The Relevance of the Western Left

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at
Fri Feb 16 22:01:38 MST 2001


              Renmin ribao (People's daily) editorial (printed April 26,
  Beijing Domestic Service reported 0930 GMT, April 25; Foreign
Broadcast Information
                                 Service, April 25, pp. 23-24.

     In their activities to mourn the death of Comrade Hu Yaobang,
     workers, peasants, intellectuals, cadres, members of the People's
Liberation Army
     and young students have expressed their grief in various ways. They
have also
     expressed their determination to turn grief into strength to make
contributions in
     realizing the four modernizations and invigorating the Chinese

     Some abnormal phenomena have also occurred during the mourning
     Taking advantage of the situation, an extremely small number of
people spread
     rumors, attacked party and state leaders by name, and instigated
the masses to
     break into the Xinhua Gate at Zhongnanhai, where the party Central
     and the State Council are located. Some people even shouted such
     slogans as, Down with the Communist Party. In Xi'an and Changsha,
there have
     been serious incidents in which some lawbreakers carried out
beating, smashing,
     looting, and burning.

     Taking into consideration the feelings of grief suffered by the
masses, the party and
     government have adopted an attitude of tolerance and restraint
toward some
     improper words uttered and actions carried out by the young
students when they
     were emotionally agitated. On April 22, before the memorial meeting
was held,
     some students had already showed up at Tiananmen Square, but they
were not
     asked to leave, as they normally would have been. Instead, they
were asked to
     observe discipline and join in the mourning for Comrade Hu Yaobang.
     students on the square were themselves able to consciously maintain
     [Beijing Xinhua Domestic Service in Chinese at 1400 GMT on April
25, reporting
     on the April 26 Renmin ribao editorial, deletes this sentence.]
Owing to the joint
     efforts by all concerned, it was possible for the memorial meeting
to proceed in a
     solemn and respectful manner.

     However, after the memorial meeting, an extremely small number of
people with
     ulterior purposes continued to take advantage of the young
students' feelings of
     grief for Comrade Hu Yaobang to spread all kinds of rumors to
poison and
     confuse people's minds. Using both big- and small-character
posters, they vilified,
     hurled invectives at, and attacked party and state leaders.
Blatantly violating the
     Constitution, they called for opposition to the leadership by the
Communist Party
     and the socialist system. In some of the institutions of higher
learning, illegal
     organizations were formed to seize power from the student unions.
In some cases,
     they even forcibly took over the broadcasting systems on the
campuses. In some
     institutions of higher learning, they instigated the students and
teachers to go on
     strike and even went to the extent of forcibly preventing students
from going to
     classes, usurped the name of the workers' organizations to
distribute reactionary
     handbills, and established ties everywhere in an attempt to create
even more
     serious incidents.

     These facts prove that what this extremely small number of people
did was not to
     join in the activities to mourn Comrade Hu Yaobang or to advance
the course of
     socialist democracy in China. Neither were they out to give vent to
     grievances. Flaunting the banner of democracy, they undermined
democracy and
     the legal system. Their purpose was to sow dissension among the
people, plunge
     the whole country into chaos and sabotage the political situation
of stability and
     unity. This is a planned conspiracy and a disturbance. Its essence
is to, once and for
     all, negate the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system.
This is a serious
     political struggle confronting the whole party and the people of
all nationalities
     throughout the country.

     If we are tolerant of or conniving with this disturbance and let it
go unchecked, a
     seriously chaotic state will appear. Then, the reform and opening
up; the
     improvement of the economic environment and the rectification of
the economic
     order, construction, and development; the control over prices; the
improvement of
     our living standards; the drive to oppose corruption; and the
development of
     democracy and the legal system expected by the people throughout
the country,
     including the young students, will all become empty hopes. Even the
     achievements scored in the reform during the past decade may be
completely lost,
     and the great aspiration of the revitalization of China cherished
by the whole
     nation will be hard to realize. A China with very good prospects
and a very bright
     future will become a chaotic and unstable China without any future.

     The whole party and the people nationwide should fully understand
the seriousness
     of this struggle, unite to take a clear-cut stand to oppose the
disturbance, and
     firmly preserve the hard-earned situation of political stability
and unity, the
     Constitution, socialist democracy, and the legal system. Under no
     should the establishment of any illegal organizations be allowed.
It is imperative
     to firmly stop any acts that use any excuse to infringe upon the
rights and interests
     of legitimate organizations of students. Those who have
deliberately fabricated
     rumors and framed others should be investigated to determine their
     liabilities according to law. Bans should be placed on unlawful
parades and
     demonstrations and on such acts as going to factories, rural areas,
and schools to
     establish ties. Beating, smashing, looting, and burning should be
     according to law. It is necessary to protect the just rights of
students to study in
     class. The broad masses of students sincerely hope that corruption
will be
     eliminated and democracy will be promoted. These, too, are the
demands of the
     party and the government. These demands can only be realized by
strengthening the
     efforts for improvement and rectification, vigorously pushing
forward the reform,
     and making perfect our socialist democracy and our legal system
under the party

     All comrades in the party and the people throughout the country
must soberly
     recognize the fact that our country will have no peaceful days if
this disturbance is
     not checked resolutely. This struggle concerns the success or
failure of the reform
     and opening up, the program of the four modernizations, and the
future of our
     state and nation. Party organizations of the CPC at all levels, the
broad masses of
     members of the Communist Party and the Communist Youth League, all
     democratic parties and patriotic democratic personages, and the
people around the
     country should make a clear distinction between right and wrong,
take positive
     action, and struggle to firmly and quickly stop the disturbance.

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