Yuan Mu (Chinese: 袁木; January 1928 – December 13, 2018) was a Chinese politician and journalist. During his tenure at the State Council, he acted as its spokesperson and headed the State Council Research Office.
Yuan was born in January 1928, in Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, China. He graduated in 1945 from Nanjing Zhonghua High School and attended National Northwest Junior College of Agriculture and Forestry.
As the State Council spokesperson, Yuan was invited by student protestors during the Tiananmen Square protests to a forum on April 29, 1989.:35 The forum was also attended by vice-minister of the State Education Commission He Dongchang. Attended by 45 students from 16 Beijing universities and colleges, the forum lasted three hours.:35 During the forum, Yuan denied that corruption was widespread within the Communist Party or that the press was censored.:36–38:60
Yuan gave the Chinese government's first response to the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests. Two days after the crackdown on June 4, 1989, Yuan described the protests as a "counterrevolutionary rebellion" incited by "thugs and hooligans".:20 He stated less than 300 people had died, of which only 23 were students. He also implied that at least half of those deaths were soldiers of the People's Liberation Army.
In an interview with American journalist Tom Brokaw on June 17, Yuan clarified that while he did not claim that no casualties resulted from putting down the "counter-revolutionary rebellion", nobody had died in Tiananmen Square when the People's Liberation Army cleared the square. He said that student protestors had vacated Tiananmen Square after being requested to leave by the army before the dawn of June 4.:20 According to Yuan, American television networks altered news footage to make it appear that murder took place.:20
After the military crackdown, Yuan became a member of the 8th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee. He retired in 2000.
- Yue, Huairang (December 17, 2018). "Guowuyuan Yanjiushi yuan zhuren Yuan Mu shishi, xiangnian 91 sui" 国务院研究室原主任袁木逝世，享年91岁 [Former Director of State Council Research Office Yuan Mu dies, aged 91]. The Paper (in Chinese). Archived from the original on December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Gan, Nectar; Cheung, Gary (December 17, 2018). "Yuan Mu, Chinese government's Tiananmen spokesman, dies aged 90". South China Morning Post. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Photographers and Reporters of Ming Pao (1989). June Four: A Chronicle of the Chinese Democratic Uprising. Translated by Jin, Jiang; Qin, Zhou. Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press.
- Fenby, Jonathan (2008). The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850–2009. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141917610.
- Madsen, Richard (1995). China and the American Dream: A Moral Inquiry. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520914926.
- Kristof, Nicholas D. (June 21, 1989). "A Reassessment of How Many Died In the Military Crackdown in Beijing". New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Cheng, Kris (December 17, 2018). "Former Chinese official Yuan Mu – who said 'not one person died on Tiananmen' – dies at 90". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved December 18, 2018.