Source: Beijing Television Service, May 19-20,1989, 15:27 GMT,
FBIS, May 22, pp. 9-13.
[Video report, captioned: "Li Peng Delivers Important Speech on Behalf of Party Central Committee and State Council," at a meeting of cadres from party, government, and army organs of the central and Beijing municipal levels convened by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on May 19 -- place not given; live or recorded [sic]; report is preceded by caption: "Important News"]
[Unidentified announcer] A meeting of cadres from the party, government, and army organs at the central and Beijing municipal levels was convened by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on the evening of May 19. On behalf of the party Central Committee and the State Council, Li Peng made an important speech.
[Video begins with a close-up of Li Peng in a Mao suit, reading from a prepared speech. During his address, video shows medium-length shots of Yang Shangkun, Qiao Shi, Hu Qili, Wang Zhen, and Yao Yilin seated, and pan shots of a conference hall with an audience of approximately 1,000 people. Video focuses on Yang Shangkun while he follows Li Peng in making a speech.]
[Li Peng] Comrades, in accordance with a decision made by the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee, the party Central Committee and the State Council have convened a meeting here of cadres from party, government, and army organs at the central and Beijing municipal levels, calling on everyone to mobilize in this emergency and to adopt resolute and effective measures to curb turmoil in a clear-cut manner, to restore normal order in society, and to maintain stability and unity in order to ensure the triumphant implementation of our reform and open policy and the program of socialist modernization [applause].
The briefing by Comrade Li Ximing, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee, a little while ago indicated that the current situation in the capital is quite grim. The anarchic state is going from bad to worse. Law and discipline have been undermined. Prior to the beginning of May, the situation had begun to cool down as a result of great efforts. However, the situation has become more turbulent since the beginning of May. More and more students and other people have been involved in demonstrations. Many institutions of higher learning have come to a standstill. Traffic jams have taken place everywhere. The party and government leading organs have been affected, and public security has been rapidly deteriorating. All this has seriously disturbed and undermined the normal order of production, work, study, and everyday life of the people in the whole municipality. Some activities on the agenda for state affairs of the Sino-Soviet summit that attracted worldwide attention had to be canceled, greatly damaging China's international image and prestige.
The activities of some of the students on hunger strike at Tiananmen Square have not yet been stopped completely. Their health is seriously deteriorating and some of their lives are still in imminent danger. In fact, a handful of persons are using the hunger strikers as hostages to coerce and force the party and the government to yield to their political demands. In this regard, they have not one iota of humanity [applause].
The party and the government have, on one hand, taken every possible measure, to treat and rescue the fasting students. On the other hand, they have held several dialogues with representatives of the fasting students and have earnestly promised to continue to listen to their opinions in the future, in the hope that the students would stop their hunger strike immediately. But, the dialogues did not yield results as expected. The square is packed with extremely excited crowds who keep shouting demagogic slogans. Right now, representatives of the hunger striking students say that they can no longer control the situation. If we fail to promptly put an end to such a state of affairs and let it go unchecked, it will very likely lead to serious consequences which none of us want to see.
The situation in Beijing is still developing, and has already affected many other cities in the country. In many places, the number of demonstrators and protesters is increasing. In some places, there have been many incidents of people breaking into local party and government organs, along with beating, smashing, looting, burning, and other undermining activities that seriously violated the law. Some trains running on major railway lines have even been intercepted, causing communications to stop. Something has happened to our trunk line, the Beijing-Guangzhou line. Today, a train from Fuzhou was intercepted. The train was unable to move out for several hours.
All these incidents demonstrate that we will have nationwide major turmoil if no quick action is taken to turn and stabilize the situation. Our nation's reforms and opening to the outside world, the cause of the four modernizations, and even the fate and future of the People's Republic of China, built by many revolutionary martyrs with their blood, are facing a serious threat [applause].
Our party and government have pointed out time and time again that the vast numbers of young students are kindhearted, that subjectively they do not want turmoil, and that they have fervent patriotic spirit, wishing to push forward reform, develop democracy, and overcome corruption. This is also in line with the goals which the party and government have striven to accomplish. It should be said that many of the questions and views they raise have already exerted and will continue to exert positive influence on improving the work of the party and government. However, willfully using various forms of demonstrations, boycotts of class, and even hunger strikes to make petitions have damaged social stability and will not be beneficial to solving the problems. Moreover, the situation has developed completely independent of the subjective wishes of the young students. More and more it is going in a direction that runs counter to their intentions.
At present, it has become more and more clear that the very, very few people who attempt to create turmoil want to achieve, under the conditions of turmoil, precisely their political goals which they could not achieve through normal democratic and legal channels; to negate the CPC leadership and to negate the socialist system. They openly promoted the slogan of negating the opposition to bourgeois liberalization. Their goal is to gain absolute freedom to unscrupulously oppose the four cardinal principles. They spread many rumors, attacking, slandering, and abusing principal leaders of the party and state. At present, the spearhead has been focused on Comrade Deng Xiaoping, who has made tremendous contributions to our cause of reform and opening to the outside world. Their goal is precisely to organizationally subvert the CPC leadership, overthrow the people's government elected by the People's Congress in accordance with the law, and totally negate the people's democratic dictatorship. They stir up trouble everywhere, establish secret ties, instigate the creation of all kinds of illegal organizations, and force the party, the people, and the government to recognize them. In doing so, they are attempting to lay a foundation and make a breakthrough for the establishment of opposition factions and opposition parties. If they should succeed, the reform and opening to the outside world, democracy and legality, and socialist modernization would all come to nothing, and China would suffer a historical retrogression. A very promising China with a very bright future would become a hopeless China without a future.
One important reason for us to take a clear-cut stand in opposing the turmoil and exposing the political conspiracy of a handful of people is to distinguish the masses of young students from the handful of people who incited the turmoil. For almost a month, we adopted an extremely tolerant and restrained attitude in handling the student unrest. No government in the world would be so tolerant. The reason that we were so tolerant was out of our loving care for the masses of youths and students. We regard them as our own children and the future of China. We do not want to hurt good people, particularly not the young students. However, the handful of behind-the-scenes people, who were plotting and inciting the turmoil, miscalculated and took the tolerance as weakness on the part of the party and government. They continued to cook up stories to confuse and poison the masses, in an attempt to worsen the situation. This has caused the situation in the capital and many localities across the country to become increasingly acute. Under such circumstances, the CPC, as a ruling party and a government responsible to the people, is forced to take resolute and decisive measures to put an end to the turmoil [applause].
It must be stressed that even under such circumstances, we should still persist in protecting the patriotism of the students, make a clear distinction between them and the very, very few people who created the turmoil, and not penalize students for their radical words and actions in the student movement. Moreover, dialogue will continue in an active way through various channels, in different forms, and at different levels between the party and the government on one hand and the students and people from other walks of life on the other, including dialogue with those students who have taken part in parades, demonstrations, class boycotts, and hunger strikes, in order to take full heed of opinions from all segments. We will not only give clear-cut answers to the reasonable demands raised by them, but will also pay close attention to and earnestly accept their reasonable criticisms and suggestions, such as punishing profiteering officials, getting rid of corruption, and overcoming bureaucratism as well as promoting democracy, developing education, and so forth, so as to earnestly improve the work of the party and the government.
Under extremely complicated conditions in this period, many responsible comrades and the masses of teachers and students have taken pains and done a great deal of work to try to prevent demonstrations and keep order on campuses. They have been called campus traitors for their efforts. Public security personnel and armed policemen have made great contributions in maintaining traffic, social order, and security under extremely difficult conditions. Government offices, factories, shops, enterprises, and institutions have persisted in production and work, and made strenuous efforts to keep social life in order. The party and the government are aware of all this and are grateful; the people will never forget [applause]. Now, to check the turmoil with a firm hand and quickly restore order, I urgently appeal on behalf of the party Central Committee and the State Council: First, to those students now on hunger strike at Tiananmen Square to end the fasting immediately, leave the square, receive medical treatment, and recover their health as soon as possible. Second, to the masses of students and people in all walks of life to immediately stop all parades and demonstrations, and give no more so-called support to the fasting students in the interest of humanitarianism. Whatever the intent -- I will not say that their intent is ill -- further support will push the fasting students to desperation [applause].
Comrades, on behalf of the party Central Committee and the State Council, I now, at this meeting, call on the whole party, the entire army, and people of all nationalities throughout the country to unite, to pull together, and to act immediately at all their posts in an effort to stop the turmoil and stabilize the situation. Party organizations at all levels must unite the broad masses, must carry out thorough and painstaking ideological and educational work, and must fully play the role of core leadership and fighting fortress in stabilizing the situation. All Communist Party members must strictly abide by party discipline. They should not only stay away from any activities harmful to stability and unity, but they should also provide an exemplary vanguard role in uniting the masses and curbing the turmoil.
Governments at various levels must enforce administrative discipline and law, conscientiously strengthen leadership and control over their regions and departments, and earnestly carry out the work of stabilizing the situation, of reform, and of economic construction.
All government functionaries must stick to their own posts and maintain normal work order. All public security personnel should make greater efforts to maintain traffic and social order, to intensify social security, and to resolutely crack down on criminal activities of all kinds that have emerged. All industrial and commercial enterprises and institutions should abide by work discipline and persist in normal production. Schools of various kinds and at various levels should maintain normal teaching order. Those on strike should resume classes unconditionally.
Comrades, our party is a party in power and our government is a people's government. To be responsible to our sacred motherland and to all people, we must adopt firm and resolute measures to end the turmoil swiftly, to maintain the leadership of the party as well as the socialist system. We believe that our actions will surely have the support of all members of the Communist Party and the Communist Youth League, as well as workers, peasants, intellectuals, democratic parties, people in various circles, and the broad masses [applause]. We believe that we will certainly have the backing of the People's Liberation Army [PLA], which is entrusted by the Constitution with guarding the country and the peaceful work of the people [applause]. At the same time, we also hope that the broad masses will fully support the PLA, the public security cadres, and the police in their efforts to maintain order in the capital [applause].
Comrades, under the conditions of resolutely safeguarding stability and unity, we must continue to adhere to the four cardinal principles, to persist in the reform and opening up to the outside world, to strengthen democracy and the legal system, to eliminate all kinds of corruption, and to strive to advance the cause of socialist modernization [applause].
[Qiao Shi] Will Comrade Shangkun please make a speech? [applause]
[Yang Shangkun] First of all, I fully support the report and the various demands that Comrade Li Peng has made on behalf of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. Beijing of late is actually in an anarchistic state. Basically, the work of government organs, classes in schools, transportation, industry, and so forth have all been thrown into a confused state. This confused state is, in reality, a state of anarchy. Comrade Li Peng has just said that with regard to such a historic event as the Sino-Soviet talks, we could not hold the welcoming ceremony at Tiananmen. The location was changed to the airport at the last moment. Several discussions that should have been held at the Great Hall of the People were compelled to take place at Diaoyutai Guest House. In addition, some activities previously scheduled were canceled. Such a state of affairs....
[Unidentified person, interrupting] Even the wreath could not be presented.
[Yang Shangkun] Even the originally scheduled presentation of a wreath at the Monument of the People's Heroes could not be held. This has produced a very bad effect on our foreign relations. Even you had no freedom in driving here for this meeting. You had to make many detours to arrive here. You had to depart from your place one hour or more earlier in order to arrive at this meeting place in time. If this state of affairs is allowed to continue, then our capital will not be a capital. The work of the Beijing Municipality cannot be carried out, and the work of the State Council cannot be carried out. This is extremely serious.
To restore, normal order, to restore public order, to stabilize the situation in Beijing Municipality, and to restore normal order [as heard] there is no choice but to move a group of the PLA to the vicinity of Beijing [applause; pan shots show presence of several uniformed men seated in the hall, also applauding].
The military vehicles on the road which you saw just now are those of the PLA troops entering the vicinity of Beijing Municipality a short while ago. This was done out of absolute necessity. It is because the police force in Beijing Municipality has been unable to maintain order in the Municipality. In addition, nearly all the armed police and public security cadres and police in Beijing Municipality have been working hard day and night for the past month. Many comrades have been sick, yet they have had no choice but to stand on duty day and night, some without sleep for two or three days. Thus, without a group of PLA entering here to maintain public order in Beijing Municipality, order, we believe, would be very difficult to restore.
The arrival of PLA troops in the vicinity of Beijing is definitely not aimed at dealing with students. They have not come here to deal with the students. Their aim is to restore the normal order of production, of life, of work in Beijing Municipality. At the same time, they aim to protect a number of important departments and major government organs. Therefore, the stationing of the PLA troops in the capital is aimed at maintaining public security. They are, by no means, directed at the students. Everyone will be able to clearly see their activities in the next few days [applause].
That is to say that the PLA troops are compelled to enter the capital in order to restore the normal order in Beijing, maintain public security, and prevent important government organizations from being affected or stormed. I would like to explain this point clearly to all those who are present here. The PLA troops' arrival is definitely not aimed at dealing with the students. It is hoped that all trades and professions, people in various circles, and particularly people of the various democratic parties will support the PLA troops for their action to safeguard the capital and maintain public security. I hope that you will give them your full understanding and support [applause].
This is the point that I wanted to explain to you comrades here. I have nothing else to say. That is all [applause].
[Announcer] Attending the meeting were the president and vice president of the state, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee currently in Beijing, and responsible comrades from the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, the National People's Congress, the Central Military Commission, the Central Advisory Commission, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and Beijing Municipality.
At the beginning of the meeting, Li Ximing, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee, briefed the meeting about the current situation in Beijing Municipality.