The Chinese People's Movement: Perspectives on Spring 1989

The Chinese People's Movement: Perspectives on Spring 1989

The Chinese People's Movement: Perspectives on Spring 1989

The Chinese People's Movement: Perspectives on Spring 1989

Synopsis

The pro-democracy demonstrations of April-May 1989 heralded the awakening of public opinion in urban China; the brutal suppression in June revealed a Communist Party leadership severely out of touch with its own society and its aspirations. The contributors to this timely book, a number of whom witnessed the events described, place these dramatic events within the broader context of China's developmental experience. Rather than an instant reaction and description, however, this book grows out of the ongoing research interests and keen onservational skills of the contributors. Therefore it provides as historical, developmental, societal, cultural, and political context for the tragic event in terms of their antecedents, ramifications, and impact on the history of the Chinese People's movement.

Excerpt

The prodemocracy demonstrations of April-May and their brutal suppression in June 1989 have left a major impression on all who witnessed them. the age of satellite television meant that the events were beamed into homes throughout the world. the demonstrations revealed an urban population that was frustrated with the half-baked reforms that were on offer. in a dramatic way, they represented the emergence of public opinion in urban China. the bloody suppression revealed a Communist Party leadership that was severely out of touch with its own society and the consequences of its own desire for economic progress. in calling on the army to suppress the movement, the leadership revealed how shallow the political reforms had been to date. It made a mockery of its own claims that a system of "rule by (party) man" had been replaced by one of "rule by law."

Beijing's current leaders have shown no remorse for their actions. Indeed, whenever offered an opportunity, they have persisted in asserting that the actions were fully justified, and that, rather than being condemned, they should be congratulated for their tough response. the dramatic events in Eastern Europe that unfolded during the latter part of 1989 have further convinced the leadership that it was right to crack down hard on the protesters. They have retreated into the "safety" of the shell provided by central planning and have threatened society with further violence unless it comes to heel.

The bloodshed in Beijing was interpreted differently, however, by some Communist parties in Eastern Europe. It acted as a spur to dialogue with the emerging civil society; the only alternative . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.