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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 15:38 GMT
Extracts from Tiananmen Papers
Pro-democracy students in Tiananmen Square before crackdown
Pro-democracy students rallied in Tiananmen Square
The following are extracts from the secret Chinese official documents on the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, published this week as The Tiananmen Papers

Meeting between Premier Li Peng and paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, 25 April, 1989:

Li Peng: "The spear is now pointed directly at you and the others of the elder generation of proletarian revolutionaries..."

Deng Xiaoping: "This is no ordinary student movement. A tiny minority is exploiting the students - they want to confuse the people and throw the country into chaos. This is a well-planned plot whose real aim is to reject the Communist Party..."

Minutes of 17 May Politburo Standing Committee:

Deng Xiaoping: "Of course we want to build socialist democracy, but we can't possibly do it in a hurry, and still less do we want that Western-style stuff...

"The Elder comrades - and of course, me too - are all burning with anxiety at what we see in Beijing these days. If things continue like this, we could even end up under house arrest. I've concluded that we should bring in the People's Liberation Army and declare martial law in Beijing."

Minutes of Important Meeting, 21 May:

Deng: "We can all see what's happened. Martial law hasn't restored order. This isn't because we can't do it - it's because problems inside the Party drag on."

Minutes of Important Meeting, 2 June:

Wang Zhen (one of the eight Elders led by Deng): "We should announce in advance to those people occupying the Square that we're coming in. They can listen or not as they choose, but then we move in. If it causes deaths, that's their own fault. We can't be soft or merciful toward anti-Party, anti-socialist elements."

Minutes of Politburo Standing Committee meeting, 3 June:

Yang Shangkun (a Party Elder): "I've also just been in touch with Comrade Xiaoping, and he has asked me to relay two points to everyone.

"The first is: solve the problem before dawn tomorrow. He means our martial law troops should completely finish their task of clearing the Square before sun-up. The second is: be reasonable with the students and make sure they see the logic in what we're doing. We must do everything we can to avoid bloodshed. Let me repeat: no bloodshed within Tiananmen Square - full stop."

State Security Ministry "Important Intelligence," 0200, 4 June: "At Muxidi Bridge the troops were stopped once again. Then regular troops came rushing on to the bridge, chanting, 'If no one attacks me, I attack no one. But if people attack me, I must attack them' and turning their weapons on the crowd.

"People began to crumple to the ground. At least a hundred citizens and students fell to the ground in pools of blood."

State Security Ministry despatch, 0608, 4 June: "Martial law troops did not shoot a single person to death and no person was run over by a tank."

The Tiananmen Papers, edited by Andrew Nathan and Perry Link, is published by Little, Brown on 11 January at 20.00

See also:

08 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
04 Jun 99 | Tiananmen Square
11 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
03 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
28 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
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