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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 16, 1989

DIARY OF TEIMURAZ STEPANOV-MAMALADZE, 16 MAY 1989

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Diary entry of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, describing a visit to Tiananmen Square, and the "democracy-thirsty" students in a hunger strike at the square. Also remarks on the normalization of Soviet-Chinese relations, marked by a meeting between Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang.
    "Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 16 May 1989," May 16, 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/121780
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16 May 1989

I went to the city, “acquainted myself on site” with the fruits of Chinese modernization. Some “fruits” are stacked up on the counters of state shops and private “vendors,” others are being demonstrated on the Tiananmen Square under various slogans, among which there were some in Russian—“Democracy is our common dream.”

A part of the democracy-thirsty students are in a hunger strike. A canopy is being installed in the square—air temperature is up to thirty [degrees Celcius], they are trying to give help to the hunger strikers.

The General Secretary of the CC CCP Zhao Ziyang proposed to E.A. to come out to the hunger strikers and to propose to them that they leave the square. The joke was well received but it could not be implemented. E.A.’s Tbilisi curriculum vitae of a “peaceful conciliator” has clearly attained international scale.

Participated in the talks with Li Peng, Premier of the State Council.

This is all, if you do not count high [blood] pressure.

If you also do not count the “fait accompli” of the normalization of Soviet-Chinese relations, marked by the meeting between M.S. [Gorbachev] and Deng Xiaoping, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, negotiations with Li Peng. The past has been closed. The new has been opened.