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

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

45
Report on the Situation of the Student Movement in Beijing

LI XIMING

Source: Fax of speech on May 19, 1989, translated by L. N.

The student movement (chao) that broke out in Beijing during April and May is a movement with the most serious effect, with the largest scale and with the longest duration since the founding of the People's Republic of China.1 Here is a brief report on this student movement in terms of the political struggle situation it has reflected, and the losses it has brought to various aspects of politics, economy, and social life.

Most of the ordinary people and young students supported the decision on the administration, rectification, and deepening of the reform made by the party Central Committee at the third plenary session of the Thirteenth Party Central Committee held in September last year. And, basically speaking, social order and the campus atmosphere on the whole were stable. It's a normal phenomenon for some students to disagree with the corruption that has occurred in some places, the unfairness of social [i.e., income] distribution, and the allocation of college students to jobs after graduation. However, in the meantime, we have been clearly aware of the fact that a very few people had plotted inside and outside some schools of higher learning to take the opportunity of the seventieth anniversary of the "May 4th Movement," the fortieth anniversary of the People's Republic of China, and the bicentennial of the French Revolution to incite student unrest and make trouble.

In early March this year, some anonymous big- and small-character posters in Beida, Qinghua, and other schools of higher learning directly attacked the party's leadership and the socialist system. For instance, somebody wrote a so-called denunciation of Deng poster, which publicly clamored to "Abolish the

____________________
1
Li's term for "movement" (chao) carries a more negative connotation than yundong, the usual term in Chinese Communist terminology for a political movement.

-298-

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