Tiananmen Square and U.S.-China Relations, 1989-1993

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Overview

The historic student standoff of 1989 was sparked by the death of a pro-democracy and anti-corruption official, Hu Yaobang. More than 100,000 protesters converged to mourn Hu’s death, but they lacked a unified cause or leadership. The so-named June 4th Movement lasted seven weeks, until tanks cleared Tiananmen Square leaving many protesters dead or severely injured.

Following the conflict, the government conducted widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the PRC press.

Consisting of documents from White House Office of Records\ Management (WHORM) Subject File categories and the Staff and Office Files, this collection documents the response of the George H. W. Bush White House to deteriorating U.S.-Chinese relations and worldwide support for the movement and condemnation of the Chinese government response.

Sample WHORM Subject File collections include:

  • CO 034 Country File on China
  • FG 0001 Presidential Office
  • FO 004-02 Loans - Funds (Regarding World Bank loans to China)
  • HU Human Rights
  • ME 002 Presidential Messages (relating to the situation in China and American views on the pro-Democracy movement)
  • PR012 Public Relations (petitions and resolutions from the public, state officials, and local government officials on U.S.-Chinese relations and support for the pro-democracy movement.)

Staff and Office collections include files from Chief of Staff John Sununu; Council of Economic Advisers members Michael Boskin, John B. Taylor and Paul Wonnacott; National Security Council members Richard Barth, Karl Jackson Files, Doug Paal and Peter Rodman; and Public Liaison Officer James Schaefer.

This collection also contains memorandum, correspondence and talking points tied to President Bush’s decision to resume World Bank loans to China in...

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Archives Unbound Series

Introducing Archives Unbound -- a vast new resource that combines the best of legacy microfilms from Gale and Primary Source Media and new, never-before-filmed collections. Specifically developed to address the needs of individual scholars, universities, and organizations, Archives Unbound is unique not only for its expansive, multi-disciplinary content but also for the distinct new intuitive search platform by which it is accessed.

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Reviews

"The content of Archives Unbound makes it an excellent resource for students doing research in political science, history, or ethnic studies, as well as multidisciplinary research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers." --Choice, March 2011 

— Choice

"...provides a platform for various historical document archives, making them more accessible to scholars. The content is unquestionably important" --Booklist, May 2010

— Deborah Rollins