After a promising political career that saw him climb the ladder of power, Chinese Communist Party general secretary Zhao Ziyang was ousted in May 1989 for sympathizing with the student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Bao Pu, one of the editors of Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang, shows the book during an interview in Hong Kong on May 15.
Bao Pu (??): Shortly after Zhao Ziyang’s (???) death in January 2005, in the mourning process, people were prone to talk about his legacy. Less than two weeks before the news broke [about the release of the English edition in May] … some of the English press [in the US] were given an advance copy that they handed to experts for advance review and they were planning a big news event. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Four years after his death, a book compiled from 30 hours of recordings he secretly taped during the final years of his life was published. It was during that process, I think, that the [Chinese] authorities were alerted and they knew I was involved because my name was on the cover.


The first person who actually came forward was Zhao’s close friend and one of the persons who initiated the recording process. I suspected it was the advance news planning that triggered the response from the authorities. His name was Xiao Hongda (???), who was the deputy director of the central disciplinary commission. He and Yao Xihua (???), former chief of the Guang Ming Daily, and Du Daozheng (???), former director of the General Administration of Press and Publications, basically had in their possession different portions of the tapes.
I must emphasize that, of course, I don’t have direct evidence and these people have never identified themselves.
Two, we have access to all these people who worked closely with him, including my father [Bao Tong, ??].
It seems they didn’t react as quickly or as forcibly as I anticipated.I think these tapes have their own strength, their own rights and their own power.


Thirdly, Zhao was a public figure and his voice was already in the public domain, some of the recordings, particularly the one when he was speaking to the students in Tiananmen Square on May 19 [1989], was widely distributed and that was [spoken] live.
Will people in China have access to this book, or is it banned as in the case of the publication two years ago of Zong Fengming’s (???) book “Zhao Ziyang: Captive Conversations” (?????????)?
In today’s world, if you write off electronic communication, you really do not have much choice.



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