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The Power of TiananmenState-Society Relations and the 1989 Beijing Student Movement$
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Dingxin Zhao

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226982601

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226982625.001.0001

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(p.331) Conclusion
The Power of Tiananmen

Dingxin Zhao

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses three issues: First, in sharp contrast to its repeated political upheavals during the 1980s, China exhibited a prolonged period of political stability in the 1990s. Second, although China has experienced many positive changes in the 1990s, the state-society relations that led to the rise and shaped the development of the 1989 Beijing Student Movement have not been fundamentally altered. Therefore, another large-scale social movement is still possible in China in the future, and, once it begins, it may also follow a dynamic similar to that of the 1989 Movement. To avoid having such a movement happen again, the current Chinese leaders need to place political reform at the top of their agenda. This chapter also highlights some major theoretical goals as well as the basic characteristics of state-society relations theory. Finally, it examines how intellectual elites, rank-and-file intellectuals and students, and urban residents contributed to political stability in the 1990s.

Keywords:   China, political stability, state-society relations, intellectual elites, students, urban residents, 1989 Beijing Student Movement

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