The cable notes that troops, using automatic weapons, had advanced in tanks, armored personnel carriers (APCs), and trucks from several directions toward Tiananmen Square. The cable also reports that the American Embassy believed that the 50-70 deaths reported in the foreign media were probably much too low.
-Tiananmen Square, 1989 The Declassified History
The worst state violence occurred miles away from Tiananmen Square in the western suburbs of Beijing, where, as China expert Jonathan Fenby puts it, there was a "far bigger massacre of non-students".
Hundreds of workers were gunned down in the streets, which is why some people, including many Chinese dissidents, refer to the events as "the Beijing massacre" rather than the "Tiananmen Square massacre".
After initially trying to use non-violent methods to disperse the demonstrators and then telling them they had one hour in which to leave, members of the 27th Group Army opened fire on the crowd with automatic rifles just five minutes later. Snipers rained down bullets from rooftops, troops bayoneted the injured and armoured personnel carriers rolled in, many of which ran over students who had linked arms to form human chains.
The bodies were cleared away by bulldozers for incineration and blood was hosed into the gutters.
Witness of Tiananmen Square
Violence, Government, Communism, Murder
By the morning of June 5 (Eastern Standard Time) the "severity of the assault" had become clear to U.S. officials. This intelligence summary, prepared by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, reports that, "Troops shot indiscriminately into crowds of unarmed civilians, including women and children, often with automatic weapons… Foreign journalists report seeing fleeing protesters shot in the back."
Chinese Troops Fire On Protesters
Excellent Reporting from BBC.
Crime, Violence, Communism, Murder
“An old woman knelt in front of soldiers pleading for students; soldiers killed her,” the embassy reported; “A boy was seen trying to escape holding a woman with a 2-year old child in a stroller, and was run over by a tank”; “The tank turned around and mashed them up”; “Soldiers fired machine guns until the ammo ran out.” So many bullets were fired at Tiananmen that “they ricocheted inside nearby houses, killing many residents,”…
Why doesn't anyone care about the unread Soviet archives? Spring 2010
Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000. Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?
"An old woman knelt in front of soldiers pleading for students; soldiers killed her."
Violence, Government, Protest, Communism, Murder
In 1989, after several weeks of demonstrations, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square on June 4 and fired on civilians. Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to thousands. It has been estimated that as many as 10,000 people were arrested during and after the protests. Several dozen people have been executed for their parts in the demonstrations.
Xu Qinxian (Chinese: 徐勤先; pinyin: Xú Qínxiān) (born 1935) was the commander of the 38th Group Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army who refused to use force against demonstrators in Beijing during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Xu was court-martialed, jailed for five years and expelled from the Chinese Communist Party... Privately, he told friends that he would rather be executed than to be a criminal to history.
Goddess Of Democracy
Image: Ben Schumin
Writing in a contemporary memo that was only declassified last year, Sir Alan expressed his belief that the number of dead was really 10,454 and suggested that the 27th Group Army, “60 per cent illiterate and called primitives”, had been especially chosen for the task because of its reputation for unquestioning obedience.