Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives
Date (inclusive): 1989-1993
Collection number: 1821
Center for Chinese Studies and the Center for Pacific Rim Studies, UCLA
22 boxes (11 linear ft.)
1 oversize box.
Abstract: 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.
Languages represented in the collection:
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special
Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
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.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
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.
[Identification of item], China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives (Collection 1821). UCLA Library Special
Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.
UCLA Catalog Record ID
Biography / Administrative History
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.
Exhilaration soon turned to horror, however, as China's insecure, chaosaverse senior leadership, fearful of losing political
control, made a fateful decision on June 3, 1989, to use deadly force to clear demonstrating students and their nonstudent
supporters from Tiananmen Square—Mecca of the 1989 people's movement. With the military assault on Tiananmen, the best of
times quickly became the worst of times.
No one knows just how many people were killed or wounded in the machinegun fire that echoed throughout the streets of central
Beijing on the evening of June 3-4. A few estimates place the number of civilian dead as high as 2,600; most estimates are
more conservative, within the range of 300-1,000 killed. Whatever the true casualty count, the "Tiananmen massacre" represented
a national trauma of the first magnitude.
While historical memory of the "Beijing Spring" of 1989 has inevitably begun to fade with the passage of time, a few highly
evocative, stereotyped images continue to provide a potent, if shadowy, reminder of what transpired. The solitary figure of
a young Chinese civilian, captured on film calmly facing down a column of tanks, resonates powerfully today in annual U.S.
congressional debates on the renewal of China's most favored nation status, in widening U.S. public support for Tibetan independence,
and in the appearance of an entirely new epithet in the English lexicon: "The Butchers of Beijing." The currency of these
various resonances and reverberations reminds us of the critical importance of preserving, as accurately as possible, historical
memory. It is to the furtherance of this task of preservation that the present volume is dedicated.
Contrary to widespread belief, relatively few students—probably fewer than fifty—died in the military assault. Nor was there
a wanton massacre of students in Tiananmen Square itself. Most of the killing took place on or near Beijing's major east-west
thoroughfare, Chang'an Boulevard, well to the west of Tiananmen, where ordinary citizens had massed in an effort to block
the army's access to the square. A careful attempt to weigh varying estimates of civilian and military casualties appears
in Timothy Brook,
Quelling the People: The Military Suppression of the Beijing Democracy Movement (Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 164-169. See also Richard Baum,
Burying Mao: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping (Princeton University Press, 1994), chap. 12.
The Tiananmen Crisis: Origins and Development
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.
As China threw open its doors to the outside world and began to move, fitfully at first, toward a more decentralized and market-centered
economy, demand for political reform also grew. Initially inclined to respond positively to calls for a more vibrant "socialist
democracy," Deng Xiaoping grew more cautious in the aftermath of the spiraling 1980-1981 Polish Solidarity crisis. In Poland,
each new liberalizing reform measure granted by the government had served to fuel popular demands for even greater political
and economic concessions, culminating in the regime's infamous 1981 declaration of martial law. With this "Polish nightmare"
available as a negative example of the effects of unfettered political liberalization, Deng decided that political reform
would have to wait until after the fruits of economic reform had been realized.
As a result of the growing disjunction between economic liberalization and political conservatism in the 1980s, pressures
began to build. Denied a legitimate political outlet for their mounting frustration, thousandsof Chinese students took to
the streets, initially in the winter of 1986-1987, demanding better treatment for themselves, more open and democratic political
institutions for their country, and a more equitable distribution of the costs and benefits of economic reform. Angered by
Communist Party General-Secretary Hu Yaobang's passive acquiescence in the face of rising student "provocations," a group
of elderly CCP conservatives denounced the student demonstrations and accused Hu of supporting "bourgeois liberalization."
With Deng Xiaoping's consent, Hu was removed from office in January 1987. With his removal, China's students lost their most
The sudden, unexpected death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, the result of a massive coronary failure, set in motion the
events that culminated in the "Tiananmen massacre." Angered at the regime's shabby treatment of their late hero, students
at Beijing University gathered to march from their campus on the outskirts of the city to Tiananmen Square, several miles
away. At first demanding only an official rehabilitation of their fallen hero's good name and reputation, the students were
offended by the government's unwillingness to respond—or even to engage in open dialogue. Following Hu's public funeral ceremony
on April 22, thousands of students staged a sit-in at Tiananmen Square, refusing to move until the government agreed to open
The government's conspicuous silence was met by new, larger demonstrations. In the days following Hu Yaobang's funeral, students
conducted daily marches to Tiananmen Square, drawing increasingly larger audiences of sympathetic bystanders from among the
ordinary citizens of Beijing. Once again, as in the winter of 1986-1987, conservative party elders responded to the students'
mounting defiance by issuing a public denunciation of the "turmoil" (
baoluan) ostensibly being instigated by "unpatriotic" student leaders and other rebellious elements. Far from damping down student
unrest, however, the party's accusations, contained in an infamous
People's Daily editorial of April 26, served to further incense and outrage the student protesters. Literally overnight, the daily student
marches to Tiananmen Square doubled in size, then doubled again. Now the students were joined by large numbers of non-student
sympathizers. Now, too, party leaders began seriously to worry about the situation getting out of hand.
Fueled by widespread popular concerns over inflationary price rises, over rampant nepotism and corruption by officials, and
over the government's display of blatant contempt for the Beijing students, demonstrations soon spread to major cities throughout
the country. Wherever there were college students, there were demonstrations. Throughout the first three weeks of May, demonstrations
in hundreds of cities grew in size and frequency, attracting large numbers of nonstudent participants.
China's Communist Party leadership found itself divided over how to deal with the "threat" of escalating antigovernment demonstrations.
Elderly conservatives generally favored a hard-line approach, while younger reformers—included Hu Yaobang's successor, General-Secretary
Zhao Ziyang— urged an open dialogue with the students, even going so far as to acknowledge that the students had legitimate
grievances. Far from calming student emotions, however, the revelation of a deep split within the party and government leadership
emboldened the more radical elements among the student leadership to increase their pressure on the regime. With the initiation
of a widely publicized student hunger strike in Tiananmen Square in mid-May, the situation became further polarized. When
a last-ditch attempt was made by associates of Zhao Ziyang to persuade the students to terminate their strike in exchange
for a government promise to open a dialogue, intransigent student leaders refused to compromise. Despite the existence of
a strong student majority in favor of ending the confrontation, a vocal minority carried the day. The hunger strike continued.
The die was now cast.
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.
The standing down of PLA units in Beijing on May 22 triggered an extraordinary outburst of public jubilation. Antigovernment
demonstrations now reached their zenith in Beijing, with hundreds of thousands of people— including local units of the Communist
Youth League, the Foreign Ministry, and other official party and government organs—marching alongside the students and their
supporters. In big and medium-sized cities up and down the coast of China, news of the "victory" of the Beijing students was
greeted with popular exhilaration.
There followed a week of ominous silence from party and government authorities in Beijing, as Deng Xiaoping and other senior
officials retired to their bunkers to prepare their response. A good deal of jaw-boning was done by Deng himself to persuade
wavering military commanders of the necessity of bringing a quick, decisive end to the "counterrevolutionary turmoil" that
had engulfed the nation's capital. Meanwhile, the ardor of the students in Tiananmen Square began to wane, as early summer
heat, winds, and ennui combined to dampen their enthusiasm.
On May 29, the students' flagging morale was boosted by the appearance in Tiananmen Square of the "Goddess of Democracy,"
a thirty-foot plaster, wire mesh, and papier-mâché statue designed by students at the Beijing Arts Institute. The construction
of the Goddess brought renewed media attention to the students' cause, reenergizing their movement and drawing tens of thousands
of people to the square to see for themseives this famously defiant icon of democracy.
In the event, the excitement occasioned by the appearance of the Goddess of Democracy was anticlimactic. A decision had already
been made at the highest levels—personally approved by Deng Xiaoping—to forcibly clear Tiananmen Square. Party leaders were
waiting only for the troops to get into position for the final, massive assault.
That assault came on June 3, in the form of a pincer movement of more than 100,000 infantry troops and armored corps, converging
on Tiananmen from several directions. Unlike the army's earlier, failed attempt to reach the square on May 20, this time the
PLA troops were in full battle dress, with their weapons locked and loaded. The rest, as they say, is history.
The crackdown continued long after June 4, as the Chinese government relentlessly pursued those deemed to have played a significant
role in fanning the flames of popular unrest or perpetrating acts of violence against the government or the army. Sporadic
incidents of violence were widely reported in several Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Xi'an, and Changsha, both before
and after the June 3-4 massacre. On the whole, however, the overwhelming, deadly force brought to bear on civilian protesters
by government troops in Beijing served as a sobering reminder of the extremely high cost of civil disobedience in China. Thenceforth,
there was to be no repetition of the Beijing students' fateful decision to challenge governmental authority.
The China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives
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.
Scope and Content of Collection
By Leslie Evans
Establishment of the China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archival Project
Beginning the morning after the tanks rumbled into Tiananmen Square on the night of June 3, 1989, hundreds of exchange students
and scholars from China studying at UCLA began to demand that the university make some response to the crushing of the Democracy
Movement. They were quickly joined by Chinese faculty and staff members. Within a few days the university also received a
suggestion from then Lieutenant Governor of California Leo McCarthy that UCLA undertake either an archival project or a pictorial
exhibit on the recent events in China. On July 5 a meeting was held at the invitation of UCLA Chancellor Charles Young. Seven
persons attended: Chancellor Young; Assistant Chancellor John Sandbrook; Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs Elwin Svenson;
Assistant Vice-Chancellor Michael McManus; Lucie Cheng, the director of the university's Center for Pacific Rim Studies and
a professor in the Department of Sociology; Maxwell Epstein, executive director of the Office of International Students and
Scholars; and John Hawkins, director of the office of International Studies and Overseas Programs (ISOP) and a professor of
Education. This group adopted a proposal by Chancellor Young to create the China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident
Archival Project. A faculty and staff advisory committee was established to carry out this work. It held its first meeting
on July 26, 1989. Ultimately the university invested upwards of $50,000 in this project, which created a unique record of
the China Spring of 1989 and its aftermath.
Essentially, Chancellor Young proposed that the university compile a central listing of its existing holdings, from all viewpoints
and in all media formats, of material on the China Democracy Movement and the military suppression in Tiananmen Square. The
committee entrusted to carry out this assignment was chaired by Lucie Cheng. Its other members included: Richard Baum, professor,
Political Science; Elaine Yee-man Chan, graduate student, Sociology; James Cheng, head of the university's Oriental Library
(later renamed the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library); Sue W. Fan, administrator of the Center for Pacific Rim Studies
and coordinator of the China Exchange Program; John Hawkins, director (later dean) of ISOP; Steve Lin, East Asian bibliographer
for the University Research Library; Steven Ricci, manager of the Film and Television Archive's Archive Research and Study
Center; and Robert Rosen, director of the Film and Television Archive.
The initial plan was that the Film and Television Archive's Archive Research and Study Center, which had made extensive video
tapes of the news coverage of the Chinese events, would compile an indexed, computerized database of its holdings, while the
Center for Pacific Rim Studies would make a listing of books, periodicals, and microfiche and microfilm of major newspapers
in the various university libraries, as well as listing its own—at that time rather small—holdings of photocopied or faxed
documents and flyers.
In the event, the first part of the project went as planned, while the second, the Center for Pacific Rim Studies segment,
grew over time into a wholly new project, which took nine years to complete, and of which the present volume is the record.
The Archive Research and Study Center, located in UCLA's Powell Library, in 1990 produced a 115-page
Research Guide No. 4: North American News Coverage, People's Republic of China, May 1-June 30, 1989. This volume indexed 388 television news and commentary stories broadcast by ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN during those two months.
The indexed video tapes are part of the News and Public Affairs Collection housed at Powell Library.
Assembling the Archives
Sue W. Fan, the Center for Pacific Rim Studies administrator, assembled the team that created the present Archives. To head
the project she selected Jian Ding, a graduate student in library science (he received his master's degree in this field from
UCLA in 1990) and then president of the UCLA chapter of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. Ding essentially designed
the coding system of the Archives, developed its initial categories, and began first to sort the existing documents that had
come in to the Center's offices, then to collect more. The other person principally responsible for compiling the Archives
is Elaine Yee-man Chan, who was then a doctoral student in sociology at UCLA.
The index section of the research guide, prepared by Jian Ding, a staff researcher for the Center for Pacific Rim Studies,
provides a name, subject, and place list for each story. The story listing in the main section of the guide provides brief
summaries along with the broadcast source, time aired, and the cassette number where the story is stored. In many cases starting
and ending footage are also noted to simplify access. This media archive is available for study by interested scholars both
within and outside the University of California system. The research guide, however, is not available for public sale and
can only be consulted on site, and there is a two-day lead time for ordering specific cassettes for viewing. For further information
please contact the Archive Research and Study Center, Film and Television Archive, 46 Powell Library, University of California,
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095-1517. Fax: 1-310-206-5392.
Ding and Chan quickly went beyond the initial materials in the Center's holdings. In the summer and fall of 1989 a flood of
faxes came out of China— copies of flyers, individual letters of protest, manifestoes printed in work unit shops before the
suppression, articles clipped from the daily newspapers. This material ranges from copies of the handbills dropped by government
helicopters above Tiananmen Square and Beijing University to an open letter to students from an old soldier [chinese characters]
"Yi wei lao junren zhi xuesheng de gongkai xin," item AC 1014), in which a retired military officer makes sugestions to the
students on how to block the army from entering Beijing. Some are abstract, like a list of sixteen definitions and requirement
for human rights in China, while others are extremely personal—a physically disabled writer who spent two weeks in the square
discussing the problems of exclusion of the disabled from recognition as citizens, or an account in the form a legal brief
by a law student who was beaten by police in front of the People's Supreme Court when he tried to protest the beating of another
civilian [chinese characters] "Yi wei wugu beida Fada ren de kongsu," item AC 1035).
Chinese students in the United States recorded and transcribed telephone conversations with relatives in China. An e-mail
network began to take shape around the old mainframe BITNET system, leading to a regular fullfledged e-mail magazine, the
China News Digest, founded in Canada but eventually headquartered at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and Indiana University in Bloomington.
A dozen news magazines in Hong Kong—principally [chinese characters]
Ming bao, [chinese characters]
Xin bao, [chinese characters]
Jingji ribao, [chinese characters]
Jiushi niandai (The Nineties), [chinese characters]
Zhengming (Contention), [chinese characters]
Wenhui bao, [chinese characters]
Shiyue pinglun (October Review), and [chinese characters]
Dangdai (Contemporary)— filled each issue with reports on the postsuppression arrests, continuing protests, shakeups in the Communist
Party and army hierarchy, tales of daring escapes from prison, and border crossings at night into Soviet territory or flights
to Hong Kong and Macao. A literature of political and philosophical debate emerged in the Chinese exile community, much of
it produced and published by former professional editors, reporters, or professors from the People's Republic. Some appeared
in new exile publications, such as
Minyun maibo ( [chinese characters] [Pulse of the Democracy Movement]), published in Hong Kong;
Laiyin tongxin ( [chinese characters] ):
Zeitung für Chinesische Wissenschaftler und Studenten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Correspondence along the Rhine: Newspaper for Chinese Scholars and Students in the Federal Republic of Germany), published
in Darmstadt; the
Press Freedom Herald ([chinese characters] ,
Xinwen ziyou daobao), published by exiled PRC news professionals in Alhambra, California; and the
Human Rights Tribune: A Bi-monthly Journal of Opinions about Rights in China, published in English in New York City (item BE 1030).
To balance the collection, Jian Ding and Elaine Chan approached the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles and carried away bundles
of official statements, pam phlets, press releases, and texts of government declarations, adding these to the growing stack.
In a short time organizations of the exiles took shape, most notably the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)
and the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS) with its Canadian counterpart, the Federation of Chinese
Students and Scholars in Canada (FCSSC). The last two concerned themselves heavily with lobbying in Washington and Ottawa
to extend the visas of PRC nationals who did not wish to return to China when their schooling was finished.
Where, at the outset, the story to be collected concerned the writings and ideas of the China Democracy Movement of April
and May 1989 and the government crackdown in June, as time went on this became supplemented with the life of an exile community
of prodemocracy dissenters scattered from Hong Kong to Chicago and from Paris to Darmstadt, as well as the Beijing government's
ongoing reactions to the dissenters at home and abroad.
Occasionally, large additions were made to the collection. For example, on a trip to Hong Kong, UCLA Political Science Professor
James Tong secured hundreds of pages of 11×17 inch photocopies of much of the regional press in China, from Hainan to Gansu,
for the period April to June 1989 (see Section V, Articles from Commercial Magazines and Newspapers—In Chinese). An unknown
source contributed some 840 pages of transcripts in Chinese by a Taiwan intelligence agency of provincial radio broadcasts
from China for the same period (item number BC 1001). Both of these acquisitions added considerably to the presentation of
the government's viewpoint, particularly the public outlook of regional governments.
Jian Ding, apart from his work with the Film and Television Archive, worked on the paper Archives proper from January through
October 1990. Elaine Chan remained four months longer, until the end of February 1991. The great majority of material in the
Archives is contained within the span from April 1989 to February 1991. This extended some twenty months after the formal
end of the student Democracy Movement under the treads of the tanks on Chang'an Boulevard. In those twenty months leaders
rose and fell in the exile community, policy debates were waged, and on the mainland new arrests were made, secondary party
and government leaders deposed, underground groups discovered, and finally, around the first anniversary of June 4, many of
the political prisoners were released, while the core leaders began to be tried in camera and sentenced to long prison terms,
with the trials dragging on into the beginning of 1991.
Of three of the most prominent student leaders, Wu'er Kaixi arrived first in the West, and was soon denounced for his lavish
lifestyle, a tale that finally was splashed across the pages of Esquire magazine in a four-part series headed "Better Fed
than Red." In the end he joined the crew of the ill-fated "radio ship"
Goddess of Democracy, a Taiwan-financed effort to initiate sea-based broad-casts into the PRC. At the last minute Taiwan backed down in face of
threats from Beijing and refused to install the transmitters, and the
Goddess of Democracy and Wu'er Kaixi faded from public view.
In April of 1990 Chai Ling and her husband escaped to Europe after living in hiding in China for ten months. She quickly became
an international heroine of the exileadissident movement, making a national tour in the United States, meeting with U.S. Vice-President
Dan Quayle, and even inspiring "Famous Taiwanese Dancer Joy Fan to Perform 'Chai Ling,'" as one e-mail transmission reports.
Wang Dan, the best known of the student leaders, did not go on trial until January 1991, when he was sentenced to four years
in prison. Wang was released in 1993, but was detained again in 1995. After being held without charges for seventeen months,
the Chinese government formally arrested him in October 1996. He was then convicted of attempting to subvert China's government
and was sentenced to eleven years in prison. On April 19, 1998, Chinese authorities released Wang Dan from prison and placed
him on a plane to the United States.
The Archives after February 1991
Jian Ding, the Archives' chief designer, left the project in the fall of 1990. He then became a librarian at the University
Texas campus in Richardson, Texas. Later he went into private business as a computer consultant. Elaine Yee-man Chan received
her Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA in 1995 and is today an Assistant Professor of Public and Social Administration at the City
University of Hong Kong.
With the departure of its initial compilers, additions to the Archives slowed considerably and became sporadic, but did continue
on a low-key basis into the early spring of 1993.
Between March and June of 1991 a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Ben Tang, made some additions to the collection and
did a preliminary editing of the Catalog. After that, limited funding halted work on the Archives for two years. In July 1993
another Chinese graduate student (we have been unable to contact her for permission to use her name here) began five months
of cleanup on the collection, which by then had grown to nine cartons of documents, totaling more than 500 folders containing
more than 11,000 pages of materials. In addition to the documents, newspapers, and magazines, a bibliography was also compiled
of books and journal articles on the China Democracy Movement. This is included in this Catalog as an appendix, although it
covers only the years 1989 through 1992 and does not reflect later publications in this area. Professor James Tong, who had
consulted regularly with Jian Ding and Elaine Chan, undertook a first general editing of the Catalog in the summer of 1993.
In November 1993 the entire collection was placed in storage pending future staff availability to complete a review of the
documents and the computerized Catalog.
It was only in the spring of 1998 that the Center for Pacific Rim Studies was in a position to allocate the additional resources
needed to retrieve the collection and begin a final editing and review. Graduate student Chun-chu Lin and I, over the spring
and summer, reviewed all of the Chinese titles used in the Archives, sorted the contents of each folder into chronological
order, eliminated duplicate documents, and recounted each folder to recheck the page counts. By the nature of the way the
Archives had to be created, item numbers were assigned to material as it came in. Often material that arrived later bore an
earlier chronological date, but it was impossible to renumber the entire Archives after every new shipment. Thus the collection
slowly drifted into a chaotic sequence. It was only in 1998, when nothing more was to be added, that whole collection could
be sorted into correct chronological order and entirely renumbered. (Even then, as the work proceeded through the many boxes
of files, the process occasionally turned up duplicate entries that had to be deleted; rather than physically renumber the
files again, it was decided to leave a few gaps in the numeration.) Finally, the 3,768 pages of e-mail had never been given
item numbers or summarized at all. With the aid of research assistants Raul Robles and Tricia Lam this work was completed
in the summer and fall of 1998. A final check of the pinyin and Chinese translations was conducted by Meng Yue, a Fellow at
the Getty Research Institute and a doctoral candidate in history at UCLA. A final round of copy editing was done over the
winter of 1998-99 by Richard Gunde, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies.
In its final form, the Archives run to 11,060 pages, of which 8,727 are standard sizes (8-1/2×11, A4, or 8-1/2×14 inch), and
2,333 are oversize (mostly 11×17, but some 17×22 inch or odd sizes). In editing or writing the summaries of this vast amount
of material I have tried to steer a difficult course between having the summaries accurately reflect the tone of the material
summarized, whether pro or anti the Chinese government, while trying to avoid any interjection of editorial opinion on the
part of the compilers and the publisher. The Archives are meant to document an important, although very diffuse, movement
in recent Chinese history, and the government's reactions to it, not to advocate any particular course of action for the people
of China or their government. The reader should be reminded that most of this material, from the two major and many minor
points of view, is highly partisan. The summaries cannot do their job without reflecting that reality. Further, just because
a document in the Archives or its summary in the Catalog states something as true does not necessarily mean that it is so.
A reading of the summaries alone will show that many "facts" were in dispute, and it is not uncommon for a report issued at
a certain point in time to be contradicted by later information published even by the same source.
With this caveat we believe that the Archives provide a rich body of authentic voices that flesh out the bare chronologies
of those exciting months in 1989 that left so great an imprint on today's China. We are indebted to UCLA China specialist
and political scientist Richard Baum for providing a Foreword that gives an overview of these events and offers a context
in which the many details contained herein can be better understood.
The Divisions of the Archives and the Coding System
The China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives are divided into seven sections (see pages 5 and 21) plus a bibliography.
In actuality there are four substantive divisions, with three of these further split between comparable materials in Chinese
and in English. These are:
- (1) Documents
- (2) Small Circulation publications
- (3) Commercial publications
- (4) E-mail.
Documents are anything produced without a binding: letters, flyers, printed or handwritten single or multipage reports, etc.
Small Circulation Newsletters, Magazines, and Newspapers are generally the somewhat ephemeral publications of the opposition
movement. Commercial Magazines and Newspapers include, in the Chinese section, the official press of the People's Republic
as well as established magazines from Hong Kong, while in the English section are established newspapers and magazines, mostly
from the United States with a few exceptions such as the
South China Morning Post
and the Paris-based
International Herald Tribune
The Archives are divided into folders. Each folder is assigned a number. There are 543 item numbers (folders) in the whole
collection. The size of the folders varies considerably, however. Some contain only 1 or 2 sheets of paper, while many contain
50, 100, or as many as 840 pages under a single item number. This is a consequence of the small staff available for cataloging
and also reflects the fact that some materials arrived in large bundles with no special basis for breaking them up unless
one were prepared to give each and every document its own folder, which was prohibitive in terms of entering the Chinese titles
and writing summaries. The reader should take the summaries as a good indication of the contents of the collection and not
expect every document to be mentioned by name.
The coding system for item numbers is simple:
- A = Documents
- B = Small Circulation press
- C = Commercial press
- D = E-mail.
The second letter of an item code is either C for Chinese language or E for English. Thus BC 1025 would be something in Chinese
from a small circulation publication, while AE 1047 would be an English-language document.
In addition to the item numbers, the designers of the Archives also devised an elaborate subject coding system, which is presented
in detail on pages 22-23. (It codes for Eyewitness account/by Native Chinese, Overseas Chinese, Non-Chinese; or for Reactions
Outside China/by Governments, Academics, Community groups, Human rights groups, etc.) It was originally intended to provide
an index by subject code as well as the chronological summaries that appear below. This proved impractical when the Archives
had to be renumbered to achieve chronological order. In addition, some items that arrived late in the collecting process were
not coded, and the e-mail section was not coded at all. We have chosen to retain the codes for the large number of items for
which they were assigned, as they may be of some use to the researcher in providing quick additional information beyond what
is contained in the summaries.
Availability of the Archives
As this Catalog is going to press, the completed Archives are being donated to the permanent collection of the UCLA Richard
C. Rudolph East Asian Library. It is the library's intention to raise the funds to have the entire collection microfilmed.
Once that is accomplished, the microfilm will be available for study or to make printouts of particular documents for interested
researchers who are able to come to UCLA to work.
We know that there are other collections of material from this period of recent Chinese history. Undoubtedly there is much
overlap, as certain documents were widely circulated at the time. Nevertheless it seems certain, from its sheer size, that
the UCLA China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident Archives contain a considerable amount of unique material that will
well repay the time spent by specialists and researchers in examining it.
- Center for Pacific Rim Studies
- University of California, Los Angeles
- February 1999
Key to File Numbers
The Archives are divided into four sections, each with its own alphabetic code letter. Within each section, numbering begins
at 1001. Each folder in the Archives is assigned a file number using this system. The four categories are headed A-D as follows:
- A = Documents
- B = Articles from small circulation newsletters, magazines, and newspapers
- C = Articles from commercial magazines and newspapers
- D = E-mail transcripts
- Within each of these categories the second letter indicates the language:
Thus AC = Document in Chinese; CE = Article from commercial magazine or newspaper in English, etc. Following the listing of
the Archives proper, which will all be included in the microfilm master set, there is an informational bibliography of additional
books and journal articles about the China Democracy Movement and Tiananmen Incident of 1989. These works are not included
in the Archives, but many of them can be found at UCLA's University Research Library or its Richard C. Rudolph East Asian
Key to Subject Codes
Most folders in the Archives, with the exception of Section VII, the e-mail transcripts, include with their summary one or
more subject codes to help further identify their contents beyond the broad source coding of the item number. The subject
codes run from B to E, and are prefaced by the language code used in the file number system (C = Chinese; E = English). For
example, D is the code for official PRC statements, and the code D03 is assigned to statements by workers or civil organizations
in the PRC. Thus the coding CD03 refers to a statement in Chinese by a worker or civil group in the PRC. Because of the sheer
size of the Archives, the coding makes no claim of comprehensiveness for particular documents or subcollections but should
prove of some use to users of the Catalog. The codes are as follows:
- B. Eyewitness Accounts and Chronologies (by the origin of the eyewitness)
- 1. Native Chinese...... In Chinese CB01... In English EB01
- 2. Overseas Chinese...... In Chinese CB02... In English EB02
- 3. Non-Chinese...... In Chinese CB03... In English EB03
- 4. Chronologies...... In Chinese CB04... In English EB04
- C. Analyses, Profiles, and Comments (by subject matter)
- 1. General and economic, social, and cultural conditions...... In Chinese CC01... In English EC01
- 2. Students and intellectuals...... In Chinese CC02... In English EC02
- 3. Workers and other citizens...... In Chinese CC03... In English EC03
- 4. Chinese government, leaders, military, and foreign relations...... In Chinese CC04... In English EC04
- 5. Democracy, freedom, human rights, nonviolence, and other related concepts...... In Chinese CC05... In English EC05
- D. Official PRC Documents
- 1. Government agencies and the military...... In Chinese CD01... In English ED01
- 2. Students and intellectual organizations...... In Chinese CD02... In English ED02
- 3. Workers and other civil organizations...... In Chinese CD03... In English ED03
- 4. Chinese Embassies/Consulates...... In Chinese CD04... In English ED04
- E. Reactions Outside of China
- 1. Governments and other official organizations...... In Chinese CE01... In English EE01
- 2. U.S. academic institutions...... In Chinese CE02... In English EE02
- 3. Community organizations...... In Chinese CE03... In English EE03
- 4. Chinese student organizations...... In Chinese CE04... In English EE04
- 5. Human rights organizations...... In Chinese CE05... In English EE05