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Finding Aid for the China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives, 1989-1993
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Description
The present finding aid represents the fruits of a multiyear collaborative effort, undertaken at the initiative of then UCLA Chancellor Charles Young, to collect, collate, classify, and annotate available materials relating to the China Democracy Movement and tiananmen crisis of 1989. These materials---including, inter alia, thousands of documents, transcribed radio broadcasts, local newspaper and journal articles, wall posters, electronic communications, and assorted ephemeral sources, some in Chinese and some in English---provide a wealth of information for scholars, present and future, who wish to gain a better understanding of the complex, swirling forces that surrounded the extraordinary "Beijing Spring" of 1989 and its tragic denouement. The scholarly community is indebted to those who have collected and arranged this archive of materials about the China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives.
Background
For seven extraordinary weeks in the spring of 1989, China came alive. Emboldened by the example set by university students in Beijing, millions of ordinary Chinese citizens began to express themselves openly and spontaneously in ways never before witnessed in the forty-year history of the People's Republic of China. In massive demonstrations held in hundreds of Chinese cities, ordinary people complained of rampant corruption and nepotism in government; others called for augmented freedom of speech and assembly; still others savagely lampooned the country's aging, authoritarian Communist Party leaders, calling on Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng to resign for the sake of the country's best interests, for the sake of the people. For China's habitually stoic, long-silent millions, it was an exhilarating experience; it was the best of times.The Chinese student demonstrations of spring 1989 represented the culmination of a remarkable decade of economic reform and social change. With the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise to power of Deng Xiaoping two years later, China's new leaders recognized the urgent need to jump-start their country's stagnant, centrally controlled economy and to restore the badly flagging confidence of the Chinese people in the wisdom, virtue, and beneficence of the Communist Party.Martial law was declared in Beijing on the evening of May 19; that same day, Zhao Ziyang was stripped of his post as general-secretary of the CCP. The next day, thousands of regular army troops were ordered to proceed into the capital to augment public security. However, their progress into the city was impeded by tens of thousands of outraged civilians, who physically blockaded major access roads, in many cases lecturing encircled troops on the army's duty to "love the people." After a tense thirty-six-hour standoff, the troops were ordered to withdraw.This archive represents the fruits of a multiyear collaborative effort, undertaken at the initiative of then UCLA Chancellor Charles Young, to collect, collate, classify, and annotate available materials relating to the China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen crisis of 1989. These materials—including, inter alia, thousands of documents, transcribed radio broadcasts, local newspaper and journal articles, wall posters, electronic communications, and assorted ephemeral sources, some in Chinese and some in English—provide a wealth of information for scholars, present and future, who wish to gain a better understanding of the complex, swirling forces that surrounded the extraordinary "Beijing Spring" of 1989 and its tragic denouement.
Extent
22 boxes (11 linear ft.) 1 oversize box.
Restrictions
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.