Why I Published 'The Tiananmen Papers'

The Chinese leadership’s penchant for secretiveness is proverbial. But the veil that exists over how that omnipotent party makes important decisions is being lifted somewhat because a volume of unique materials about the behind-the-scenes events surrounding the infamous Tiananmen massacre of 1989 is being published this month.

The materials contained in that book, which I brought out of China and decided to make public, consist of hundreds of documents, including minutes and transcripts of meetings at which the most important leaders of the People’s Republic deliberated on how to handle the Tienanmen demonstrations; key speeches; notes on crucial telephone conversations between leaders; classified reports from security agencies; and dispatches from the police and military. Taken as a whole, these documents provide a rare glimpse into the modus operandi of China’s leaders.

As a witness and participant in the Tiananmen events, and as someone with access to the historical archive, I felt it my duty to publish this record of the decisions that lay behind what happened. The real truth of what happened in l989 was locked in secret Party archives in Beijing for over a decade. I chose to involve myself in this personally risky project because I believe those who wish to serve China must reflect deeply on the lessons of the Tiananmen events. Despite undergoing great changes in the years since 1989, China needs not only to reverse the verdict on the June 4th movement as "a counter-revolutionary rebellion," but also to restart its stalled process of political reform and democratization. I believe that these documents will help serve those elusive ends.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/nhRIDk9;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now