Students, we came too late. We are sorry. You talk about us, criticize us, it is all necessary. The reason that I came here is not to ask you to forgive us. All I want to say is that students are getting very weak, it is the 7th day since you went on hunger strike, you can't continue like this. As the time goes on, it will damage your body in an unrepairable way, it could be very dangerous to your life. Now the most important thing is to end this strike. I know, your hunger strike is to hope that the Party and the government will give you a satisfying answer. I feel that our communication is open. Some of the problem can only be solved by certain procedures. For example, you have mentioned about the nature of the incident, the question of responsibility, I feel that those problems can be resolved eventually, we can reach a mutual agreement in the end. However, you should also know that the situation is very complicated, it is going to be a long process. You can't continue the hunger strike for the 7th day, and still insist for a satisfying answer before ending the hunger strike. |
You are still young, there are still many days yet to come, you must live healthy, and see the day when China accomplishes the four modernizations. You are not like us, we are already old, it doesn't matter to us any more. It is not easy that this nation and your parents support you to study in colleges. Now you are all about early 20's, and want to sacrifice lives so easily, students, can't you think logically? Now the situation is very serious, you all know, the Party and the nation is very antsy, the whole society is very worried. Besides, Beijing is the capital, the situation is getting worse and worse from everywhere, this can not be continued. Students all have good will, and are for the good of our nation, but if this situation continues, loses control, it will cause serious consequences at many places.
In conclusion, I have only one wish. If you stop hunger strike, the government won't close the door for dialogue, never! The questions that you have raised, we can continue to discuss. Although it is a little slow, but we are reaching some agreement on some problems. Today I just want to see the students, and express our feelings. Hopefully students will think about this question calmly. This thing can not be sorted out clearly under illogical situations. You all have that strength, you are young after all. We were also young before, we protested, lied our bodies on the rail tracks, we never thought about what will happen in the future at that time. Finally, I beg the students once again, think about the future calmly. There are many things that can be solved. I hope that you will all end the hunger strike soon, thank you.
- Zhao Ziyang, Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, speaking to hundreds of thousands of protesters in Tiananmen Square, May 19th, 1989. The next day, martial law was declared and Ziyang was stripped of his position.
And 20 years ago today, hundreds were massacred when the PRC threw tanks at unarmed students.