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Qin XIaozhou: Ziyang, Where Are You?

May 26, 2004

Qin Xiaozhou

Zhao Ziyang (1919-) was named general secretary of the Party in 1987. A firm proponent of economic reform and open foreign policy and an opponent of political repression, Zhao advocated dialogue with the students demonstrating in Tiananmen Square. He was ousted from office on June 23, 1989, and has remained under house arrest ever since.

Ziyang, Ziyang,
Where are you?
Fifteen years ago
In the depths of that evil night
Your Communist army
Opened fire with weapons of war
To slaughter ordinary people and students!
As Party General Secretary over this Communist army
You just dejectedly and
Listlessly withdrew.
“I’m an old man
It doesn’t matter
But you’re still young
You must look after yourselves,”
Those were your parting words.
Perhaps in your heart of hearts
You still clung to the hope:
Heroic students,
Succeed at last!

Ziyang, Ziyang,
Where are you?
In the past fifteen years
There has been no news of you.
Your Communist Party
Is the world’s largest corruption and terrorist ring
Ruling the people with lies and shackles!
As former General Secretary of the Communist Party
Do you ever regret
That you didn’t from the first boldly stand up
And use your power as Party Secretary
To rally the opposition?
Doesn’t the new Party elite
Include your former subordinates and students?
Why don’t they give you a chance to speak?
Why did they without trial
Strip you of your political power
And not even grant you
The most basic personal liberty!

Ziyang, Ziyang,
Where are you?
In the past fifteen years
Why have you remained silent?
Perhaps you have already lost all confidence
In your Communist Party?
Yet, the power of the people
Is like a prairie fire that will reignite with a spring breeze
Jiang Yanyong, Lü Jiaping,1 the Tiananmen Mothers
Heroically struggle on, even now!
Give us back our Ziyang! Rehabilitate June 4th!
This is the will of the people
The dictatorship must perish, the people must triumph
The people believe in this!
The remembrance day for June 4th will soon arrive
Let’s see when
The voices opposing tyranny
Will bring an end
To this gerontocracy!

Translated by Stacy Mosher


This poem was submitted to an archive being created by the June 4th Memorial Global Coalition ( The original Chinese poem can be read at

1. Lü Jiaping , a Beijing scholar known for revealing scandals about high-ranking Chinese officials over the Internet, was detained on February 24, 2004. According to a report on Lü’s personal Web site, at least six Beijing public security officers raided his home and confiscated his computer and papers. Lü had reportedly been followed and monitored by public security officers after he posted an article exposing an affair between former Party Chairman Jiang Zemin and a famous singer, Song Zuying. See^