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Reviews 253 Lawrence R. Sullivan, editor. China Since Tiananmen: Political, Economic, and Social Conflicts. New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1995. xx, 331 pp. Hardcover $60.00, isbn 1-56324-538-8. Paperback $19.95, isbn 1-56324-539-6. China's economic reforms since the 1980s and the remarkable changes fhat have taken place thereafter have been attracting fhe world's attention. The suppression ofthe Tiananmen pro-democracy movement of1989, however, resulted in serious setbacks to the country's otherwise thriving surge toward modernization. Again, China was at a crossroads. What course would China follow after the crisis? Lawrence R. SuUivan, a political scientist, has edited a readable book fhat attempts to analyze the ideological and social developments fhat have emerged during the post-Tiananmen period. This volume includes government documents, individual essays, newspaper commentaries, and important speeches by state leaders. Sources include mainly the foUowing: (1) the major propaganda and theoretical organs of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) such as People's Daily, Beijing Review , and Qiushi (Seeking truth); (2) the provincial, regional, and organizational press; (3) individual addresses ranging from fhose ofthe President ofthe CCP to those by well-known inteUectuals; and (4) articles and commentaries from the principal media ofHong Kong and Taiwan. The 109 documents, covering the period from 1989 to 1994, are divided into four sections, each of which focuses, respectively , on political, economic, social and cultural, and science and technology issues. Following fhe briefintroductions to each section by the editor, the entire book is rich in information that is presented in an original way, with opposing views that invite readers to analyze, criticize, and draw their own conclusions. As SuUivan indicates in his introduction, the events ofJune 1989 "peacefully chaUenged die authority of the government . . . [but] the Chinese leadership has been obsessed with maintaining control" (p. xix). In addition to questions regarding the political future ofHong Kong, the Taiwan issue, international protests over human rights abuses in China, the Three Gorges Dam project, the anticorruption movement, and odier related problems, conflicts over how and to what extent the Chinese leadership should further strengthen its authority in the wake of the Tianamen incident remain the central theme. Four monfhs after the Tianamen crackdown, Jiang Zemin, General Secretary offhe CCP Central Committee , addressed fhe crowds who were celebrating fhe fortieth anniversary of the founding ofthe People's Republic ofChina. His statement set the tone for the© 1997 by University post-Tiananmen CCP strategy. Jiang reiterated that "fhe Four Cardinal Principles ofHawai'i Press^e the foundation offhe nation, whereas reform and opening to the outside world are means ofstrengthening the nation" (p. 23). The lesson diat the CCP drew from the 1989 Tiananmen incident, fhe fall of the Berlin WaU, and the col- 254 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 lapse of the Soviet Union was that China could not tolerate the other kind ofreform and the other way ofopening itselfto the outside—bourgeois liberalization and total Westernization. The only way to guarantee smooth sailing in China's socialist construction was to tighten the CCP's control over every aspect of society including the government, die müitary, schools, factories, and villages. Democracy within the CCP was seen only as the basis ofa centralism that served to "safeguard the party's unified fighting power" (p. 57). In order to reinforce this centralism, China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping caUed for the restoration ofthe "fusion ofparty and government"—an obsolete form ofpolitical structure that had existed before China's reforms. Deng's statement, however, was found, by Hong Kong's South China MorningPost, to be contradictory to a speech ofhis in 1941, in which he caUed for the separation ofparty and government and for a higher degree ofmass participation. Obviously, fhe political situation after June 1989 necessitated a shift of strategy in order to secure die absolute power of fhe CCP in directing the reforms nationwide. Interestingly, Deng Xiaoping is here described as a complex man, often contradicting himselfin national policy making. The forty-three documents in diis section also reveal three basic conflicts within the CCP political structure. First, the political climate was largely characterized by conflicts between hard-liners and reformists. The...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 253-256
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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