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

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

36
Li Peng Holds Dialogue with Students

Source: Beijing Television Service, May 18, 1989; FBIS, May 19, pp. 14-21. Students' names are from Renmin ribao (May 19: 1, 4) version in FBIS, May 24, pp. 19-23.

[Video report, captioned "Li Peng and Others Meet Representatives of the Fasting Students" on meeting between Li Peng, member of the Standing Committee of the Poltiburo of the CPC Central Committee and premier of the State Council, and fasting students at the Great Hall of the People "this morning."]

[Unidentified announcer.] Li Peng, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee and premier of the State Council, and others met with representatives of the students, who have been fasting at Tiananmen Square, at the Great Hall of the People this morning.

[Video opens with a long shot of Li Peng entering a large conference room, zooming in to focus on Li Peng shaking hands with each student as he or she is introduced to Li by an unidentified official carrying a namelist of the students. Li is seen shaking hands and briefly chatting with a total of eleven students. Most conversation is inaudible, except for the sixth and seventh students who are identified as Wang Dan, wearing a headband, and Wu'er Kaixi, in hospital pajamas. Next, camera cuts to show Li Peng, seated on a sofa and with Li Tieying on his left and Yan Mingfu on his right.]

[ Li Peng:] Delighted to meet you. This meeting came a little late. I apologize for this. Some of your fellow students are now waiting for you at the east side of the Great Hall, making me feel as if under siege [laughing]. I hope that we will have a frank conversation instead of [indistinct]. I would like to discuss only one topic today and shelve other topics until some time in the future. The topic I would like to discuss is how to relieve the fasting comrades of their predicament as soon as possible. The party and the government are very much concerned about the students. Therefore, I would like to exchange views with you mainly on this question, and on how a solution can be found so that we can discuss other questions. It is not that we do not want to [indistinct], but that we are mainly [indistinct]. Frankly, I guess that the oldest of you is about 22 or 23. My youngest child is even older than you. None of my three children is engaged in

-269-

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