Authorities Tuesday warned college students protesting for the second week that continued campus unrest will not be tolerated and threatened a crackdown to protect national stability.
The warning came as students throughout the city boycotted classes for a second day and directed their campaign for democracy at average Chinese in street-corner appeals that prompted unusual displays of support and mounting donations from crowds of Beijing workers."Their purpose is to confuse the people, bring chaos down on the nation and to destroy a stable and united political situation," said a commentary on Central Chinese Television's national evening news. "If this is allowed to continue without interruption, a great unrest will occur throughout China.
An editorial to be published in Wednesday's People's Daily, the Communist Party organ, delivered similar commentary: "If the unrest is given free rein, China will be in continuous turmoil, and genuine efforts at reform and the creation of a prosperous China will come to nothing."
The official Xinhua News Agency said students from Qinghua University did not show up Tuesday afternoon for a meeting with government and party officials because they "could not agree on who should represent them."
As the boycott continued, students rallied on a number of major campuses with increasingly sharp criticism of Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping.
"Give me liberty or give me death," read a small cloth banner scrawled in English on the campus of Beijing University where students rallied Tuesday.
About 2,000 students from People's University staged a march on the ninth day of unrest that has brought Beijing its biggest anti-government rallies in over a decade.