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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 15, 1989

DIARY OF TEIMURAZ STEPANOV-MAMALADZE, 15 MAY 1989

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze diary entry, describing his arrival in Beijing, and the student demonstrations and strikes going on the city, including some of their most characteristic slogans.
    "Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 15 May 1989," May 15, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hoover Institution Archive, Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze Papers: Diary No. 9. Translated by Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119287
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15 May 1989

[…]

Arrived in Beijing. Has [?] a “color.” Along wide highways, the young with bicycles and the old with bicycles. In my view, Beijing, during my absence, has been built up even more. It no longer looks like a naked super-city—it is very pretty in the undergarment of pink [two words unclear] of green.

But this time we were not taken through the same road. And we were taken to the building of the All-Chinese Congress of People’s Representatives, where a meeting would be held with PRC Chairman Yang Shangkun, not from the side of the Tiananmen Square (the front entrance), but from the back entrance. The reason: student demonstrations and strikes.

The most characteristic slogans: “The USSR has Gorbachev. And who do we have?,” “Gorbachev! The people are here and not there!” Spoke to the Chairman. Then had a meal to music of a brass band in a giant rail-station size hall, and then the couple [Gorbachev and wife?] held an internal tea-drinking ceremony at the Embassy with talks and discussion by [Evgenii] Primakov, [Chingiz] Aitmatov, Kirill Lavrov and other, and other, and other intelligentsia.