Friday, May 1, 2009

This Day in 1989: May 1, Peking University Student Leadership Turnover

The International Workers' Day on May 1, 1989, was an observed holiday in China. It gave the students in class strike a break from their emotional movement and a chance to regroup. However, the new and emerging student leadership continued to suffer from growing pains.

In that morning, Beijing Students Autonomous Federation and the Preparatory Committee from Peking University held a joint press conference attended by more than forty oversea reporters. The students reiterated their demands for a dialogue with the government.

At Peking University, the Preparatory Committee was going through a series of re-elections for its standing committee. Both Wang Dan and Shen Tong were losing standings among their peers. During one of the ballots on this day, they tied for last place and had to have a runoff to decide which one could remain in the standing committee. Wang Dan won out narrowly. Shen Tong, who was not at the meeting, became very upset after learning the news.

Feng Congde suggested Shen Tong and Xiong Yan to join the newly formed Dialogue Delegation instead.

Days of 1989

No comments: