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