“Twenty Years Unfinished”

[The following is a translation of a blog post from Very Yellow, Very Violent (h/t to Imagethief for leading us to the blog). Links in the text were added by ChinaGeeks to provide some historical context for those who may not know what’s being discussed here, they’re not in the original piece. For those unaware, the seven demands he quotes are demands made by the students in Tiananmen Square during the 1989 protests, several students famously knelt submissively on the steps of the Great Hall of the People for hours holding up their peition but were ignored.]

Twenty years ago, a group of college students sat quietly at the entrance to the Great Hall of the People and raised a poster with seven demands:

  • One: Reevaluate the achievements and errors of Hu Yaobang and affirm his standpoints on democracy, freedom, relaxing [of restrictions], and [social] harmony.
  • Two: Thoroughly negate and eliminate “spiritual pollution” and “oppose bourgeoise liberalization” [two government campaigns -Ed.], and rehabilitate those intellectuals who have suffered being falsely accused.
  • Three: Open [reports on] all forms of income for national leaders and their family members for the people to see, oppose corrupt officials.
  • Four: Allow the people to run newspapers, remove restrictions on what can be reported, implement freedom of speech.
  • Five: Increase funding for education and improve the treatment of intellectuals.
  • Six: Cancel the “ten conditions” for demonstrations stipulated by the Beijing municipal government.
  • Seven: Demand government leaders thoroughly and publicly discuss government mistakes, and for some leaders, hold new elections through democracy.

The results that year needn’t be mentioned.
Even so, twenty years have passed; has there been a satisfying response to these seven demands written in blood?

  • 1. Reevaluating the achievements and errors of leaders before and after; at that time it was Hu Yaobang, today, you could say it’s Zhao Ziyang, Jiang Zemin, or Xi Jinping. [All people who’ve fallen out of favor since Hu Yaobang’s passing and have not be rehabilitated -Ed.]
  • 2. Intellectuals suffering unjust persecution, today there are still many: Hu Jia, He Weifang, Liu Xiaobo, Ji Sizun, etc. etc.
  • 3. Reporter: “Some Official, how do you view a system of reporting on the [income and] public property of officials?” …High Official: “If you want this to be public, why don’t you also want to make public all of the common people’s income and property?”
  • 4. Don’t even think of running a newspaper, even running a website or a blog is beset with difficulties. Are you willing to be put on file or willing to be firewalled?
  • 5. How much is 4 trillion in investment in education. When added together with [the funding for] medical insurance, it reaches 1% [of the overall government budget].
  • 6. During the Olympics, someone who applied to protest in the designated protest areas was sentenced to three years in prison.
  • 7. Tombstone was banned in China, the number of mobiles on which texting service is blocked in Tibet is increasing, you’re not allowed to investigate the number of students who died in the Sichuan earthquake because their schoolhouses collapsed…
  • These seven demands, are they or are they not something we’re still looking forward to in our hearts?
    Do you or do you not wish to wait another twenty years, and leave these problems for your children?

    [We may update this post with translations of comments if more appear on the site, the author has also written a longer, related piece which you can find here. We may translate it, and/or run some commentary on this piece later.]

0 thoughts on ““Twenty Years Unfinished””

  1. Cool blog, I will keep an eye on it. I wish he’d included some more background info / links (if available) to clarify his thoughts though (for example, I don’t know anything about anyone imprisoned for petitioning to protest during the Olympics.)


  2. Yeah. It looks to be about 25% dissident writing I’m somewhat surprised hasn’t been blocked, and 75% porn. My kind of site!

    And yeah, I wish he’d included more details, I may try to flesh this out a bit later with some more background info, but that particular piece is a bit too vague to track down, you’re right. As I recall, though, there were something like 2 approved protests the whole time, so regardless of whether anyone was arrested or not, his point remains pretty valid in my opinion.


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