Monday, June 2, 2008

NYT Archive 1989: Tyson vs. Foreman

At the brink of a bloody crackdown, the Chinese government offered $25 million for a boxing match between Mike Tyson and George Foreman, reported New York Times on June 2, 1989.

But the preparation for the crackdown did continue as well. Foreign reporters were being barred from writing any articles about the democracy movement. Meanwhile, a bizarre kidnapping attempt were reported at the Square:
The most peculiar incident was the assertion by students occupying Tiananmen Square that four people tried to kidnap two student leaders from their tent at 3 A.M. today.
According to the students' account, Chai Ling, the general commander of the Tiananmen Square students, and her husband, Feng Cengde, the deputy general commander, were awaken by four people who tried to gag them with towels and carry them away.
Mr. Feng escaped and shouted for help, and other students seized and interrogated the four people. Three of them were also students, and one was a member of a Beijing citizen organization that has supported the demonstrators, but most students were convinced that the four were Government agents.

The kidnappers were actually led by Wang Wen, who was among the group who had decided to go on hunger strike in early May. Wang Wen had repeated sought for leadership positions and was never successful. He staged the kidnapping as a coup, attempting to overthrow Chai Ling on corruption charges.

Meanwhile, the possibility of a military coup in the government lingered on.

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