Chaos Under Heaven: The Shocking Story of China's Search for Democracy

Gordon Thomas, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $21.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-55972-059-5
At least six weeks before the June 1989 massacre of pro-democracy students and workers in Tiananmen Square, President George Bush knew that China's rulers were leaning toward the use of military force to crush the protest, charges the author. In the most complete book on the Tiananmen Square tragedy to date, a dramatic chronicle packed with revelations, Thomas ( Journey into Madness ) shows how the CIA bugged the Chinese ruling elite's compound as far back as the mid-1970s. He charges that Bush, relenting to pressure from the CIA and American businesses that had invested billions in China, did nothing to avert the impending crackdown. Soon after the massacre, Thomas asserts, the White House ended the trade restrictions it had imposed on China and, in exchange, China's leaders provided Pentagon planners with the exact locations of Chinese missiles and details of other weapons Beijing had sold to Saddam Hussein. Based on interviews with Chinese diplomats, eyewitnesses and U.S. intelligence officers who insisted on anonymity, Thomas's coherent narrative jump-cuts from White House meetings to the daily lives of China's student activists who, it appears, were pawns. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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