RADIO FREE ASIA AIRS EXCLUSIVE BROADCASTS OF TIANANMEN PAPERS


2001-01-21
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Washington, D.C. - Radio Free Asia (RFA) has acquired exclusive broadcast rights to the original Chinese language version of the Tiananmen Papers. The first installment was broadcast to China by RFA's Mandarin language service on Monday, January 22. Broadcast of the extraordinary documents will continue five days a week until April 13. "The stretching out of the broadcasts is being done so that the last installment will coincide with the publication date of the Chinese version of the papers," according to Richard Richter, president of RFA. The Tiananmen Papers was published in English earlier this month, prompting massive speculation about the source. The Chinese language papers reportedly are documents detailing the agonizing deliberations of China's top leaders about how to deal with the 1989 student democracy demonstrations, which were centered in Tiananmen Square directly in front of the seat of China's government. The Chinese book version is entitled The Truth of China's June Fourth. It will be roughly three times the length of the English version. The April publication date was chosen to coincide with the twelfth anniversary of the death of Hu Yaobang, former secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party. His death led to the Tiananmen demonstrations. RFA's broadcasts will be devoted to the most important sections of the documents, according to Richter, who said that "the decision to proceed with the broadcasts was reached only after extensive consultations with many of the top Tiananmen experts." Zhang Liang, the compiler of the documents, said the papers reveal the entire truth of the June 4 crackdown. The compiler has chosen Zhang Liang as his pseudonym and his true identity is not known. RFA acquired the broadcast rights from the Chinese version publisher. The English version was published by U.S. Public Affairs and was edited by China scholars Andrew Nathan of Columbia University and Perry Link of Princeton. The installments are also being distributed on RFA's Web site and can be found at: www.rfa.org/promotions/man/tam_papers/papers.htm Radio Free Asia is a private corporation that was established in 1996 to provide news and information to listeners in China, Tibet, Vietnam, Burma, North Korea, Laos and Cambodia. It is funded by grants from Congress. RFA's mission is to be a forum for a variety of opinions and voices from within Asian nations whose people do not have full freedom of expression. Listener confidence in the quality and credibility of its broadcasts is RFA's highest priority. RFA is a journalistically independent organization whose autonomy is key to providing objective domestic news and information.

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