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

By Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan et al. | Go to book overview
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After listening to Zhao Ziyang's speech, students of Jiaotong University in the north decided to resume classes on May 5.

At Beijing Normal University, President Wang Zikun, who had just come out of a student dormitory, told our reporters: " Ziyang's speech is more comprehensive. He affirms the achievement in reform and construction over the past ten years and points out the existing serious problems such as corruption, corrupted phenomena, and so on. The actions of students have reflected that a fairly large number of the masses are dissatisfied with the corrupted phenomena. I just visited students at their dormitory. I want them to do two things: first, read carefully Ziyang's speech tomorrow, and second, resume classes as early as possible."

Our reporters have also learned that some university and college students have taken exception to certain things in Zhao Ziyang's speech.

Hunger Strike Announcement

Source: Originally printed at Tiananmen Square in Xinwen daobao (News express), May 12, 1989; reprinted in Zhongguo zhichun (China spring) ( New York) 75 ( August 1989): 11-12.

In this bright sunny month of May, we are on a hunger strike. In this best moment of our youth, we have no choice but to leave behind us everything beautiful about life. But how reluctant, how unwilling we are!

However, the country has come to this juncture: rampant inflation; widespread illegal business dealings by corrupt officials; the dominance of abusive power; the corruption of bureaucrats; the fleeing of a large number of good people to other countries; and the deterioration of law and order. Compatriots and all fellow countrymen with a conscience, at this critical moment of life and death of our people, please listen to our voice:

This country is our country, The people are our people. The government is our government. Who will shout if we don't? Who will act if we don't?

Although our shoulders are still tender, although death for us is still seemingly too harsh to bear, we have to part with life. When history demands us to do so, we have no choice but to die.


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