Tinanmen Diary
Change is the dramatic art of survival. If one is to survive, one needs to adapt
to changing needs and desires. The Communist Party in China was started for just
that reason. The Chinese wanted a change from what was going on in the country
at the time. The student and worker protesters at Tiananmen Square wanted the
same goal to be met. They wanted a dialogue to discuss the need for an
adaptation, a change in the way things were being done in modern China. However,
the bloody massacre at Tiananmen Square only exemplifies the point that the

Communist Party, born out of revolution, would not allow another revolution to
be born. In the book, Tiananmen Diary, Harrison Salisbury takes the reader
through a minute by minute account of the days leading up to the massacre and
the subsequent aftermath. In this review, I will explore the Tiananmen Square

Massacre and its affect on China through the eyes and ears of Harrison

Salisbury. I will give my opinion of Harrison and his revelations, while also
exploring China and Tiananmen Square using other authors from class. Before
reading a book on China, a foreigner needs to understand China, its history and
its beliefs. China is a country of legends and symbols, of tradition and
heritage. As Salisbury states, "China is...ruled by her three great symbols:
the Yellow River, the Great Wall, and the Dragon". Each of these symbols
represents a way of life for the Chinese. China is a very proud country with
many natural wonders within its own borders. The Yellow River is one such symbol
for the Chinese people. These citizens turn inward in order to cherish this
particular river, rather then look outward toward the ocean. The Yellow River,
as a great emblem of who China is, is a tremendous rallying symbol around which
to look inward. The river is a symbol for the people that they need to rely upon
themselves. They must not look to the sea, to the outside for help. Everything
that is made or done for China must be accomplished from within China. The
people have had to deal with every invasion, attack, and aggression with only
their countrymen to help. China has always had to fight off invaders, including
the Mongols, Japanese, Europeans, and eventually Americans. One such example is
the effort put up by citizens during the Boxer Uprising. It was within this
rebellion that a group of citizens took it upon themselves to fight the

Europeans and attempted to rid their country of this menace. The rebellion had
asked for assistance in the beginning, but none was given. The Chinese people
knew that they were on their own. Even though the rebellion failed in the end,
it gave the message that only China could help itself. The Great Wall is another
exceptional symbol that the Chinese people identify with. However, while its
purpose was to keep intruders out of China, in actuality it is a symbol of what
is wrong with China. "Not yet have the people and their rulers begun to see
that the Great Wall keeps the people in, as well as invaders out; that the
walls...confine minds as well as bodies". The Great Wall is a barrier to the
outside world. It is not supposed let anything in, whether it be people, armies,
and on a more symbolic level any ideas. With the Wall and a tremendous sense of
emerging nationalism, the elite in the government believe that new ideas from
the outside world are invaders. They think that they must keep other ways of
thinking out of the country. The Wall also represents a need to keep everything
within its borders. The reason behind this is that there is a belief that
nothing should want to leave China. This belief has continued into the present
with the restrictions placed on citizens by the Communist Party and the
government. Movement of people, products, and information is restricted,
especially to sources outside of Mainland China. Finally, the Dragon is a
representation of China’s belief in its superiority, and the belief that the
dragon will protect the nation and its people "so long as they do not threaten
its order". The Chinese are very xenophobic. This belief has been a part of

Chinese culture ever since came into existence. "The Chinese defined
themselves as the ‘central country’ and believed they were surrounded by
inferior peoples and cultures". The xenophobic feelings were furthered during
the European era of trade. Events such as the Opium Wars and the Treaty of

Nanjing helped to foster a rise in