Thursday, April 30, 2009

This Day in 1989: April 30

On the last day of April, 1989, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang returned to Beijing from a state visit to North Korea. He had been away for a week.

The charged atmosphere of the new student movement calmed somewhat. Beijing Students Autonomous Federation busied itself in its own organizational matters. With Wuer Kaixi's absence, they elected Feng Congde to be the new president.

A decision was also made to form a new Dialogue Delegation to seek and prepare for a formal dialogue with the government. During the staged dialogue the day before, Yuan Mu had adamantly asserted that Beijing Students Autonomous Federation was an illegal organization and would never become part of the dialogue. Students hoped that a separate and somewhat moderate Dialogue Delegation could become more acceptable to the government.

Meanwhile, officials from the city government, such as the Mayor Chen Xitong, continued to hold dialogue sessions with hand-picked students, side-stepping the independent organizations such as Beijing Students Autonomous Federation. Big Posters on campuses denounced them as unacceptable to students.

Days of 1989

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