Li Peng: It was Deng who made be do all those bad things

The three most controversial decisions that Li Peng made. including crushing the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, were not his decisions at all, but were forced upon him by Deng Xiaoping. That’s according to an article Li wrote — one of the only times in writing he’s referred to the TS crackdown.

Li’s article was among several from former leaders published in the journal to mark the centenary of Deng’s birth, the Post reported.

But it was the only one to refer directly to the 1989 military crackdown.

“In the spring and summer of 1989, a serious political disturbance took place in China,” Li wrote.

“Comrade Deng Xiaoping — along with other party elders — gave the party leadership their firm and full support to put down the political disturbance using forceful measures.”


Li also revealed some of his feelings when he was appointed premier in 1988, describing himself as a timid apprentice who needed encouragement from Deng, the Post reported.

“Comrade Xiaoping said, ‘What I am worried is that you are not bold enough to carry out your work. You have to learn hard and train yourself in work in order to make yourself more mature,'” Li wrote.

Li also wrote that it was Deng who ignored opposition in Hong Kong — which neighbors Guangdong — and pushed for the building of the Daya Bay nuclear plant.

Additionally, Li described Deng as the “main decision maker” behind the Three Gorges Dam project.

Based on all I’ve read about Li in the past, including but not exclusive to how he was the leader most detested by the TS students, I am highly skeptical. Li always struck me as the ideal lackey, eager to delight his masters by going the extra 9 yards, no matter how ghastly his assignment. If he thinks this is going to get him off the hook….

UPDATE: A better piece in terms of explaining the origins of the article and when Li wrote it can be found here.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

Its clear that Li wanted to place the blame of Tiananmen solely on a dead old man who cannot rebuke what he had said. What was clear is that Tiananmen’s tragedy was primarily due to the behind-the-scene power struggle between the reformers under then General Secretary Zhao Ziyang and the hardliners under Li Peng. In this jostle for power, Li managed to gather the support of the party elders such as Peng Zhen and Chen Yun on his side and ultimately discredit Zhao and the reformist faction. He knew that the party elders were anxious about their positions should democratisation takes place and take pains to potray the demonstrations as an attempt to oust the elders into a Khrushchev-style retreat. By playing on their fears, he got their backing and ultimately convinced Deng that it was an “anti-socialist” demonstration such that the crackdown occurred tragically on 4th June.

And don’t forget it was Premier Li Peng who declared martial law in Beijing prior to that fateful night in Tiananmen Sq.

August 19, 2004 @ 7:03 am | Comment

Deng made him do it. Right.

August 19, 2004 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

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