In Peking, the wall poster campaign, the most spectacular display of China's tolerance of public political debate, is still attractive large crowds, although reports on Thursday (30 November) say the first flush of enthusiasm appeared to have passed.
In Peking, the wall poster campaign, the most spectacular display of China's tolerance of public political debate, is still attractive large crowds, although reports on Thursday (30 November) say the first flush of enthusiasm appeared to have passed. There were fewer new posters than usual on what has come to be called "Democracy Wall" a 200 metre stretch along Peking's main Chang an Boulevard.
SYNOPSIS: Some Western observers in the city say that one factor which may have contributed to the calming of the wall poster campaign is the tolerance with which the Chinese Government regards it. There has been no attempt to interfere with the display, or to inhibit street meetings.
Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping, who has made several references in the past few days to the public campaign for democratic rights, said he approved of the wall posters and observed that much of the opinion expressed was right.
Mr. Teng's support has not been without qualification however. He said that while there was nothing wrong with expressing different views, some statements had not been conducive to unity, stability and the modernisation programme. The Chinese leadership is holding a top level meeting at the moment to consider the latest modernisation programme. Mr. Teng's words of caution have in themselves provoked a response by the poster writers.
One of the new posters, while avoiding any suggestion of criticism of the popular Vice-Premier, said critical statements show people have matured and put forth their own views ion questions that they dared not mention in the past. They are now speaking what is on their minds. The poster concluded: "what a marvellous political atmosphere this is".