Washington: More than 20 years after Chinese
troops crushed pro-democracy protests, a top Tiananmen Square student leader says the bloodshed was unavoidable as the
communist leadership was set on using force.
In a new book, Chai Ling, the students`
commander-in-chief who later escaped China in a cargo box, recounts years of anguish as she wrestled with memories of Tiananmen and describes how more recently she found a calling in faith.
Chai, who is now 45 and lives in Boston with her American
husband and three daughters, voices outrage at Tiananmen
accounts that charge that she could have ordered students out
more quickly or that she sought a violent showdown.
"The bottom line for me about Tiananmen Square is that
the student leaders never expected, hoped for or anticipated
the Chinese government would actually open fire on its own
citizens," she writes in "A Heart for Freedom," which will be
released in October in English and Chinese.
Chai dismisses suggestions that an earlier exit from
Tiananmen Square would have saved lives, believing that
hardliners in the communist leadership would have found
another pretext to rein in expanding protests.
"The government was determined to retake control of the
city and send a message of fear and intimidation to the people
-- to `kill the chicken to shock the monkey,` as the Chinese
saying goes," she writes.
Chai says she believes the leadership decided to use
force as far back as April 25, 1989, when supremo Deng
Xiaoping accused students of seeking to topple the Communist
Party. A state media editorial the next day warned that the
leadership would end the "turmoil."