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311 53 Shanghai Must Not Descend into Chaos1 June 8, 1989 People of Shanghai and colleagues, over the past few days, we have all personally seen how the city has been brought to the brink. Since June 4, traffic all over Shanghai has been obstructed, workers have been unable to get to work, and production has declined; materials are in ample supply but because they cannot be transported to retail locations, daily life is being adversely affected; pedestrians do not feel safe on the streets; several students might block a bus and slash its tires, and if anyone tries to stop them, idle bystanders surround that person and make a scene. Because of the traffic blockages, some hospitals have no plasma and no oxygen for the severely ill; in some places, bodies of the deceased cannot be taken away even after they start to decay, nor can garbage and excrement be removed. We are at a point where buses, police cars, and motorcycles are being overturned and set on fire, and policemen are being beaten while on duty. As mayor, I feel profoundly uneasy and deeply troubled because for the past few days, I have been unable to firmly enforce the law and protect the normal lives of our people. Many people have written or called me, asking, “Where has the city government gone?” I very much understand how they feel and am open to self-criticism here. From the night before last until early morning yesterday, a serious disturbance occurred at the rail crossing at Guangxin Road, the likes of which has not been seen in Shanghai in years. As many as 10,000 people surrounded the train and someone set fire to the postal carriage. The locomotive next to it contained 3,000 liters of diesel fuel: if an explosion had ensued, it would have spread to the nearby sulfuric acid and petrochemical plants. The consequences would have been unthinkable, and who knows how many people might have died. At the time, we sent out responsible cadres from many levels, a deputy head of the public security bureau, over 500 armed police, over 80 railroad police, and 9 fire trucks, but they were unable to approach the scene. Many police were beaten and the hoses of the fire trucks were pulled out. I was extremely anxious then: if there was an explosion, the casualties would have 1. This is an address Zhu Rongji televised to the people of Shanghai. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 311 12/26/17 12:00 PM 312 Shanghai Must Not Descend into Chaos been horrific and massive chaos might have erupted in Shanghai. In the face of the developments over these few days, I was on edge with worry and couldn’t eat or sleep in peace. The five days from June 4 until today have been a test for us, the people of Shanghai. I want to thank them all, especially the city’s workers, for their response. Under these complex and difficult conditions, you remained steadfast at your posts and continued with production. When public buses were unable to travel their routes, you walked to work until your feet and legs were swollen. Despite the situation, overall work attendance in the city still reached 60–70%, so there were basically no work stoppages at Shanghai’s factories. The employees of the finance and trade departments and our colleagues at grain stores and vegetable markets used every means possible to ensure markets would still have supplies. Our Shanghai working class is a great one! I also want to thank the public security police and the armed police. You have remained steadfast at your posts these past few days, and despite being beaten and cursed at, you remained very restrained and did your best to maintain order. We asked you to put up with all this for the time being for the sake of the big picture. You were often treated unfairly, you were beaten by bad elements , and you felt very aggravated. To you, I express solicitude and greetings! I also want to thank the leaders, Party organizations, and teachers of our schools. Under very difficult conditions, you considered the big picture and did a great deal to dissuade students from further action; you even helped clear roadblocks, and you truly lived up to your role as teachers. At one university, two graduate students accompanied by a few others took over the radio station wanting to broadcast rumors from abroad. A...


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