The letter by Professor Ezra F. Vogel, director of the Fairbanks Center, that appeared on this page (Oct. 24) contains partial truths and even erroneous information. Your readers should be aware of the following fact, which can be verified in the Fairbanks Center's library.
--In the period before the Tiananmen square massacre, and after Hu Yaobang, the ex-General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, passed away, democratic movements started all over China. Jiang Zemen, who was then Mayor of Shanghai, was the first to strike out against these movements. He banned the World Economics Herald special issue which commemorated Hu Yaobang, fired Qin Benli as the Chief Editor and put him under investigation.
Later he formally closed World Economics Herald. After the June 4 massacre, four employees of World Economics Herald were arrested. Qin Benli was put under house arrest and passed away in indignation on April 15, 1991. It can thus be said that the Chinese Communist Party's repression of the 1989 democracy movement started with Jiang.
--Jiang was summoned to Beijing from Shanghai by Deng Xiaoping on May 21, 1989, and there he participated in the final decision to massacre the peacefully demonstrating students.
--Twenty days after the massacre of June 4, Jiang Zemin officially assumed the post of the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. On the same day, he declared that "the foremost important political task at this moment is to thoroughly suppress the counterrevolutionary riot" and that "for those conspirators who planned, organized, and led the turmoil--and those counterrevolutionary thugs who participated in the riot--we must punish them according to the law, strike them with resolution and show them no leniency whatsoever."
The massive arrests and persecution that immediately followed were then carried out directly under his leadership. In Beijing alone, over 10,000 people were arrested, and countless more were persecuted. --Jian-Li Yang, Ph.D. Student in Political Economy and Government, Kennedy School of Government
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