The Tiananmen Papers: the Chinese leadership’s decision to use force against their own people – in their own words
Edited by Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link
Ch.1: April 8-23: The Student Movement Begins
Excerpt from State Security Ministry, “April 21 student trends at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law," “Important intelligence bulletin", no.173, April 23.
School authorities reported that three students went to Tiananmen Square on the evening of April 19 to take part in memorial activities. Shortly after 11:30 P.M. they decided to take a number 22 bus back to school, but because crowding on Chang’an Boulevard they opted for the subway instead. When they reached the street south of the Great Hall of the People, they were met and driven apart by two columns of PAP. One student, Wang Zhiyong, was surrounded by PAP officers and beaten unconscious with leather belts.** Two students from the Lu Xun Institute of Literature helped him get back to campus, where he was treated at the school clinic and then sent to the Third Affiliated Hospital of the Beijing Medical Univ. The hospital’s report said he had suffered “scalp wounds, a minor concussion, and external eye injuries."
Today Wang’s bloody clothes were displayed on the campus of CUPSL, and enraged students called for a strike. School authorities objected strenuously to the strike while agreeing to report the incident to BEijin authorities through proper channels. yesterday a group of student representatives and school authorities met with leaders of Beijing’s government to go over what had happened, and afterwards authorities posted a notice discouraging students from striking. But students torn down these notices and during the overnight hours posted renewed calls for a strike, attaching four demands: “(1) students and teachers should stay away from classes April 21 and 22 to protest the illegal police behavior; (2) the government must punish the perpetrators severely; (3) the police must publish an apology in the open press and report the details of the incident accurately; (4) a response to the second and third demands must be received by 5 P.M. on April 23 or further action will be taken."
Around noon students on campus burned copies of the newspapers that had carried the editorial “Mainatenance of Social Stability in the Prime Concern" and the accompanying piece by the People’s Daily commentator. They also smashed bottles for about half an hour*. At 1 P.M. some of the students went to Xizhimen and handed out leaflets that asked, “Where is principle? Where is conscience? Where is justice? Where is law?" The leaflets told the story of Wang Zhiyong and then said, “we must ask what led the police to abandon the most fundamental standards of decency and humanity. Are we to believe that the laws of the People’s Republic permit them to behave this way? Have they no brothers and sisters of their own? Do Party and military discipline allow such behavior? We insist that the perpetrators be punished!"
Student emotion is now concentrated on the beating of Wang Zhiyong. We hope the incident will be clarified as soon as possible in order to prevent the situation from getting worse.
*Bottles (xiaoping in Chinese) were effigies for Deng Xiaoping.
** Another source states that right in front of Xinhua Gate, the Police forcifully drag the students onto buses, and whoever resisted or dodged were beaten up. A group of students were chasen all the way to Xidan (西單), and there some armed police offiiciers emerged and beaten whoever in their sight, including some citizens.
[to be cont’d]