1st Edition

The Impact of China's 1989 Tiananmen Massacre

Edited By Jean-Philippe Béja Copyright 2011
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book offers a unique insight into the role of human rights lawyers in Chinese law and politics. In her extensive account, Eva Pils shows how these practitioners are important as legal advocates for victims of injustice and how bureaucratic systems of control operate to subdue and marginalise them. The book discusses how human rights lawyers and the social forces they work for and with challenge the system. In conditions where organised political opposition is prohibited, rights lawyers have begun to articulate and coordinate demands for legal and political change.

    Drawing on hundreds of anonymised conversations, the book analyses in detail human rights lawyers’ legal advocacy in the face of severe institutional limitations and their experiences of repression at the hands of the police and state security apparatus, along with the intellectual, political and moral resources lawyers draw upon to survive and resist. Key concerns include the interaction between the lawyers and their bureaucratic, professional and social environments and the forms and long term political impact of resistance. In addressing these issues, Pils offers a rare evaluative perspective on China’s legal and political system, and proposes new ways to assess domestic advocacy’s relationship with international human rights and rule of law promotion.

    This book will be of great interest and use to students and scholars of law, Chinese studies, socio-legal studies, political studies, international relations, and sociology. It is also of direct value to people working in the fields of human rights advocacy, law, politics, international relations, and journalism.

    Introduction: June 4th 1989: A Watershed in Chinese Contemporary History - Jean-Philippe Béja  1. June Fourth: Memory and Ethics - Perry Link  2. The Chinese Communist Party and 4 June 1989 —Or how to get out of it and get away with it - Michel Bonnin  3. The Impact of the June 4th Massacre on the pro-Democracy Movement - Jean-Philippe Béja and Merle Goldman  4. The Chinese Liberal Camp in Post-June 4th China - Feng Chongyi  5. Wang Xiaobo and the No Longer Silent majority - Sebastian Veg  6. The Seeds of Tiananmen: Reflections on a Growing Chinese Civil Rights Movement - Xiaorong Li  7. The practice of law as conscientious resistance: Chinese weiquan lawyers’ experience - Eva Pils  8. The Politicisation of China's Law-Enforcement and Judicial Apparatus - Willy Lam  9. The Enduring Importance of Police Repression: Laojiao, the Rule of Law and Taiwan’s Alternative Evolution - Jerome A. Cohen and Margaret K. Lewis   10. The Impact of the Tiananmen Crisis on China’s Economic Transition - Barry Naughton  11. The Tiananmen Incident and the Pro-Democracy Movement in Hong Kong - Joseph Y.S. Cheng  12. How China managed to de-isolate itself on the international stage and re-engage the world after Tiananmen - Jean-Pierre Cabestan  13. China and International Human Rights: Tiananmen’s Paradoxical Impact - Andrew J. Nathan  14. A Shadow over Western Democracies: China’s Political Use of Economic Power - Guoguang Wu


    Jean-Philippe Béja is a Senior Researcher at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), and CERI-Sciences-Po (Centre for international Studies and Research), Paris, France. He is currently conducting research at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    'This is an excellent, comprehensive, and necessary study of China's most neuralgic problem: the consequences of the Tiananmen killings on 4 June 1989. It is excellent because of the quality of its scholarship, comprehensive because its seventeen chapters cover the main subjects, and necessary because it will inform its readers that the "fengbo" as Beijing dismisses 4 June, was, as Beijing knows and fears, vastly more important than a "skirmish".' - Jonathan Mirsky, Hong Kong Economic Journal, November 2010

    "[T]his book makes a commendable effort not only to explain the atmosphere of 1989 and the Chinese Communist Party’s prerogatives at the time, but also to explore in depth the way in which the memory of the massacre as well as its obliteration impact on contemporary Chinese society, politics and economy." - Claudia Astarita; The International Spectator, Vol. 46, No. 4 (December 2011)