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

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

ninth, and tenth days? I say many things can eventually be solved. If you want to wait for that day, the day you receive a satisfactory answer, then you should end the fast early. Thank you, comrades. I just wanted to see you all. [Video shows students surrounding Zhao Ziyang and asking for his autograph; Zhao is shown signing his name on a handkerchief, a notebook, and a piece of cloth handed to him by students.] [End recording]

[Announcer] Also visiting students at Tiananmen Square were Wen Jiabao, alternate member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Luo Gan, secretary general of the State Council. The Tiananmen Square students' hunger strike has entered the seventh day. Many of the students are physically very feeble and weak. Yesterday evening and this early morning, many fasting students fainted and were rushed by medical personnel to hospitals for treatment.


44
Zhao, Li Visit Hunger Strikers in Tiananmen

Source: China Daily ( Beijing--in English) ( May 20, 1989): 1.

Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang and Premier Li Peng visited hunger-striking students in Beijing's Tiananmen Square shortly before dawn yesterday.

The more than 1,000 hunger strikers had moved into ninety buses the day before to seek shelter from the rain.

When Zhao and Li approached the students' buses, many students applauded and others stretched their arms out windows and shook hands with the leaders.

"I came too late, too late," Zhao said as he boarded a bus holding students from Beijing Normal University. "We deserve your criticism and we are not here to ask for your forgiveness."

Students said that Zhao had tears in his eyes as he spoke with them and signed students' hats and shirts.

Speaking through a loudspeaker, Zhao said to the students that their intentions were good.

"You all want our country to become better," he said, adding that the problems they had raised will eventually be solved. But, he said, things are complicated and there must be a process to resolve these problems.

-290-

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