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

By Qiao Li; Michel Oksenberg et al. | Go to book overview

30
State Rejects Students' List of Demands

Source: China Daily ( Beijing--in English) ( May 4, 1989): 1.

State Council spokesman Yuan Mu yesterday expressed government willingness to continue dialogue with striking students but rejected as "unreasonable" the preconditions set by students in a petition.

In a morning press conference televised repeatedly throughout yesterday, Yuan said that discussions between government officials and students should be based upon sincerity and mutual trust and "should not be turned into a negotiation between adversaries."

Students on Tuesday had submitted their revised list of ten demands to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the Party Central Committee and the State Council. The act followed three weeks of campus unrest, student demonstrations, class boycotts and two government-organized dialogues.

Yuan said the government sincerely protects students, and cherishes and respects their patriotic enthusiasm. And the government has been dealing with the student problems with great care, he said.

The students said they would take to the streets again today if the government failed to agree to their demands by noon yesterday.

The government spokesman described the students' main preconditions for talks as "unreasonable, emotionally impulsive and menacing to the government in the form of an ultimatum."

He said students were unreasonable to demand that their unregistered Autonomous Union of Beijing Colleges and Universities be an organizer and participant in the dialogues, replacing the All-China Students' Federation, the Beijing Students' Federation, student associations and post-graduate associations in colleges and universities.

Yuan said that if the Government recognizes other student organizations "set up in special conditions" and has dialogue with them, "it will only make the disunity among the students more serious."

Yuan said the students' deadline, the demand for an equal standing with the government and even a status above the government, the claim that students should decide who on the government side should attend the dialogue, were all harsh terms.

Yuan said this showed that a small minority of people were inciting the students behind the scenes.

"Many signs and facts have proved that a handful of people are organizing the

-253-

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