Tuesday, June 04, 2019

What I Witnessed in 1989 in Beijing

"It cost us 20 million lives to win the rivers and mountains of China.  Do the students believe they can take them from us without payment?"
Remark attributed to Wang Zhen after declaration of martial law in May 1989

"We love the students"
Message scribbled in my notes by a citizen of Beijing in May 1989

As will be apparent from the material I've archived in this post, I was on the scene at Tian An Men Square in Beijing for a good number of significant events in 1989, including June 4th and also May 19, which might have turned out to be even more significant.

A few weeks after I returned to the U.S., I wrote an account of my experiences, submitted it to a national magazine, and received a nice rejection letter stating that “at this stage it does feel a little out of date, considering the volume of testimonies that have been published’.

Considering the saturation coverage the democracy movement had received in the Western press, I couldn’t argue with that assessment, so I tucked my account and my notes into an envelope, where they resided untouched for thirty years.

However, I revisited my old typewritten/handwritten/faxed/photocopied archive yesterday and decided to convert them into digital form and post them here to provide a documentary alternative to the June 4th fetishism (now supercharged by the hope that the CCP will be swept into the dustbin of history as a challenger to US pre-eminence) that infects the Western press and intelligentsia...

...or as Nicholas Kristof put it in one of the endless series of June 4th 30th anniversary commemoratives run by the New York Times in its crusade to embarrass and delegitimize the CCP:

[T]hose of us who witnessed Beijing Spring are confident that eventually, unpredictably, the tide of freedom will roll in again.
Well, some of us who witnessed Beijing Spring harbor certain suspicions that 1989 witnessed a new birth of authoritarianism.

Western nostalgia for 1989 is understandable, because it was the apogee of pro-American sentiment in Beijing.  When I was in the square, locals were inviting the United States to send aid in the form of B 52 bombers, missiles, and even the Mafia (to assassinate Li Peng and Yang Shangkun).  

But in my opinion the simplistic narrative of a democratic movement temporarily balked by authoritarian power simplifies the forces at work, ignores the post-1989 evolution of Chinese sentiment, and encourages the false hope that those (pro-American, regime-shaking) conditions can be conveniently replicated in the 21st century.

The CCP has spent decades studying, developing countermeasures, and evolving to make sure 1989 (and for that matter Tian An Men) don’t happen again.  And the U.S. has spent decades screwing up: stuff like bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, cratering the prestige of liberal democracy through the Iraq War, Great Financial Crisis, Trumpismo, so on and so forth.

As preface to my 1989 material, I offer these observations concerning 1989 (and welcome correction since I have not immersed myself in the history of the movement):

Before the troops entered the city on the evening of June 3, the democracy movement had already been pretty much defeated.  The immense crowds had deserted Tian An Men Square, leaving it to a relatively bedraggled and disorganized group of dead enders.

When Zhao Ziyang visited the square on May 19 and told the students he had “come too late” he was probably expressing his regret that he had been completely outmaneuvered in the factional infighting in the Politburo and terminally botched his attempt, whether motivated by reasons of principle or ambition, to leverage the energies of the popular protests on behalf of his agenda.

I have not followed the minutiae of June 4th historiography, but I would be interested to learn who was the young man in military fatigues who hurried to the square on May 19 (but had his face shielded from cameras) to urgently announce Zhao Ziyang’s removal from the Politburo Standing Committee, thereby rallying the students who were poised to abandon the square that night. 
If Zhao dispatched the messenger, perhaps Deng Xiaoping was generous in simply putting Zhao in cold storage in Sichuan for the rest of his life.  And maybe history is generous in not condemning Zhao for encouraging the students to cling to the square and become a piñata for the PLA.

In my opinion, the 1989 movement was less of a “democracy movement” than a “populist movement” in keeping with the base meaning of the Chinese characters 民主 a.k.a. "rule by the people".  In its rhetoric it largely eschewed direct challenge to the CCP’s right to rule, and instead agitated for accountable rule, to be achieved through increased freedom of expression and association, not multi-party democracy and free elections. 

Undoubtedly for many activists the ultimate goal was to rot the CCP into oblivion through free speech, protest, and agitation and transition to a parliamentary system, but the formal mechanism was “petition” i.e. appealing to the better nature of the CCP’s better leaders to come up with solutions to the Party’s dysfunctional rule.  And Party rule in 1989 was pretty corrupt and pretty inept.

This approach produced a designation of "bad" CCP leaders (Li Peng, Yang Shangkun, Wang Zhen etc.) and the declared hope that "better" CCP leaders (Zhao Ziyang, Wan Li, Xu Xiangqian, Nie Rongzhen) would step up to champion Hu Yaobang's legacy and the student agenda.

Fatally, the ultimate "bad" CCP leader turned out to be Deng Xiaoping & he scotched any hopes of a favorable factional dynamic inside the CCP that would sideline the hardliners.

Tian An Men is very much Deng Xiaoping's bloody baby.

Student hopes of an elite-fracturing factional struggle within the CCP leadership elicited Deng Xiaoping’s otherwise inexplicable fear of a return to the Cultural Revolution and its mobilization of the entirety of Chinese society in political, social, and armed conflict.  

Perhaps for Deng, scuttling around in the caverns beneath Zhong Nan Hai and dreading confrontation with a factional mob reawakened unpleasant memories of his own experiences at the hands of Mao and the Gang of Four…and explained his anger and contempt at Zhao Ziyang for pandering to the students.

The message that Deng imposed on Zhao and the Party was the familiar one of unity of the elite core: hang together or hang separately.  It’s a lesson that the CCP has pretty much taken to heart after the near-death experience of 1989 and the calamity that afflicted post-Soviet Russia.  

And I believe Deng’s outlook determined the endgame of the protests: the bloody assault of June 3-4 and beyond.  The assault was massive and disproportionate so that every Party member was required to stand up, commit to the Party line with positive/extreme action, and share the responsibility…and the guilt.

The posted materials include the rejected magazine piece, Massacre of the Innocents, which I wrote in July 1989.

For historical interest I’ve also directly and completely transcribed the record I compiled immediately after the protests in my hotel from my scribbled notes made while out and about (sample of my field notes below with the statement in Chinese “We love the students” that a Beijing citizen emphatically wrote for me).

The record is reproduced without addition or correction (except for my tongue in cheek references of the protesters’ motorcycle auxiliary as “Deng’s Angels”; I provide the correction to “Flying Tigers”, the name they became commonly known by).  [Bracketed material] was written as part of the record in my hotel in 1989 immediately after the events to supplement and clarify my field notes.

Raw material of history, historians!

 The timestamped material is stuff I directly witnessed.  The other stuff either summarizes conversations with local interlocutors or presents my commentary at that time.

Final note: I am confident of the accuracy of most of my observations, except hearing the crowd sing “The Internationale” at 3:00 AM  on June 4.  When you’re tired and freaked out, your mind can play tricks on you.  I might have dreamed that one.

Massacre of the Innocents

I was on Chang An Avenue west of Tian An Men on the night of the massacre.  Shortly after midnight I walked beyond the XiDan Street barricade—two accordion buses pulled across the intersection.  Down the avenue toward the west I could hear the continuous popping of automatic weapons, and see muzzle flashes and the distant orange glow of a burning bus.  The broad avenue was dotted with anxious knots of people smashing paving stones and pulling apart traffic lights in a desperate search for weapons.  Suddenly, a young man fell in the middle of the street.  A crowd hurriedly gathered around him, picked him up amid shouted instructions, and rushed to a nearby hospital.  The gunfire grew in volume and intensity, and the scattered groups of people were swept off the avenue in a wave of panic.  Tear gas began to fill the air.

I turned and found myself looking into the eyes of a young woman.  She was in her best summer dress and awkwardly gripping two lumps of rubble torn from the sidewalk.  She was struggling to keep control of herself, but her eyes were filling with tears and her voice was cracking.  “Do you see what they’re doing?” she sobbed.  Can you imagine they would do such a thing?  Please, you must go back and tell what you saw.  Please.”  As a chorus of voices echoed her, I was led to the center of the avenue where the young man had fallen and saw the splash of fresh, crimson blood near the median.  Shortly thereafter, the authorities blacked out the western district and the military column began its assault on the intersection.

I had been in and out of Beijing on business several times in the month prior to June 4.  Every time I came back to the capital, I would follow the thousands of people who would stream into Tian An Men Square to visit the students there, read the banners, and gather under the streetlights for excited discussions of politics and strategy.  Every night the city shared a mood dictated by conditions in the square—exhilaration, exhaustion, indignation, or anxiety.  The citizens glowed with pride and self-respect, and the democracy movement acquired an aura of predestined success.

In its earliest stages, the student demonstrations were characterized by a high degree of discipline and organization.  During the hunger strike, direction of traffic in the center of the city was for all intents and purposes surrendered by the police to the students’ Marshals’ Committee, headquartered on the steps of the History Museum east of the square.  Roadways were demarcated by lengths of white cord and reserved for the ambulances carrying a continual stream of hunger strikers to the hospitals. Captains were identified with white headbands and dispatched to the intersections to clear the way and maintain order.

As the scope of the demonstrations grew, the students were joined by workers marching under the banners of their factories , and “independent business men” on their motorcycles forming the famous “Flying Tiger” squad.  With the students receiving open and sub rosa support from the media, government bureaucracy, and even the CCP, it seemed the square was becoming the fulcrum for a truly national political movement.  The enthusiasm probably reached its apogee on May 19, the night martial law was declared.

On that night, it appeared the students were prepared to abandon both the square and their hunger strike.  Around midnight the marshals formed a human chain leading out of the southeast quadrant of the square and began directing the withdrawal of hundreds of students.  One after the other, various university delegations dissolved their distinct, tightly knit encampments, and streamed out of Tian An Men Square.

In the middle of this process a three-wheeled pedicab, several young men balanced precariously on its bed, jounced into the square near the Monument to the Martyrs of the Revolution.  One of their number, dressed in military green, pulled out a battery-powered megaphone and announced to the crowd what he identified as “most correct news”.  His face shielded from TV cameras by the arm of a colleague, he proceeded to details the events of that afternoon’s meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee—the rejection of Zhao Ziyang’s conciliatory approach, his removal, and the ascendancy of Li Peng’s hardline clique.  Moments later, as if to confirm this extremely accurate and timely announcement, the government loudspeakers crackled to life and began booming out the government’s declaration of martial law.

A buzz of indignation ran through the crowd and the squads, which had been leaving, hesitated and returned.  The square became a hive of activity, with a stream of speeches over the students’ PA at the Monument, and spontaneous parades around the perimeter of the square on foot, under banners, or on bicycles with arms linked  Meanwhile, factory trucks filled with defiant workers flashing the V sign began rumbling and down the avenue.

Within the hour, reports were received that the army was attempting to enter the city from the west.  Student teams began to rush off in trucks and bicycles, and the Flying Tigers raced along the avenues unrestricted by the traffic police.  The streets filled with excited people exchanging news and rumors, and hitching rides on trucks headed west.  Sometime trucks pulled away with stragglers trapped in the grasp of passengers on the flatbed, forcing them to do a frantic quickstep to get on board.

Their objective was twenty four army vehicles stopped about 6 miles west of Beijing, around a floodlit traffic circle called Gong Zhu Fen.  I arrived to find the glum and hapless soldiers surrounded by crowds of hectoring students reading statement for their benefit, and for the TV cameras.  The surrounding crowds surged with excitement and energy.  Truckloads of students and Flying Tigers performed ecstatic victory donuts around the circle and roared back into the city.  As dawn filled the east, the residents of Beijing began to appear, walking, jogging, doing Tai Qi, or airing their thrushes in cloth-hooded cages.  The first morning bus lumbered down Chang An Avenue was stopped by a crowd of students imploring the driver to join the general strike—and he did.

Walking homeward, I reached the official party residence—Zhong Nan Hai, west of the square—as the soldiers trooped out to the great flagpole in the cool, pale morning for the daily raising of the colors.  The doorway was hung with tattered student banners and a press of haggard young people surrounded the squad.  An expressionless captain fixed the PRC flag to the lanyard and hoisted it.  He stiffly snapped a salute, and the students joined in a ragged rendition of the Chinese national anthem.  It seemed as if a great and fundamental change had occurred.

The first week of martial law began with a flush of optimism.  Citizens gathered in the square every night to protect the student demonstrators, and the streets were filled with the thunder of the Flying Tigers, which had grown into an immense squadron of nearly 250 Hondas, Suzukis, and mopeds.  So long as the army didn’t enter the city, every sunrise was a victory, and the downfall of Li Peng was predicted daily.

However, it is easy to see in retrospect that the students’ cause was lost on May 20, at the declaration of martial law.  The hunger strike was abandoned and the students were left without a concrete program or strategy to oppose a government which refused to engage in any sort of dialogue.

Meanwhile, the government consolidated direction of the army during meetings in Wuhan with the commanders of the military districts.  PLA forces were stationed in TV and newspaper offices to reestablish control over the media.  It was common knowledge that troops were infiltrating into the center of the city through a honeycomb of tunnels which connect the Forbidden City, Great Hall of the People, and History Museum to secure locations outside the city.  Enormous military forces—estimated at well over 200,000 strong—were rushed to Beijing and massed in the suburbs.

In the city, work units began to tighten control over their personnel and their vehicles, and compiled detailed records of pro-democracy activities.  The Flying Tigers were crippled by arrests (informants had joined their nightly processions and noted their license numbers) and thus the students lost their reassuring thunder—and mobility.  A temporary tax of 200% on inward remittances cut off most of the demonstrators’ funds from Hong Kong, and petty harassments such as interruption of water supplies to the square further drained their strength and resolve.  Finally, the government made its first overt move against the movement, arresting three members of the workers’ independent union on June 3. 

The tragedy of June 4 was rehearsed the night before—as farce.  At 2:00 AM I was awakened by somebody bicycling under my window shouting “Comrades! Get up! Get up!”   Moments later I heard the synchronized slap of thousands of tennis shoes as an immense column of soldiers trotted down Chang An Avenue.  They were without rifles or military jackets, and extraordinarily young-looking.  In fact, I first mistook them for a contingent of Young Pioneers, the communist party youth corps.  I ran ahead toward the Beijing Hotel and saw that an excited crowd had gathered at the Dong Dan intersection.

As the column approached the people frantically began to pull the median dividers across the street to block the troops’ advance.  At first they tried to erect their barricades across the road too close to the head of the column, and the troops brushed them aside.  The citizens ran down the road and repeated the process fifty yards onward—with the same result.  Finally, in front of the Beijing Hotel, two municipal vehicles drove up to block the road to the accompaniment of excited cheers from the crowd.  At the same time the vanguard of the troops allowed themselves to be herded into the bicycle lane and sandwiched between its divider and the sidewalk fence.  They were enveloped by a crowd of shouting, grasping people and their discipline quickly cracked.  Young soldiers broke from the column either to join the people or escape the harassment, and others, trapped in the center of the column, began pitching their hats and gear into the air.  Some clambered over the fence and began straggling out of town on the sidewalk. Finally, someone from the square appeared with a megaphone and began shouting instructions, which were universally ignored.  As the column dissolved, the crowd roared in unison “Go back! Go back!”  A pedicab drove off toward the square with a meagre pile of trophies—hats, jackets, and so on—for a victory lap.

There was immediate speculation that this fiasco had been organized by the government in order to discredit the unreliable units of the Beijing Military Command which had taken part in the march.  Less attention was paid to the fact that this inept thrust had demonstrated the tactical helplessness of the student movement.  After the fall of Zhao Ziyang, the students were clearly bereft of information concerning government actions and troop movements.  The streets had been cleared of the Flying Tigers and commandeered trucks, and student messengers had to traverse the vast distances of Beijing municipality by bicycle.  Students from the local colleges had, in large part, returned to their campuses, leaving the square to arriving students from outlying cities—who were perhaps more extreme, less organized, and with no clear strategy other than to cling to the square until a hoped-for meeting of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress and a presumed political solution.  Finally, the students and the people of Beijing were exhausted, worn down by tension, exhilaration, and an endless succession of sleepless nights.  The next night brought the whirlwind they were totally unprepared for.

On the afternoon of June 3, I walked down Chang An Avenue and through the square.  The main road was extensively barricaded and virtually impassable to motorized traffic.  Near the Zhong Nan Hai party compound there were unsettling signs of violence from a skirmish an hour before: three smashed vehicles, a traffic kiosk with its windows knocked out, glass littering the intersection—and seven anxious police trapped in a van by an angry crowd.  One man came up to me and showed a blunt, grey-brown trophy—a tear gas canister.  It was the first time force had been used in the city center.

In front of the Great Hall of the People, I came across a hollow rectangle of several hundred determined-looking troops in full battle dress.  A young man wandered through it with blood streaming copiously over his face and shirt from a scalp wound, his mouth gaping and hands raised in a universal gesture of lamentation.  A murmur ran through the crowd but no one spoke or stepped forward.

That night around midnight, having heard a report on CNN of new troop movements, I made my way past the barricades to the square once more.  There was a swirl of disassociated activity going on, with the main student PA at the monument competing with another, in the northern quarter, which was ineffectually attempting to interest the crowd in the dedication of “Democracy University”.  I paid my final respects to the Goddess of Democracy and followed a stream of angry young people striding westward on Chang An Avenue toward the Zhong Nan Hai compound.  For the first time I saw people carrying clubs—actually pathetic switches torn from the sapling by the road—and gathering piles of broken bricks. The entrance to the compound was ringed by tense and angry people confronting a line of troops in battle dress.

I was waiting for a shout, a push, or a slogan which would send the crowd surging against the troops, but it never came.  Instead, we watched two young men engage in a painstaking and farcical attempt to drape a ripped sheet over the security camera mounted on a lamp pole across from the compound entrance.  Shortly after midnight they succeeded in clambering up the pole and stuffing a plastic pail over the lens, and were rewarded with a half-derisory, half congratulatory cheer.

In the next moment we hear a distant wave of rumbling and popping which might have been summer thunder, but turned out to be the first sounds of the army assault from the west at Mu Xi Di.  Twenty minutes later I found myself outside the barricade at Xi Dan Street as the armed column began sweeping down the avenue to crush the democracy movement in the center of the capital.

June 4 was not the triumph of age over youth, or the past over the future.  It was the victory of the party elders led by Deng Xiaoping—creators and masters of the party-state juggernaut, with decades of revolutionary experience—over naïve students and untested second generation party bureaucrats.
Declaration of martial law hamstrung the students’ movement while concentrating authority and effective control in the hands of the hardline Martial Law Command.  But bringing the army to Beijing served a broader purpose.  It created an atmosphere of intense political crisis which enabled Deng Xiaoping to initiate an extensive and draconian purge of Chinese society which is still going on today.

This opportunity brought with it a historical conundrum—how to mobilize the army and still maintain control of it.  Addressing this problem, Deng Xiaoping also showed that the innocent patriotic optimism of the students was no match for the old men who had created and manipulated the PLA for half a century.  As the democracy movement learned to its bitter cost, in China, the Party—despite its ideological impotence and the bankruptcy of its political and economic leadership—is the only organization capable of exacting obedience from China’s fractious military.

The traditional approach—splitting the PLA into competing armies isolated in garrisons far from Beijing—would not serve, since units had to be brought into the capital.  Instead, Deng Xiaoping allowed the Martial Law Army to become a vehicle for the ambitions of President Yang Shangkun and his family, while bringing in dozens of neutral or hostile armies and creating a welter of competing loyalties and ambitions to be manipulated by Deng’s Central Military Commission.

The massive mobilization effectively neutralized the threat of unilateral PLA action but in the process virtually assured a violent and costly military solution to the unarmed civilian occupation of Tian An Men Square.  It was rumored that the 27th Army—commanded by Yang Shangkun’s son-was designated to lead the assault and threatened with 2 years’ imprisonment as a unit if it did not carry out its orders and reach the square on the morning of June 4.  In the event, it took something more than six hours and well over 2000 lives.

The column advancing into Tian An Men Square from the west was a lethal motorcade of armored personnel carriers and transports filled with troops.  It rammed through the barricades at Xi Dan and established a strong point at the intersection, continually spraying the approaches with automatic rifle fire in the air, at the feet, and at chest height.

I took cover in an alley parallel to Chang An Street.  It was filled with people sheltering from the continual hail of gunfire outside.  A pedicab creaked by on the way to the hospital, with a man lying on the bed in the back.  He was naked from the waist up, and very still.  A white towel pressed against the center of his chest showed a brilliant red dot.

I spent the next two hours huddled in a tiny courtyard near the intersection with a group of grim young Chinese.  Some embraced silently, others murmured in an undertone beneath the continual crackle of rifle fire about casualties, tactics, and the future.  Two were wounded, and the group tried to turn its concentration to treating them.  We watched under flashlight as a foot with an arterial wound pulsed and bled slowly through its bandages into a porcelain basin.  An old couple brought out a minute bottle of iodine, which was diligently inspected for its expiration date and conscientiously applied.  Finally, one of the residents took a door off its hinges to serve as a stretcher and the wounded young man was sent off with bearers and guide on the perilous journey to the local hospital.

About 3:00 AM, a powerful chorus filled the air—a mass of people on Chang An Street were singing the “Internationale”.  The gunfire rose in a crescendo to meet it and after a few minutes the voices fell silent.  I thought, this is what the end of the world must sound like: choirs and machine guns.

Shortly thereafter, the two-hour barrage of gunfire ceased and quiet filled the intersection.  There was a gentle ‘whump’ and the sky over the rooftop in front of us filled with orange fire and black smoke.  We ventured outside and found the intersection deserted except for three burning buses and a few onlookers.  I struck out on the two-hour walk back to the hotel.

As I crossed the Bei Hai bridge to the northwest of the Forbidden City, I could faintly hear the government loudspeakers from Tian An Men echoing across the lake, ordering the students to obey the martial law army.  Hardfaced old men and women had appeared on the sidewalks on the back streets, perched on miniature bamboo stools.  Passersby warned me in anxious whispers to “Be careful!” since I was being followed, and directed me down alleys and side streets.

Dawn broke over a fearful and subdued city.  A pedestrian told me 3000 were dead.  I ducked into my hotel through the garage entrance at 5:00 AM, just as dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers rumbled past its door.  The democracy movement was crushed and the massacre of the innocents, for that night, at least, was over.

It is eerily appropriate that very few students died inside Tian An Men Square.  The real targets were outside—not only the thousands who died on the roads leading into and surrounding the square, but the hundreds of thousands of students, workers, and small-time businessmen, the bureaucrats, intelligentsia, and reporters who dared to challenge the party’s hegemony.

As the depth and extent of the purges becomes clearer, the suspicion grows that the bloodshed of June 4 was not born of accident, panic, or military necessity.  Through gross provocations, whether by incompetence or design, the authorities preserved a nucleus of defiant young people in the center of the city, which could justify the assault and the cynical post-facto discovery of a counter-revolutionary conspiracy.

Certainly, Deng Xiaoping had to avoid the hollow triumph of peacefully occupying an empty square; very possibly he had to move up the timetable for the final assault to prevent his army’s advance from being outpaced by the retreat of the rapidly ebbing democracy movement.  The unpopular and isolated hard-line junta needed martial law in order to consolidate its control over the party and state organs.  It needed victims, and found them, young and eager, on the streets of Beijing on the morning of June 4, 1989.

Little more than a month has passed, and the Chinese government is trying to bury the memory of the tragedy in Tian An Men Square beneath a mountain of words.  Nevertheless, it is doubtful that the tautological perfection of Communist propaganda will make the people forget that their government failed them so completely—and so needlessly.  If the students were the soul of China, that soul is now scarred and embittered.  

During that final night, as we watched the laden stretcher wind away down the alley, an old woman turned to me and said bitterly, “Without the students, China has nothing.  Come back in two years and you will see.  No civilization, no nation.  There will be nothing left.  Nothing.”

Below my notes from mid-May to early June 1989

Fax: Events of May 19 – 21
Cover sheet
Central areas honeycombed with tunnels (constructed same time as subway) running to Zhang Jia Kou.  Probably many soldiers in GHOP, Worker’s Park.  Soldiers infiltrating in plainclothes, hundreds seized. 
Maybe fabricate incident like rushing GHOP for bloodbath.  27 + 38 armies turned, kept away to avoid propagandizing other units.  Govt lying, telling Shanghai that Beij people trying to manipulate them.  Beida hunger strikers not cheating, tho others sneak candy bar.  Should take some milk.  Supporters espec weak, get little water, travelling 4-5 hrs/day.  Wan Li sent cable saying only PC Congress can issue martial law decree, so Li’s decree illegal.  200 PC reps can form quorum, declare govt illegal.  Students don’t hv administrative leader, don’t what to do.  Maybe Yang Jicun could lead.  D hates them, an animal.  Destroyed Muslim village to babies in 60s, don’t dare hv any involvement w/ demos fear of arrest as hostages.  People going into hiding. 

Fax body


Walked to square first around 10:00 PM.  Entry to square at southern quarter, student marshals keeping lanes clear for ambulances.  Didn’t seem to be much going on, local students going out of the square, out of town students going in.  Went back to hotel, CNN said Zhao out and square supposed to be cleared at midnight, so I took a taxi to Xinqiao and walked over.
11:50 Wuer Kaixi spoke, sounding weak, asked everyone to stay calm and united, said he’d been in hospital 2 days.
Midnight broadcast news.  Fast enters 8th day “please drink water”
12:30 Guy in uniform says “reliable news” Zhou [sic Zhao] gone, Li GenSec by 4 to 1 vote (only Wan Li backed).  Photo’d by CBC guy [crowd yelled at him not to turn on light & photograph.  Friend put arm around spokesman and hid side of S-man’s face w/ megaphone.  They were standing on cart pedaled into square].
12:45 Li Peng speech w/ applause [on tape].  Movement is Dongluan.  Back to school/to work
12:52 Yang Shangkun supports.  Very vigorous voice.  It’s “anarchy” (wuzhengfu).  “Capital can’t be capital:  “Very serious”  PLA must come into Beijing.  Unavoidable since order can’t be maintained.  Police too tired.  “Not against students but to maintain normal Beijing life, protect some key organizations and depts.”
[some people in square] making fun of Yang’s accent “Shou guo jiao yu ma?” [Yang says] pls forgive and support.
Meeting of everybody [Announcer read list of orgs attending]
Li Ximin [Pek mayor] “Firm measures against chaos  Crowd boos.  “Things were OK before beginning of April—oops, May, then chaos.  More & more students, demo.  Traffic jammed orgs attacked.  Affected production, order.  Hunger strike “not completely” over.  Students sick.  Small minority manipulating 其与人道主义也不讲 (really upset [sound in his voice]) Sincerely asked to stop hunger strike, then dialogue, [?]
1:05 北京工业大学[students march through square] look serious [chant] 不怕, “Li Peng 胡说 Li [says] serious danger to PRC won by our blood
Students hearts are good [Li] “disturbing order doesn’t achieve objectives, just the opposite” “small, small minority creating chaos to achieve ends [which] can’t be realized through proper legal channels/ 
[Their objectives]
1.        Deng, ccp leadership
2.       Socialist [system]
3.       Attack anti bourgeois [liberalism]
1:10 “attack the great Deng Xiaoping.  Attack legal govt people’s dictatorship.  Trying to ignite fire, destroy reform.  Take away China’s hope”     
[govt exercised] one month of restraint, no other govt could do this(derisive cheers)
1:13 外语学院 [marches thru] 
Li speech continues
Rep[air?] party/govt order 
1)      Immediately stop hunger strike, leave square, restore health
2)      Students, levels of societies [sic] stop demonstrations, support of student
Speech goes on, people do some yawning (1:18)
“Class boycotters ‘unconditionally’ return”
1:21 Yang Shangkun again endorses
Citizens of Tianjin parade by
Yang complaining about disruption of Gorbachev’s visit
Repeats necessary for PLA to come in (seems to be repeating first remark).  [speech was being broadcast continuously]
Banner 军民一心反对独裁 students and army must oppose arbitrary power
Broadcast over
1:38 bus circling on west side of square: speaks against Li, Yang, singing International 
Students [in square] stand up, link arms in double line to keep outsiders separate
Shangrila hotel banner
1:45 people [ ] Crowd after bus which is circling square
工人急了people starting to get excited.  Continue to repeat speech [broadcast].  Little knots of people agitatedly discussing strategy (saying they’ll come in both sides of  长安街, should block streets.
People going thumbs up because they think I’m a journalist
1:45 students up + singing
N[orthern] 3rd of square almost empty
1:59 bus starts moving, ??, TV lights
2:04 Xibei march through 2:05 bus with lights
People blocking army trucks [all student hunger strike 5/20 if troops enter [heard this news]
2:20 Crowded trucks to square
[I was told trucks blocked west of city and saw many trucks filled with students driving in that direction.  I left Tiananmen and began walking west on Chang An street] 
2:38 march outside 中南海 [sing] 起来
2:45 accident, red sedan speeds, sideswipes but, no one stops
[walked way out to Gongzhufen.  People on streets, cars speeding back + forth]
4:30 25 trucks w/ soldiers stuck at Gongzhufen.  Catechizing students, trucks of supporters doing victory laps
5:10 复兴门”Strike” “Strike”
5:21 street lights go off
5:35 first bus at  东单.  Try to persuade driver to strike.  Students get on.
5:50 flag raised at 中南海.  Students sing national anthem in ragged manner, applaud when finished.
[walked back to jianguo.  Got there 7:15.
10:00 martial law
11:32 CNN ground link goes off
[PM take a taxi find no activity on  北三环,  Go south]
14:50 Baiyunlu 5 army trucks and soldiers surrounded
16:00 东高地[near Nanyuan Airport] 3 jeeps 3 box [like communications? Trucks] 47 armored personnel carriers 4 trucks w/ trailers 9 troop trucks w/ 40 guys.  Been there 20 hours   航空学院’s got them.
Announced 1) 30 students injured in clash this morning, in  丰台hospital.  2) 天安门 water cut off, need help to restore
16:36 6 [army] trucks w/ troops withdrew at Yongdingmen, waving V signs [from troops]
[Saw barricade of buses at 三环建门外 intersection]
[Took taxi downtown then ?? streets]
22:35 “daoqiang bu ru” don’t fear knives or guns
Lining the streets thickly after Jianguomen10:42 “keep alert don’t sleep”
Crowds on Dongdan bridge, traffic a mess, better after Dong Dan.
Southside of Changan kept free for ambulances
23:00 Down w/ Li Peng

In square
23:11 [organizers] thanking people of Beijing for support
22:15 overheard estimate 300-400 k [people] in square
Fountains working mood calm but alert
23:20 medical workers collecting contributions.  Half of street around 天安门roped off for spectators
23:33 people expecting action 2-3 am after crowd of onlookers thins out
23:35 motorcycle squad seems big, well over 150 bikes
[didn’t expect anything to happen –army too far away – so walked back to Jianguo]
06:40 woken up by helicopters
11:00 CNN reported rumors of troops in Great Hall of People, Forbidden City.  Think the govt might try something, maybe tear gas attack and rush square—government willing to risk violent confrontation for one stroke at Tiananmen to finish problem –wouldn’t take political risk of battle on outskirts, mobilization inside.  There are disciplined units out there waiting to use force against citizens for a strategically worthwhile objective.  Assume they can infiltrate troops to forbidden city/ghop thru secret tunnels a/w/a subway.
After Hu’s death the students demanded dialogue and moves against corruption.  The govt was paralyzed since everyone, including Zhao, have children w/ dirty hands.  The govt knew dialogue would lead to corruption accusations, so their attitude was consistently hostile.
If anything the emergence of reporters as the first supporters reinforced this hostility.
I think there was always an unspoken understanding that the students were pursuing a provocative course, and wishing to embarrass the leadership.  Normally one would expect more acceptable leaders to be put forward, but Zhao was not yet properly qualified, and a clear alternative wasn’t available.  Nevertheless because of deep distaste for the leadership, the public was willing to watch the leadership be embarrassed.  
The hunger strike was a masterstroke showing that the leadership was willing to let the students die rather than submit to the embarrassment of a dialogue. This turned public distaste into positive dislike for the regime.  Zhao cleverly began to make himself palatable to the students.  On the night of 4/29 it was reported Zhao ah offered 1) to take blame for the editorial 2) allow investigation of his 2 corrupt sons, presenting himself as the one leader willing to face up to the corruption issue, thereby restoring public confidence and enabling the country to be led.
It is difficult to think of a more politically maladroit leader than Li Peng.  As soon as he mentioned “dong luan” (recapitulating the 4/26 editorial) he incurred the visceral disgust of the populace.
When the people emerged and joined the students, dialogue became the only morally/politically viable response.
Cities, especially capitals, do not forgive the leaders who order their occupation.  He can have no real future except as the puppet of the hardliners.  Even they see him as a potential political sacrifice.
1)      天安门square forcefully and successfully occupied ( maybe dawn tomorrow since I don’t think those helicopters like to fly at night).  Li stays on top o repressive and unpopular regime.  Zhao stays out of the limelight
2)      2) Military operation fails, Zhao (whose removal has nt been announced) reemerges as leader of a conciliation regime
What do the students want?  An accountable government.  I still find it amazing that in the face of the popular outpouring that the government still delivers policy statements, like Li Peng’s speech, as an after-reported by product of his statement to an enlarged meeting.  No attempt has been made to win 人心 by addressing the public directly on TV as our presidents are so adept at doing.
So accountability, a government obligation to justify its activities to the public.  To achieve these ends, press freedom, more open discussion, emerging pluralism in the party, perhaps leading to a multi-party system.  I think its govt fear of attack on corruption and criticism of failed policies concern them more than preserving the principle of democratic centralism.
Tactically, I don’t think the students are in good shape now.  They will win the war but maybe lose this battle.  The strict news blackout and party discipline will prevent any official shifts prior to the first major confrontation.  If the students are routed from the square, they better have a good alternative ready.  Demonstrations against Li Peng? A general strike?
If the students want to win the confrontation in the square, maybe they should move the hunger strikers

13:10 第二外语学院 in Tongxian occupied by military.  Worker’s park full of troops.  Train station not occupied.
Bunch of tanks at wanquan n. of summer palace.  People getting tired, not too many in square today.
16:15 fast ended, food urgently needed.  Drive thru square, watchers few, don’t see many ambulances, truck w/ supporters.  Big character posters at Dong Dan.
Central areas honeycombed with tunnels built at same time as subway.
8:45 Deng’s Angels [sic Flying Tigers] go by with enormous Chinese flag.  Maybe 200+ cycles
9:32 leave hotel
9:36 people crowding on Hino tour bus, can’t close door
9:44 emergency notice in front of friendship store govt to kill 200,000 before 5;00 AM, arrest a big bunch of people
9:48 another poster “300,000”
9:52 loty of people on 二环bridge talking, sitting
10:00 敢死banner  passes International Hotel
10:03 big crowd at train station.  Normal train announcement “271 to Dandong” parking lot normal.  Troops withdrawn inside.  English tear gas trucks used yesterday.  4 trucks?
“5:00 out, 7:00 clean up [square], jails ready”
10:20 little old ladies, ask for US support.  Can red cross help? UN? Send 2 B-52s?  complain govt corrupt, forced to buy bonds.  Deng’s son incompetent + rich.  People seem eager to talk tonight.
10:22 lot of people coming to train station.  Push accordion bus out to block entrance to train station.
10:28 restaurants around Chongwenmen open for bss
10:34 2 buses across e-w street at Chongwernmen.  Plan to seal completely at 11:00 PM.  More buses blocking e +S intersections.  People sitting on buses.  Highway dividers stretched across intersection, still leaving path for bikes.  Kids with headbands sitting at blocked-off subway entrance.
10:43 Deng’s angels [sic Flying Tigers] go eastward apprx 200.  Bit roar
10:49 Taijitang intersection not blocked.
“government too corrupt” ask for US govt help [missiles]
10:52 crowd of people surround + applaud + shake hand say US embassy man in square.  Say they have 1000 knives and bricks.
10:54 announce Shougang squad advancing on square”60-70,000 broadcast from? Bike
11:05 street not blocked near square, small march comes, 北京市民自治委
11:10 Qianmen not blocked off, lot of people, citizen [watch] neon sign still on.  Western approach [to southern gate] of qianmen gate blocked (2 buses pulled from parking lot).  Main western road unblocked.
11:15 Deng’s angels [sic flying tigers] pass Qianmen
11:18 people sleeping at BOC, China Insurance Co.  All bright lights on in square?
11:22 splitting street in front of GHOP of line of people w/ linked arms
11:25 sign “Li Peng 下台” w/ LP upside down.  Piles of garbage at monument.  Overcast.  Moon not bright.
Beijing music academy w/ banner “we must win” singing beautifully [enter] north part of square just w of [GHOP] main entrance.  [Controlled entry for those w/ student IDs only].  Reserved for students.
11:30 soda delivery. Sign on bus “oppose fascist ?”
11:36 [govt] broadcast reliable news.  7:00 keji daxue visit to Nie rongzhen, denies rumor of military action, just to protect order.  Students pls help, pls leave and go back to school.  Quiet on north part of square.  Most people sleeping.
11:50 don’t seem to be too many students.  Continually broadcasting govt statement.  Students very calm.
市民敢死队seems attitude of ?
12:00 Wuerkaixi ?? pek citizens.  Everybody [Pek citizens] to east side of GHOP but no real movement.
Said Bush openly supported [students]
12:00 reliable news.  Hoisted down ?
12:06 broadcst starts “all marchers return to square.  Stop marching + gather together.  PA system having some trouble
12:07 stop coming in temporarily.  Those inside maintain order
12:11 party member condemns li peng declaration as illegal
12:15 Students stand up [in] separate schools “act independently” demand emergency meeting of Politburo/People’s Congress, Li Peng, Deng leave office.  “everybody get organized”
12:25 Teams forming up, need ambulance w/ speaker
Banner: Madder [sic ?] Xu Xiangqian said yesterday execute anybody who suppresses students.
A lot of supporters in suburbs to block troops
12:35 broadcast.  Examine credentials of ambulance chauffeurs.
12:36 keep calm
12:37 order 学生敢死队to gather at left side of memorial hall.
12:40 [keji] said they didn’t contact w/ Nie Rongzhen
12:43 student association.  We are not withdrawing just mobilizing.  Stay calm
12:49 passing out gas masks (toss in air [a handful of gauze masks])   
12:50 music [broadcast].  Anthem?  PA sucks.  “If this keeps up (for several more days) Beijing citizens can’t take it any more” [guy at square]
1:11 open letter to PLA.  No attacks on organizations [per] li Peng’s dongluan speech.  Local soldiers wavering, so need to call in others.  Zhao represents  民主yundong.  [Soldiers] don’t want to go down in history as criminals.
市民敢死队 passes
1:20 announce some supportive declarations.  Leave square for west side?
1:30 reps of universities come up for important matter
1:32 music again1:37 not too many people on 长安street.
1:41 maybe 1000 bicyclists + 2nd squad [pass]
1:44 girl writes “we love students” in my notes
市民纠察会on steps of history museum
1:49 Xinhuashe banner marches around square [maybe most important banner that night]
2:00 Deng’s Angels [sic Flying Tigers]
2:28 read supportive statement from Xinhua editors, no violence, show no chaos, right on our side.

2:37 square very quiet, lots of people sleeping
2:51 at Qianmen student says keji daxue students mentioned in govt report [as meeting w/ Nie Rongzhen] don’t exist.  Pancake sellers busy
3:00 Wuerkaixi: troops reached city by subway?  General movement.  No panic.  Student organizers go to lavatory.
3:07 70 students with linked hands go east on Chang An st
3:11 Music + movement in north side of square.  Many lavatory stops.
3:15 speech, interest + applause from crowd {broadcast dissn by various schools if they should withdraw}
3:16 woman: we won’t withdraw
3:17 Wuerkaixi everyone in square.  We won’t withdraw.
Emotional peroration
3:20 people going across street into square
3:25 keep cool.  Won’t withdraw.  Not one person (schools giving opinions on whether to withdraw.  Troops still blocked, maybe troops in city wont advance unless armored units support.  Maybe students [would] withdraw to embassy section [in extremis].  Troops don’t know Zhao removed.
3:40 敢死队lap.
3:41 Deng’s angels [sic flying tigers] plus contingent of several dozen autos.
“If not for cycles, army would have made it in the first night”
Train station 13 cars of troops in passenger wagons, no armor
3:53 ranks of bicycles 10 across right arms on left shoulder [of neighbors].
3:56 bikes ”going to 二环
[citizen opinion] “if martial law can’t be imposed in 48 hours, it’s failed”
Many [?]
4:06 crowd seems relaxed
“Current situation ‘feudal dictatorship’”
Wan Li also resigned?
4:22 big bike procession.  Then deng’s angels [sic flying tigers] in a cloud of diesel fumes and honking horns.
4:30 “Should strike to workers can support students”
4:35 Deng’s angels [sic flying tigers], followed by sedan corps
4:40 movement to west street
Human chain ? chanting
Xinhuashe marches past, singing.
4:48 Deng’s angels [sic flying tigers] again.  People/bikes.  Big bike army comes out.
5:02 nothing new at N of square [take a] nap
5:20 sky lightening.  People seem to be leaving lights off
5:27 bikes pass thru
5:30 pek govt martial law [directorate] inflammatory broadcast. Demand [stop to] maintaining barricades, commandeering cars, blocking roads, ??, causing concern + uneasiness, motorcycle team endanger life + limb
Rumor stop
Outsiders leave
Back to work
Assist martial law
Traffic police back to work
Stop barricades
5:40 big hand for 2 motorbikes
5:45 guys says “Danger.  Drag this thing out –two days, some  名堂, they’re not sleeping, they’re thinking.”
People leaving square in large numbers
6:02 buses still block Chang An Jie.  At Dongdan enthusiastic rally at intersection. “Stay in Tiananmen til final victory”
6:08 Many big delegations arriving to square, 高中,安阳, Zhengzhou, Hebei, 四川 Tibetans
“Maybe should withdraw, leave empty square for army [to occupy]”

5/22 day slept

Deng goes to Wuhan to “stabilize the south” talk to military commander.  Soldiers in station on platforms 6-8
News 10:00 positive film report on square
Train station has station to help students home, but also mention more students coming in
Mention state council, news + others in march.  No mention of numbers
Subway back to normal
Very few accidents this week
6:00 heard “big news to be announced in 10 hrs”
9:30 pm Gongzhufen/Liuliqiao people but no troops.  Two buses to block, also logs, only on northbound side
Mao’s portrait in square covered w/ dropcloth.  Crane next to it.  Driver said “maybe to hide his face from incompetent govt” [actually cnn reported portrait defaced, students captured them y turned over to authorities]
Jieyan actually curfew, not martial law (军营).  For instance, in the past on national day people cud only go ontheir doorstep or go to parade in organized group.
Think government breathed a big sigh of relief when this became a vendetta against Li Peng.  A challenge to the regime by a popular movement transformed into attack on one faction by other enfranchised group, and the predictable, controllable minuet of cables, news reports, rumor and television footage begins.  Calls for structural change are ignored, the issue of accountability is sidestepped, and the party remains the father and mother of the people (the flip side of one party dictatorship), not its partner n governance.  (people can only participate as victim in extremis to incite removal of leader for criminal misconduct, but legal y political process still in state hands.  People’s congress scheduled for mid-June.  Students demanding earlier dates.  Li Ruihuan spoke favorably on TSN TV.
Rumor that Hainan repudiated Li as premier.
During parades, tanks need special rubber treats, o/wise tear up street.
Yang Shangkun’s army [sic son?] general of army at Fengtai


B**advised HK paper says Deng called Zhao traitor y counterrevolutionary.  Wan Li returning home ahead of schedule.
Students must hold on until NPC y hv favorable outcome.  Want 新闻法&游行法。


Wuerkaixi bad student, flunked out of Nationalities  U + has failing grades at Beijing Normal.  Student leaders not of high caliber.  Maybe no change til emperor dies.  He has qigong experts come in to do healing.  Wan Li old bridge buddy who might survive.  All units have to organize “Weiwen” groups to visit soldiers.  Zhao exceeded instructions in ADB speech, also didn’t mention bourgeois liberalism in prior speech as instructed by Li Peng.  Does D’s son have $3.7 B in US acct?  “Who would have thought workers would have supported students?  Or cooled off so quickly?”
5/30 20fot spirit of liberty statue.  3 workers just arrested arnd 6:00 pm by plainclothesmen in front of Beijing hotel.  Crowd gathering in front of 公安部
5/28 Liu Mang & Lao Hundan = Wei Zhengfu
Govt broadcast letter of thanks to martial law & capital protecting army
15:07 brooms from keji daxue
15:10 broadcast 5 citizens [from 西城区]thank army.  88 toothbrushes, 150 toothpaste, 150 soap, 150 towels to martial law army.
Tourist bureau delivers food to army.  Daily chemicals factory delivers detergent.
Different atmosphere in square every night—tense, exultant, apathetic, weary.  Tonight it’s bring the family to see the gypsum liberty statue made by zhongyang meishu yuan.  Oldsters on pedal carts, families on bikes, crowding around statue taking flash pictures.  Very big crowd
21:09 talking about plainclothes provocateurs investigated by marshals
21:28 外高联definitely won’t leave
2130 是高联definitely won’t withdraw
Apprx 100 red + blue collapsible nylon nikko tents donated by HK Chinese in front of museum
21:37 concert cancelled “be calm” no activity tonight
21:40 taped music
Maybe 20 years from now there will be a bronze replica of the liberty statue on that spot
Wuerkaixi had lunch in Pek Hotel yesterday w/ 2 companions.  Units being ordered to make preparations to welcome the army.  Many motorcyclists being arrested (plainclothesmen rode w/ them notig license numbers).  Have 3 days to report to police & have license/cycle confiscated.  Units reporting in meeting who went to square how many times, what money given.  200% duty on inward remittances by special order of state council.  Army should have come in yesterday or today.  Outside students more extreme and confrontational than Beijingers.

Fax to US received 7 pm Sunday June 4, 1989

6/2 (6/3 am) heard cries of comrades Get Up & sound of big marching forces at 2:00 am, ran to square. 
1:50 [troops] pass Jianguo.  2:20 at Dong Dan.  [People] start putting up barricades.
2:30 Peking hotel
2:35 Hui qu! [Go back!] chant.
2:37 water truck blocks
2:38 orange + black truck [blocks Chang An Jie].  “UC on water truck”  Zhongyang Meishuyuan banner in lead.  Troops stopped.  One soldier leaves, crying.  [Person says] “Bu da, bu da” [Don’t hit him.
2:42 “Sit down” [but no one did]
2:43 Chant “zuo xia” [but no one did].  [Troops] advanced to textile ministry [door].
2:45 cheering, Hui qu.  Soldier throws out cap.
“10:00 Wang Fu St. blocked”.  3 killed by military car “accident”
2:49 Bull horn appears
2:50 Push [by soldiers] at line [of people].  Trucks across “Nanchi’ [Street west of peking Hotel.  Troops blocked on Street west of Peking Hotel, resigned, relieved, couple 100.
2:57 “unfurl your banner” [old citizen to student]
2:58 soldier start jump over fence in disarray, turning into crush [?].
3:01 “withdraw PLA, ai renmin”  [love the people]

[Soldiers] tired & bewildered. People applauding “huanying´[“welcome”]
3:04 soldier born away on cart.  Collapsed soldier “just kids [said in Chinese]
3:07 [some soldiers try to walk south on] Wangfujing.  “Go straight, can’t go south”.  Soldiers demoralized, disarray, sneakers, rolled up trouser legs
3:10 “? Disorder” cheer for bus [at square].  Telling you 4 died at Mu Xi Di 9near Gong Zhu Fen
3:40 [sic]  cart of discarded military clothing.  Trucks still parked west of Peking Hotel.
3:22 Triumphal clothing cart proceeds to square, gathering bikes.
3:30 Clothing cart goes to square.  “Are there knives in there?” “Yes” [later said plan to quarrel & attack students with knives]
3:32 [guys on bikes at squre chant] “Beijing ren jinlaile” “The Pekingers have arrived”.  “Li Peng liumang” “Li Peng is a hooligan”
3:35 [students at memorial]  play tape with poetry and music over PA.
[Read chuandan under Jianguomen]: US $45 billion proceeds from corruption in overseas accounts.  RMB 5.7 billion for cars and 40 billion for da he da chi [boozing and feasing] while 200 million are hungry.  700,000 supposed to march for government on June 2 [told for bonus of RMB 10/head bu no one came out].
[When I first saw troops marching past Jianguo to square, I thought they were young pioneers, they were so young.  Also, their tactics were so inept, I thought they might represent units insufficiently loyal to Deng who were force-marched 20 km from Tongxian for a job thery were sure to fail, so Deng/Yang would have an excuse for reorganization of military comment and promote their favorites while purging others.
[Later that day, around 3:00 walked past Liu Pukou where traffic house busted, glass broken & jeep mauled (first time I had seen damage) because of tear gas attack one hour before.  Many troops were crowded around west gate of Great Hall of People in helments and gear being heckled by students.  Young man appears with no shirt, blood all over face and chest.  First violence I saw.  His bloody shirt was later displayed.
6/4 Probably 3-400,000 soldiers around Pek now.  Maybe 30,000 troops mobilized out of Yuenan (Yunnan?) just arrived day before (maybe flew into Nanyuan?).  2 yrs imprisonment if they didn’t reach square.  Many died at Zhushikou, alley sealed off & people all shot.  Old ladies out for air hit by stray bullets.  Taxi driver killed standing in front of Pek Hotel by stray.  Dong Zhimen many killed, thought troops wud only fire at feet, not to kill.  In west, many night shift workers on shift, onlookers killed.  Bodies taken to Babaoshan for cremation.  Many soldiers killed (separated from units or stoned), also wujing (seven on bus killed) strangled by outraged people.  Govt first sent in truckloads of Hebei workers paid 50 RMB & a meal, many killed.  Tanks from Jianmenwai ordered to stop or turn for nothing, crushed truck with 3 soldiers who got in the way.  In west killing began at Muxidi, battled all the way in, used reason of attack on trucks at Liu pukang (after 2:00 pm gas attack) for entry, [?] om 301 Hospital receiving oxygen, told them to go in at midnight “anybody who goes out of room responsible for consequences.  Reckless firing of guns, not too many students killed, many innocent residents.  8 tanks burned.  Riot police trained in Poland.

6/3 evening 10:56.  Tiananmen podium with crowd, “Minzhu Daxue” dedication ceremony end s with blast of feedback.  Singing “Internationale”.  Very bad.  Treated as joke.  Liupukou teargas came in the Great Hall of People.  Three from Peking Hotel mentioned in CNN broadcast blocked.  Sullen confusion.  People with makeshift clubs. 

11:39 Zhongnanhai pail shoved over security camera

11:44 more troops out of Zhongnanhai.
12:06 dozen muffled reports heard at Zhongnanhai.  Teargas?  12:10 breaking up bricks.  “Don’t make ‘em too small”
12:19 Fu Youjie (just heard 2 armored personel carriers had passed).  5 buses & jeep blocking N-S.  “Dongzhimen pregnant woman’s leg crushed”.  Battle at History Museum (Mu Xi Di).  People taking rail fittings (from dividers) tearing apart buses as weapons.  Big crowd behind buses blocking Xi Dan. 

12:37 bus of soldiers still stuck at Xidan

12:41 “armored cars in square” apparently fire to west.

12:42 feel tear gas.  “6 dead at Mu Xi Di”  Gunshots, advancing soldiers, wave of fear/withdrawal.
12:46 Gunshots “right here”.  See muzzle flashes.  “ Might be 200 [crying girl, I’m    Pool of blood from victim of stray]
12:50 blood of shot student.  Start moving barricades.

? at Dong Dan. 
[Afterwards I stoped taking notes.  I took cover in an alley, later in a courtyard, where I was shown people shot in arm and foot.  Saw apparently dead man being carried to hospital on stretcher with gunshot wound in middle of chest covered with towel with red circular stain.  People to out to alley opening on Gong Dan to look or retrieve bicycle, frequently chased back by gunshots.  Soldiers shooting at everything.  Continual volleys of shots, bursts of semi-auto fire, big crowd singing International about 2 o’clock.  Lot of concern for students.  Shooting at Dongdan intersection, lasts until 3 o’clock.  I’m warned Americans in danger and I may be detained as spy or special agent or vanished so witnesses won’t exist.  Many requests to tell story abroad, ask if Mafia can supply assassins to shoot Li [Peng] and Yang [Shangkun].  Many question if U.S. would do it this way.  Old lady says “Next time you come back to China there won’t be anything, no students, no culture” “People’s lives are worth nothing”.  Around 3:00 big plume of black smoke and orange flames, no more shooting.  Go out all buses charred, one burning fiercely, no soldiers.  I go north to Xi Si.  Told on way many died in square.  Across Xi Si to north side of forbidden city, past some government offices.  I’m told to be careful twice.  I’m warned by a guy on a bike that I’m being followed, & he tells me sotto vocetocross the street, then he asks me where I’m going.  I say Jianguo, he tells me to go up the alley, left, then left again.  I turn left and run into a dead end with some kind of military installation.  Either the guy’s helpful w/ a bad knowledge of the neighborhood, or an agent who very conveniently found out my destination.  Nothing can be done.  Cross Chaoyang Bridge.  Seem to hear hostile jeer “Nimen de an dou xie le?  Reference to failure of purported plot?  Rude getihu brings me over to talk some, tells me APCs coming this way.  “Foreigners will get shot”.  Others direct me to side street to jinglun.  On the way I’m told 2000+ dead. 
5:00 Return Jianguo through back-door of garage.[illegible ] out to drive to square.  CNN based on knowledge limited to square says maybe more than 32 dead.
 [Clearly on Sunday night the army’s orders were to stop for nothing and reach the square regardless of the cost in human life.  Tactics were meant to achieve maximum intimidation and remove any possibility of blockading the soldiers and reasoning with them.  As a military assault against a hostile target (not just random fire against demonstrators).  Casualties were only limited by a total lack of means of resistance by the people of Beijing.



Godfree Roberts said...

"on Sunday night the army’s orders were to stop for nothing and reach the square regardless of the cost in human life. Tactics were meant to achieve maximum intimidation and remove any possibility of blockading the soldiers and reasoning with them. "

Rubbish. At midnight on July 3, six weeks after the protests began, troops started moving from the railway station into the city under orders not to fire unless fired upon. An officer later testified, “If we had been allowed to let ourselves go, one battalion would have been quite sufficient to quell the riot but, with rioters hiding behind onlookers, we had to stay our hand.” On the way in, one soldier was seized and thrown to his death from an overpass, another doused with gasoline and burned alive, one was clubbed to death and disemboweled and three major-generals were hospitalized. Rioters looted weapons and ammunition from captured trucks and attacked government buildings. Leaders distributed knives, iron bars, bricks and chains and urged people to take up arms and overthrow the government. At six the following evening loudspeakers told Beijingers to remain indoors as troops had been ordered to suppress the uprising by force. As they retreated, rioters burned forty buses, sixty armored cars and thirty police cars. NYU Professor James C. Hsiung watched[1] the action from his perch in the Beijing Hotel:

After midnight, I saw troops trotting on foot from the East towards Tiananmen Square, without helmets or weapons. As they were approaching the square, they were blocked by huge crowds and were forced to retreat, trotting back in the direction (east) they had come from. On their retreat route, the troops were chased by the crowds, many throwing rocks and bricks. Not long after, troops returned by truck, this time with helmets on and weapons in hand. By then, the crowds had set up more roadblocks. As the trucks were negotiating their way through, the crowds stopped them with a barrage of rocks. This free-for-all went on for some time, during which many soldiers were either killed or wounded; and some lost their weapons to the ruffians. Then came the armored reinforcements spitting sporadic fire, apparently in revenge, into the crowds along both sides of the road. Besides the ruffians and students, many were merely onlookers. The crowds, however, fought back hard. They climbed atop the oncoming tanks. Some even used Molotov cocktails or the equivalents of a flame-thrower against the tanks. One tank went ablaze. As the three soldiers inside opened the latch to run away from the heat, some hooligans shouted, “Kill them, kill them!” A BCC (Taiwan) radio reporter on the scene recorded the shouting. He later told me that he saw the three soldiers killed by their maulers. A Chinese-American friend, in whose house I had been a dinner guest only two nights before, later called and told me that a similar attack took place in front of their apartment building. One soldier's corpse, lying by an incinerated troop-carrier truck, I was told, was set on fire by his killers, who had poured gasoline on the body. In all the cases we knew, the ruffians were much older than most college students and did not appear to be students at all.

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