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Doctor Jiang Yanyong urges reassessment of Tiananmen Massacre
The Epoch Times

Doctor Jiang Yanyong (right) and Lu Bo (left), whose father was saved by Dr. Jiang’s treatment. Photo courtesy of Lu Bo

Doctor Jiang Yanyong, TIME Magazine and Asia Times Man of the Year in 2003, recently wrote to the Chinese People’s Congress, the People’s Consultative Conference, the Chinese Communist Politburo, and the State Council of the PRC government, appealing to them to reassess the Tiananmen Massacre and to provide justice for its victims. The letter from the world-renowned doctor is a new development in the waves of civil rights movements emerging in China.
In April of 2003, Dr. Jiang exposed Beijing’s cover-up of the deadly SARS crisis by talking to Chinese and foreign media. Then-Chinese Health Minister Zhang Wenkang claimed that the epidemic was insignificant in China and guaranteed that it was safe to visit China. Dr. Jiang’s exposé led to the speedy dismissal of Minister Zhang and removed the curtain on the secrecy of the Chinese government’s handling of the SARS crisis. The revelations shocked the world.

In his letter signed on Feb. 24, 2004, Dr. Jiang praised the 1989 student protesters’ appeal to curb official corruption, and he denounced the government’s military crackdown against the movement in Tiananmen Square.

Dr. Jiang said, “The authorities then cranked up their propaganda machinery to spew out lies and shut people’s mouths through intensified repression. After 15 years, the authorities hope that people have forgotten about this incident. At first they labeled it a ‘counterrevolutionary riot’, but later they started to use the term ‘political incident in 1989.’ The new terminology is an indication of the culprits’ weak excuses.”

He also recalled working as the chief general surgeon in the No. 301 Military Hospital on June 3, 1989. He saw seven young victims covered with blood on the floor and, with two victims already confirmed dead by EKG on the diagnostic tables in the emergency ward. A total of 89 patients with bullet wounds were brought into the emergency ward between 10 p.m. and midnight. Seven of these patients later died despite efforts to save them.

He still remembers the details of several dead patients, including a retired Communist official’s son who was in his twenties; a motorcycle racer; an elderly man and a child. Dr. Jiang located large quantities of shrapnel left in victims’ intestines and stomachs to prove that the authorities used dum-dum bullets banned by international conventions.

Dr. Jiang added that after the massacre the authorities sent someone to tell him to explain his support of the students. He said in the letter, “It was well-known that I went to Tiananmen Square. My action was not a mistake. The comrade who talked to me had to report what I said. I have always held that suppression of the student movement was wrong. My promotion in that year was consequently blocked.”

Dr. Jiang said that after the massacre, “One’s attitude towards the massacre was used as a litmus test. For example, President Qin Boyi and Vice-President Tang Peixuan of the Military Medical Science Academy were dismissed because of their views. Another vice-president was promoted to president for saying what the superiors wanted to hear.”

He added, “After the massacre, the vast majority of people I know in every part of society are all clear in their hearts that the June 4 crackdown was absolutely wrong, but because of the pressure from above, they have not dared to speak their mind. The so-called unity with the central authorities was an illusion. In the past 15 years, I have openly stated my view that the crackdown was absolutely wrong.”

Dr. Jiang said that he and several others wrote to the authorities in 1998 to suggest a reassessment of the crackdown.

He revealed that the former Chinese president Yang Shangkun told him personally in 1998, “The June 4 incident is the gravest error in the history of our [Communist] party. Now I am not in a position to correct the error, but in the future someone definitely will.” Dr. Jiang also said that another former Communist leader, Chen Yun, wrote a letter to oppose the crackdown.

Dr. Jiang read the book For China’s Tomorrow – Those who are alive and those who died by a Tiananmen mother, Ding Ziling. He said that he clearly understands the pressure and enormous pain suffered by Ding. Dr. Jiang said, “Since 1995, the Tiananmen Mothers have written letters to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress every year to request an impartial investigation. Unfortunately, as the supreme legislative body of our country, the congress did not even have the courtesy to reply. They are extremely irresponsible and cannot explain themselves to the people of the world.”

Dr. Jiang said, “I’m convinced that a correct assessment of the June 4 crackdown is everybody’s desire and will certainly not create emotional turmoil. The policy of placing stability above all else can only create greater instability. For many years, some people are so paranoid that they have mobilized the entire security apparatus before each June 4 anniversary to preempt protests. Year by year, their uneasiness has not decreased. On the contrary, citizens have become more disappointed and angry.”

“Of course, I have considered the possibility that by writing this letter I will encounter various consequences,” he said. He added that he would be happy to have a dialogue with the authorities should they so desire.

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