Monday, August 10, 2015

Pictures of 1989: Chinese Students March in French Bicentennial on July 14

On July 14, 1989, Chinese students in France were invited to participate in the Bastille Day gala, celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution. They marched with their bicycles and silent drums to commemorate their own failed revolution.

Pictures of 1989

People of 1989: Xiao Bin (肖斌)

Xiao Bin was a worker from Da Lian, who happened to be at Beijing during the Tiananmen Massacre. On June 5, 1989, the day after the massacre, reporters from ABC were interviewing crowds in the streets of Beijing. Xiao Bing provided an animated presentation of the massacre which was largely out of his own imagination, including claims of "20,000 were killed," etc.

The Chinese government intercepted ABC's satellite signal and broadcast the interview on CCTV as an example of rumor-mongering.

Xiao Bin's co-workers recognized him from the broadcast and turned him in. He was arrested on June 11. Although he immediately made a confession and apology on TV, he was sentenced to 10 years for "counter-revolutionary propaganda and instigation" on July 14. His prison term was longer than any of those received by student leaders.

Xiao Bin served out his sentence and was released in 1999. He is unwilling to talk about his experience.

People of 1989

Days of 1989: July 4, Yan Jiaqi and Wuer Kaixi Escape China

On July 4, 1989, Yan Jiaqi and Wuer Kaixi became the first leaders of the 1989 movement to escape from mainland China. After reaching safety at Hong Kong, they published a statement calling for oversea Chinese to commemorate the massacre and continue on democracy movement.

Their escape was helped by the "Operation Yellow Bird," a clandestine effort spontaneously organized by a group of Hong Kong people to rescue movement leaders from mainland.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: July 1, Bush's Special Envoys Visit Beijing in Secret

On July 1, 1989, National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and Associate Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger arrived at Beijing. They held talks with Deng Xiaoping, Li Peng, Yang Shangkun, and other Chinese officials.

After the massacre, White House had immediately announced a suspension of high-level contacts between the two governments. However, President Bush was so worried about the Sino-US relationship that he penned a private letter to Deng Xiaoping. Soon after receive a positive response, he dispatched Scowcroft and Eagleburger as special envoys to maintain communication channels. Although Bush thought the mission was successful, he was nonetheless concerned that China did not provide any response of substance.

The July visit was kept in secret for a few months until in December of that year when a second visit to Beijing by Scowcroft was discovered by the media.

Days of 1989

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Days of 1989: June 30, Zhou Duo Arrested; Chen Xitong Reports

On June 30, 1989, Zhou Duo, who was instrumental in negotiating the withdraw of students during massacre, was arrested.

Also on this day, Beijing Mayor Chen Xitong delivered a comprehensive summary report on the 1989 movement to the People's Congress.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: June 23, Liu Xiaobo's Arrest Made Public

On June 23, 1989, the Xinhua Agency announced that Liu Xiaobo had been arrested for his role in the movement. Liu Xiaobo was actually arrested on June 6 when he stepped out of a diplomat apartment in which he had been hiding. But the arrest was not made public until this day.

Also on this day, People's Daily published a lengthy editorial calling for upholding the Four Cardinal Principles, mirroring the early one on April 26 that had escalated the movement.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: June 22, Beijing Executes 7 Rioters

On June 22, 1989, seven people accused of participating in the "counter-revolutionary riot" on June 4, 1989 were executed in Beijing.

They were initially sentenced to death by a middle court on June 17. In mere five days, their appeals to high court was rejected and the sentences were carried out.

Days of 1989

Friday, July 3, 2015

Days of 1989: June 20, Shanghai Executes 3, Bush Pens Secret Letter to Deng Xiaoping

On June 20, 1989, Shanghai sentenced three people to death for participating in riots.

The White House announced its suspension of all high-level Sino-US official contacts. Yet on the same day, President Bush wrote a secret letter to Deng Xiaoping in order to preserve the relationship.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: June 16, Yang Tao Arrested, Yuan Mu Spoke to American TV Audiance

On June 16, 1989, student leader Yang Tao was arrested in the remote Gansu province.

The government spokesman Yuan Mu was interviewed by NBC host Tom Brokaw. Yuan Mu stated that there was no death during the final clearance of Tiananmen Square. But he also explained that there were casualties during the entire event. During the interview, he emphasized that modern technology had enabled people make false video evidences, implicitly attacking western media.

A segment of Yuan Mu's interview can still be seen in this snippet of Taiwan TV news.

Days of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Workers Clean Monument of People's Heroes on June 15, 1989

On June 15, 1989, workers clean up the base of the Monument of People's Heroes, where students made their unsuccessful last stand on the night of the massacre.

Pictures of 1989

Days of 1989: June 14, More Arrests and Crackdowns

On June 14, 1989, under the intense pressure of the Most Wanted, Zhou Fengsuo was arrested at his home, reportedly turned in by his own sister. (Zhou Fengsuo later claims that his sister had been deceived.) Xiong Yan was caught in a train. Ma Shaofang and Xiong Wei chose to turn themselves in separately.

Also arrested on this day were Dai Qing and Gao Xin.

More Most Wanted were published, this time include leaders of the Workers Autonomous Federation Han Dongfang, He Lili, and Liu Qiang.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: June 11, Xiao Bin Arrested, Zhou Yongjun Turned himself in, Fang Lizhi Wanted

On June 11, 1989, Beijing Public Security Bureau officially published the Most Wanted notice on Fang Lizhi and Li Shuxian. The two of them had already taken refuge in the American embassy at the time.

Zhou Yongjun, on the other hand, chose to turn himself in on this day.

Also arrested on this day is a man by the name of Xiao Bin. On June 4, he was caught on the camera of American TV news exaggerating the scenes of the massacre. He was later sentenced to 10 years prison term.

In Paris, 17-year-old American Chinese tennis player Michael Chang won the French Open. He spoke on God bless Chinese people.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: June 9, Deng Xiaoping Receives Martial Law Troops

On June 9, 1989, Deng Xiaoping finally appeared in public after the massacre by meeting with a large assemble of officers of martial law troops. He was accompanied by Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Qiao Shi, Yao Yilin, Wan Li, etc. -- an early indication of who among the top leaders had gained the upper hand.

Deng Xiaoping delivered a lengthy speech to establish the official party line on the massacre.

Also on this day, the city of Shanghai mobilized a hundred thousand workers to clear obstacles in her streets. Normal order gradually returned to the city.

Days of 1989

Saturday, June 20, 2015

People of 1989: Qiao Shi (乔石)

Qiao Shi was born in 1924 at Shanghai. He joined the Chinese Communist Party when he was not even 16 years old and quickly became active in the underground. He helped lead a few student movements in that era.

In the early 1980s, Qiao Shi's political career was reaching its peak. He held the offices of Party Central Chief of Staff, Head of Department of Personnel, Head of the Political and Law Commission, etc., as well as a member of the most powerful Politburo Standing Committee. For many years, he was in charge of the personnel and disciplinary matters of the Party.

In 1988, he had an extended work trip to Tibet, for which he was connected to the execution of martial law in Lhasa in March, 1989.

During the 1989 student movement, Qiao Shi had kept an extremely low profile. He only appeared in public a couple of times along with other Politburo members and never voiced any opinion of his own. In the few days after the massacre when an uncertain power vacuum existed at the top, Qiao Shi was once rumored to be the new General Secretary. However, when the dust settled, the post unexpected went to Jiang Zemin. Qiao Shi later became the Chairman of the National People's Congress and the number 3 leader behind Jiang Zemin and Li Peng in the new leadership collective.

On June 23, 1989, Jiang Zemin (right), Li Peng (center), and Qiao Shi (back) meet Li Xiannian (left).
In November, 1989, Qiao Shi led a delegate of Chinese Communist Party dignitaries to visit a few east European countries. They made to Romania and Bulgaria on the eve of their respective political changes, but was too late for Czechoslovak, whose Communist Party collapsed just days before.

Qiao Shi died on June 14, 2015 in Beijing. He was 91.

People of 1989

People of 1989: Michael Chang

On June 11, 1989, 17-year-old Chinese American Michael Chang shocked the whole world by winning the French Open.

Receiving the award, Michael Chang said, "God bless everybody, especially the people of China." It was just one week after the Tiananmen Massacre.

In 2008, when he was inducted into the tennis Hall of Fame, Michael Chang recalled that year and disclosed that, during the two weeks of 1989 French Open, "if I wasn't playing my match I was glued to CNN watching the events unfold."

People of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Beijing under Martial Law on June 9, 1989

Deng Xiaoping receives martial law troop officers.

Troops clean sidewalks in Beijing.

Troops arrest "rioters."

Tiananmen under martial law.

Pictures of 1989

Days of 1989: June 6, Riots in Shanghai, Yuan Mu Announces Casualty Numbers

On June 6, 1989, the martial law troops are gaining full control of Beijing. But riots break out in many other cities. Traffic are completely blocked in Shanghai, and a sit-in on railway tracks turns violent there with an empty train burned up.

Oversea media are propagating unfounded rumors that "Deng Xiaoping is dead, Li Peng is injured, and Yang Shangkun is on the run." Many western countries have launched efforts to evacuate their citizens from China.

The government of Japan halts exchange programs with China but stops short of economic sanctions. The British government announces that the schedule of returning Hong Kong to China by 1997 will not change. The Soviet government is the only one expressing sympathy and support to Chinese government. They denounce diplomatic pressures from western countries.

In the afternoon, Yuan Mu chairs a press conference on which he announces the first version of the official death toll: more than 300 people died, including 23 university students. Zhang Gong, an officer from the martial law troops emphasizes that
Between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning of June 4, when the martial law troops cleared Tiananmen Square, they absolutely have not killed a single student or civilian. Military vehicles did not crush any person.
This statement is later mis-interpreted in the western press as the government announcing no one ever died during the massacre.

Days of 1989

Days of 1989: June 8, Li Peng Resurfaces, Chai Ling Makes an Audiotape

In the morning of June 8, 1989, Premier Li Peng, along with Vice President Wang Zheng, met some martial law troops at the Great Hall of People. This is the very first appearance of high-level government officials since the massacre, indicating the in-fight at the top is coming to an end.

The Headquarters of the martial law troops announces a series of orders, calling for student and worker leaders to turn themselves in. They also publishes phone numbers for citizens to call for tips and leads of "rebellions."

One of the people from Hong Kong, Lee Cheuk Yan, is arrested in Beijing. He was carrying a substantial amount of money donated by Hong Kong people to the student movement. The donation is confiscated. Lee is later released.

Also on this day, Chai Ling, who is on the run, arrived at Wu Han in secret. With help from local students, she records an audiotape on the massacre. The tape is to be smuggled into Hong Kong in a few days and becomes a major media event.

Days of 1989

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pictures of 1989: Tank Man, June 5, 1989

Pictures of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Martial Law Troop Presence at Beijing on June 5, 1989

Pictures of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Students and Residents Commemorate Massacre Victims on June 5, 1989

Students gather at Beijing Normal College.

A college entrance is decorated as a memorial.

Students gather at the entrance of Peking Univeristy.

Students decorate campus at Peking University.

Residents show pictures of victims to foreign reporters.

Residents direct foreign reporters to site of killing.

Pictures of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Students Protest on Campus on June 4, 1989

Students display spent machine gun bullet belt.

Posters at Peking University calling for revenge. On the right is Xiong Yan's statement of resigning from CCP.

Pictures of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Soldiers Make Arrests on June 4, 1989

Pictures of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Residents in Bloody Standoff with the Troops at Nancizi near Noon, June 4, 1989

Bloody standoff on Chang'an Avenue.

Residents scatter as soldiers fire.

Bloody standoff on Chang'an Avenue

A lone man sit on Chang'an Avenue facing soldiers.

Tricycles are transporting victims.

Pictures of 1989

Pictures of 1989: Residents Burn Abandoned Military Vehicles near Muxidi in the Morning of June 4, 1989

Pictures of 1989