25 Years Ago: China Bans Pro-Student Newspaper

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the nationwide, student-led democracy movement in China, and the subsequent military crackdown in Beijing. To mark the occasion, CDT is posting a series of original news articles from that year, beginning with the death of Hu Yaobang on April 15 and continuing through the tumultuous spring. The full series can be read here.

From the April 25, 1989 New York Times:

The latest issue of the banned weekly newspaper, The , had already been printed and contained some of the boldest criticisms of the Communist Party ever published in a major Chinese newspaper. But the party today prohibited the distribution of the newspaper, according to Chinese familiar with the order.

Qin Benli, the editor in chief of the Shanghai-based newspaper, which has a circulation of 300,000, was not in the office this afternoon. The deputy editor in chief, Zhu Xinqun, confirmed in a telephone interview that the newspaper was not distributed today as it normally is on Mondays. Mr. Zhu declined to say why it did not appear.

Apparently a One-Time Ban

Several people familiar with the banning said that a Politburo member, , who is also party leader in Shanghai, gave the order that The Herald could not be distributed. It was not clear if the order originated with him or someone higher.

If you have access to additional sources of original reporting, video, accounts or photos from the spring of 1989, please send them to us at cdt@chinadigitaltimes.net and we’ll consider including them in this series. Many thanks.