WASHINGTON, May 31 - The Chinese editor of The Tiananmen Papers says Chinese authorities have launched a major bid to identify and arrest him for publishing what appear to be highly confidential documents chronicling Beijing's decision to use force against its own people on June 4, 1989. In comments to be broadcast Friday and Saturday by Radio Free Asia (RFA), Zhang Liang - the pseudonym of the book's Chinese compiler - also says he expects reformers inside the Chinese Communist Party "to unite with various democratic forces, to go with the tide... and make concrete contributions to the thorough vindication of June 4 and eventual renunciation of the communist system." Zhang, a self-described Party insider who declines to provide any further clues to his identity, responded in writing to questions from RFA's Mandarin service. RFA will broadcast Zhang's comments in two parts on Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at 11:20 p.m. Chinese time. "Who is Zhang Liang? If Zhang Liang is only one person, who is he? If Zhang Liang represents a group of people, how many are there in the group?... Some say the Ministry of State Security knows for sure the true identity of Zhang Liang, and that he is supported by politburo-level officials," he says. "Because of the complexity of the factors involved, I am afraid I cannot address these questions at this juncture. But I can tell you this ? China's security apparatus has dispatched a large number of people to collect any and all information related to 'Zhang Liang' domestically, in the United States, in Hong Kong, and in other places. Those suspected of being 'Zhang Liang' have been threatened, followed, 'politely' questioned; their home and work phones have been bugged, their homes and offices have been searched and items have been confiscated... 'Zhang Liang' appreciates the concern people have shown. 'Zhang Liang' represents a growing chorus; hundreds of millions of people stand behind 'Zhang Liang.'" Zhang says at least 2,000 copies of June Fourth: the True Story - the Chinese version of The Tiananmen Papers - are circulating in China despite an official ban. He also says neither Taiwan nor the United States played any role in publication of the book. "I would like to reiterate that publishing the truth about June 4 in the United States was a decision reached after considerable deliberation. In order to assure the purity of the project, we took great pains not to have any contact with any U.S. government agencies. We sought respected China scholars known for their integrity and independent-mindedness... I did not contact anyone in any way who was involved in June 4; and I certainly did not have any contact with Taiwan - be it on an official level or with any individual," he says. "I never accepted assistance in any way, shape, or form from U.S. government agencies or Taiwan." Citing the forthcoming 12th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown, Zhang writes: "Please allow me to pay my deepest condolences to the hundreds of people who perished 12 years ago on June 4. May they rest in peace. May their family members find strength in one another. May justice be done. May the 4th of June never be forgotten. May the 4th of June never be repeated." Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to listeners in those Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1996, RFA aims to deliver such news reports - along with opinions and commentaries - and to provide a forum for a variety of voices and opinions. RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Khmer, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Mandarin, Laotian, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan, and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest journalistic standards and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.