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Today in History:  martial law in Beijing on 25 May

Army troops continued to withdraw from the outskirts of the capital.While ten of thousands continued to rally in Tiananmen Square,approximately a hundred thousand workers and students held newdemonstrations throughout Beijing city to demand Li Peng's resignation.Li Peng appeared on television and declared that the government was incontrol. His appearance was the first of any top leader's since his ownspeech on May 20 declaring martial law. In his TV appearance, Liwelcomed three newly arrived ambassadors to Beijing. He said, "TheChinese government is stable and capable of fulfilling itsresponsibilities and of effectively dealing with the current problems."He also said that "the reform program and the open door policy wouldnot change."Li sent a letter to the troops encircling Beijing expressing hisconfidence that the troops would overcome the difficulties confrontingthe riot and successfully enforce martial law. Wan Li landed in Shanghai, but it was not known whether he wouldproceed to the capital or not. Some hoped that he would convene ameeting of the NPC standing committee in order to pursue aconstitutional resolution to the political crisis, presumably in Zhao'sfavor.

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