Sunday, June 15, 2008

NYT Archive 1989: 21 Most Wanted

The 21 Most Wanted student leaders were announced by the Chinese government and reported by New York Times on June 14, 1989:

The 21 students whose mug shots and biographical details were shown on television included the two most prominent leaders of the democracy movement, Wang Dan and Wuer Kaixi. Others shown on television were Chai Ling, the leader of the students occupying Tiananmen Square, and her husband, Feng Congde, and a 28-year-old graduate student, Liu Gang, who is said to have assisted the students from behind the scenes.
The television showed lengthy film clips of Mr. Wuer, apparently so that viewers could identify him and turn him in. The clips also showed the extent of Government surveillance of the student leaders; it seemed that three different video cameras were used to record one visit by Mr. Wuer on May 29 to a restaurant in a Beijing hotel. One camera was trained on him from above while he ate, another showed him leaving the restaurant, and a third caught him as he left the building.
From NYT's description above, it is clear that Liu Gang's significance in the movement was not understood by outsiders. Even most students were surprised seeing his name in the no. 3 slot, behind Wang Dan and Wuer Kaixi but ahead of Chai Ling.

The list: Wang Dan, Wuer Kaixi, Liu Gang, Chai Ling, Zhou Fengsuo, Zhai Weiming (翟伟民), Liang Jindun (梁擎墩), Wang Zhengyun (王正云), Zheng Xuguang (郑旭光), Ma Shaofang (马少方), Yang Tao, Wang Zhixin (王志新), Feng Congde, Wang Chaohua, Wang Youcai (王有才), Zhang Zhiqing (张志清), Zhang Boli (张伯笠), Li Lu (李禄), Zhang Ming (张铭), Xiong Wei (熊炜), and Xiong Yan.

As Liu Gang would later comment, almost all of the 21 had been, one way or another, involved with the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation he had founded.

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