Medical Tuesday Blog
The Butcher of Beijing
Obituary: Li Peng died on July 22nd. He was 90.
China’s prime minister in 1987-98, who became the public face of the Tiananmen massacre.
The Economist | Print edition | Obituary | Jul 25th 2019
His diary entry for April 27th 1989 recorded the moment when the trouble touched Li Peng directly. On his way home from his prime ministerial office in Beijing, his car was blocked by student protesters. His driver and bodyguards—and he was glad to have both at that moment—had to find another way round. . .
Nobody had come to beat up and drag away the protesters, as had happened during the only previous outbreak of large-scale unrest on that vast plaza during Communist rule. That was in 1976. . . Now, 13 years later, many Chinese were allowing themselves to believe that the party might at last be about to take off in a new political direction, one more open to dissent. This Li could not allow. He would rather die, he wrote in his diary, than let the protests get out of hand. . .