students.

Deng Xiaoping said, "This is not an ordinary student movement, but turmoil.

-203-

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