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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China, 1989

This collection features sources on the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 and other developments in China at the end of the Cold War. For other collections on China’s modern political history, see: Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950; Purges in 1950s China; China’s Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961; China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976; and Reform and Opening in China, 1978-. (Image: Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang speaks with fasting university students in Beijing's Tiananmen Square early Friday May 19, 1989, to urge them call off their hunger strike. The strike is in its sixth day. (AP Photo/Xinhua) )

  • February 01, 1989

    Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze

    Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze's aide records his thoughts as they arrive in Beijing to meet with Chinese officials.

  • February, 1989

    Igor Rogachev’s Account of Eduard Shevardnadze’s Visit to Beijing

  • February 04, 1989

    Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 4 February 1989

  • March 07, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Tuesday, 7 March 1989

    Declassified portions from the CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Saturday, 7 March 1989, describe the latest developments in Tibet and China. In 2019, the CIA declassified additional material from the 7 March NID that pertained to Hungary.

  • March 08, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Wednesday, 8 March 1989

    The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Thursday, 8 March 1989 describes the latest developments in Tibet and China.

  • March 09, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Thursday, 9 March 1989

    The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Thursday, 9 March 1989 describes the latest developments in Tibet and China.

  • March 11, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Saturday, 11 March 1989

    The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Saturday, 11 March 1989 describes the latest developments in Tibet and China.

  • April 06, 1989

    Note about the Meeting between Hu Qili and Herbert Naumann

    Hu Qili describes ongoing economic reforms in China. As for political reform, Hu indicates that China wants "to further unfold socialist democracy and perfect the judicial system."

  • April 28, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 28 April 1989

    The CIA's National Intelligence Daily for 28 April 1989 describes the latest developments in Lebanon, Iran, China, Vietnam, the Soviet Union, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Hungary, and New Zealand.

  • May 15, 1989

    Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 15 May 1989

    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.

  • May 15, 1989

    Notepad of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 15 May 1989

    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze notes covering a discussion between Gorbachev and Yang Shangkun, during the beginning of the Soviet visit to China. Gorbachev and Shangkun compare economic growth rates and initiatives in China and the Soviet Union, and Gorbachev talks about perestroika. Later in the day, Gorbachev explains his impressions that the Chinese are interested in normalizing relations with the Soviet Union, and are worried about the protests occurring in Tiananmen Square. The Soviet delegation connects their visit to China to the protests.

  • May 16, 1989

    Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 16 May 1989

    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.

  • May 16, 1989

    Notepad of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 16 May 1989

    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze notes on discussions between Gorbachev and Li Peng, covering a wide range of foreign policy issues for the two countries. Li Peng discusses China's relations with the US, Japan, India, and the DPRK. Both sides discuss the demilitarization of the Sino-Soviet border. Concludes with a note on the hunger strike in Tiananmen Square.

  • May 16, 1989

    Excerpts from Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Zhao Ziyang

    Zhao Ziyang and Gorbachev discuss political and economic changes ongoing in China.

  • May 16, 1989

    Excerpts from the Meeting between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping

    The Chinese version of the record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping. Deng provides a historical overview of China's relations with the Soviet Union and other countries.

  • May 17, 1989

    Notepad of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 17 May 1989

    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze notebook, covering May 17 of USSR trip to China to normalize relations. Notes a speech by Gorbachev at China's National People's Congress, before moving to the call to cancel a planned press conference because there are "200 thousand [students] around us...This is a revolution." Some press conference is then held, and Gorbachev's comments are summarized. The notes conclude with Gorbachev's comments on the student protesters.

  • May 17, 1989

    Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 17 May 1989

    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze diary entry, describing negotiations between China and a USSR delegation. The negotiations cover border issues, Soviet assistance in improving relations between India and Nepal, and Afghanistan, among other issues. Following the negotiations, Mamaladze describes protesters, "two hundred thousand strong," and notes that the movement has grown beyond just students.

  • May 18, 1989

    Notepad of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 18 May 1989

    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze notebook from May 18 of visit to China. Describes a dinner in Shanghai.

  • May 18, 1989

    Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze, 18 May 1989

    Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze diary entry describing his time in Shanghai during negotiations to normalize Soviet-Chinese relations. Notes that Shanghai, like Beijing, "is in the power of the student strikers," and speculates that the student strike is "seemingly heated up by [the Soviet delegation's] visit."

  • May 18, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Thursday, 18 May 1989

    The CIA's National Intelligence Daily for 18 May 1989 describes the latest developments in China, the Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Panama, El salvador, Venezuela, West Germany, Bolivia, Poland, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Philippines.