Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tiananmen Square

What most people don't know about the protests was that the students weren't alone, but that their was a reform minded wing of the Chinese Communist Party that supported them, with the actual Premier of China, Zhao Ziyang, sympathetic to them. This group could be seen as kind of like Gorbachev's group.

According to Wiki:

"Zhao was a solid believer in the party, but he defined socialism much differently than party conservatives. Zhao called political reform "the biggest test facing socialism." He believed economic progress was inextricably linked to democratization. As early as 1986, Zhao became the first high-ranking Chinese leader to call for change, by offering a choice of election candidates from the village level all the way up to membership in the Central Committee.

In the 1980s, Zhao was branded by many as a revisionist of Marxism. He advocated government transparency and a national dialogue that included ordinary citizens in the policymaking process, which made him popular with the masses. In Sichuan, where Zhao implemented economic restructuring in the 1970s, there was a saying: "要吃粮,找紫阳 (yao chi liang, zhao Ziyang)." The wordplay on his name, loosely translated, means "if you want to feed yourself, follow Ziyang.""

When the protests were crushed, so was the power of that group.

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