Monday, 16 April 2018

THE TIANANMEN SQUARE MASS MURDER                                         

Mass killings occurred under some Communist regimes during the twentieth century. Estimates of the death toll vary widely, depending on the methodology used.  Some estimates of mass killings include not only mass murders or executions that took place during the elimination of political opponents, civil warsterror campaigns, land reform but also under the auspices of law and order.

On the evening of June 3rd , state-run television in Beijing, China warned residents to stay indoors but crowds of people took to the streets, as they had two weeks before, to block the incoming army. PLA units advanced on Beijing from every direction— the 38th, 63rd and 28th Armies from the west, the 15th Airborne Corps20th26th and 54th Armies from the south, the 39th Army and the 1st Armored Division from the east and the 40th and 64th Armies from the north.

At about 10 pm, on June 3rd , the 38th  Army opened fired on protesters at the Wukesong intersection on Chang'an Avenue, about 10 kilometres west of Square. The crowds were stunned that the army was using live ammunition and reacted by hurling insults and projectiles. Song Xiaoming, a 32-year-old aerospace technician, who was killed at Wukesong, was the first confirmed fatality of the night. The troops used expanding bullets, (dum dum bullets) prohibited by international law for use in warfare, which expand upon entering the body and created larger wounds.

But was the June 4, 1989 massacre in the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China prompted by the Chinese government for political reasons? The government claimed that the people in the Square were rioters who were attempting to overthrow the government of China.

At about 10:30 pm, the advance of the army was briefly halted at Muxidi, about 5 km west of the Square where  trolleybuses were placed across a bridge and set on fire.  Crowds of residents from nearby apartment blocks tried to surround the military convoy and halt its advance. The 38th Army again opened fire, inflicting heavy casualties. According to the tabulation of victims by Tiananmen Mothers, 36 people died at Muxidi, including Wang Weiping, a doctor tending to the wounded. Several were killed in the apartments of high-ranking party officials overlooking the boulevard. Soldiers raked the apartment buildings with gunfire, and some people inside or on their balconies were shot. The 38th Army also used armored personnel carriers (APCs) to ram through the buses. They continued to fight off demonstrators, who hastily erected barricades and tried to form human chains.  As the army advanced, fatalities were recorded all along Chang'an Avenue, at Nanlishhilu, FuxingmenXidan, Liubukou and Tiananmen. Among those killed was Duan Changlong, a Tsinghua University graduate student, who was shot in the chest as he tried to negotiate with soldiers at Xidan. To the south, paratroopers of the 15th Airborne Corps also used live ammunition, and civilians deaths were recorded at Hufangqiao, Zhushikou, Tianqiao, and Qianmen. 

The killings infuriated city residents, some of whom attacked soldiers with sticks, rocks and molotov cocktails, (bottles of gasoline with cloth fuses attached) setting fire to military vehicles.

The Chinese government and its supporters had tried to argue that the troops acted in self-defense and seized upon troop casualties to justify the use of force. Lethal attacks on troops occurred after the military had opened fire at 10 pm on June 3rd  and the number of military fatalities caused by protesters is relatively few compared o as to how many were killed later in the Tiananmen Square.

Thousands of Student pro-democracy demonstrators had previously spent months camped out in the Square, calling for political reform. The government was caught off-guard and were troubled as to how to handle so many protesters in one particular area such as the Tiananmen Square. 

At 8:30 pm, June 4th, army helicopters appeared above the Square and students called for campuses to send reinforcements. At 10 pm, the founding ceremony of the Tiananmen Democracy University was held as scheduled at the base of the Goddess of Democracy. At 10:16 pm, the loudspeakers controlled by the government warned the protesters that troops may take "any measures" to enforce martial law. By 10:30 pm, news of bloodshed to the west and south of the city began trickling into the Square that was told by witnesses drenched in blood. At midnight, the students' loudspeaker announced news that a student had been killed on West Chang'an Avenue, near the Military Museum and a somber mood settled on the Square. Li Lu, the deputy commander of the student headquarters, urged students to remain united in defending the Square through non-violent means. At 12:30 am, Wu'erkaixi fainted after learning that a female student at Beijing Normal University, who had left campus with him earlier in the evening, had just been killed. Wuerkaixi was taken away by ambulance. By then, there were still 70,000–80,000 people in the Square

At about 12:15 am, a flare lit up the sky and the first armored personnel (APC) vehicle appeared on the Square from the west. At 12:30 am, two more APCs arrived from the South. The students threw chunks of cement at the vehicles. One APC stalled, perhaps by metal poles jammed into its wheels, and the demonstrators covered it with gasoline-doused blankets and set it on fire. The intense heat forced out the three occupants, who were swarmed by demonstrators. The APCs had reportedly run over tents and many in the crowd wanted to beat the soldiers. But students formed a protective cordon and escorted the three men to the medic station by the History Museum on the east side of the Square.

Pressure mounted on the student leadership to abandon non-violence and retaliate against the killings. At one point, Chai Ling picked up the megaphone and called on fellow students to prepare to "defend themselves" against the "shameless government." But she and Li Lu agreed to adhere to peaceful means and had the students' sticks, rocks and glass bottles confiscated.

At about 1:30 am, the vanguard of the 38th Army and paratroopers from the 15th Airborne Corps arrived at the north and south ends of the Square, respectively. They began to seal off the Square from reinforcements of students and residents, killing more demonstrators who were trying to enter the Square. Meanwhile, the 27th  and 65th  Armies poured out of the Great Hall of the People to the west and the 24th  Army emerged from behind the History Museum to the east.  The remaining students, numbering several thousand, were completely surrounded at the Monument of the People's Heroes in the center of the Square. At 2 am, the troops fired shots over the heads of the students at the Monument. The students broadcast pleadings back toward the troops: "We entreat you in peace, for democracy and freedom of the motherland, for strength and prosperity of the Chinese nation, please comply with the will of the people and refrain from using force against peaceful student demonstrators. “ unquote

At about 2:30 am, several workers near the Monument emerged with a machine gun they had captured from the troops and vowed to take revenge. They were persuaded to give up the weapon by Hou Dejian. The workers also handed over an assault rifle without ammunition, which Liu Xiaobo smashed against the marble railings of the Monument. Shao Jiang, a student who had witnessed the killings at Muxidi, pleaded with the older intellectuals to retreat, saying too many lives had already been lost. Initially, Liu Xiaobo was reluctant, but eventually joined Zhou Tuo, Gao Xin and Hou Dejian in making the case to the student leaders for a withdrawal. Chai Ling, Li Lu and Feng Congde initially rejected the idea of withdrawal.[115] At 3:30 am, at the suggestion of two doctors in the Red Cross camp, Hou Dejian and Zhuo Tuo agreed to try to negotiate with the soldiers. They rode in an ambulance to the northeast corner of the Square and spoke with Ji Xinguo, the political commissar of the 38th Army's 336th Regiment, who relayed the request to command headquarters, which agreed to grant safe passage for the students to the southeast. The commissar told Hou, "It would be a tremendous accomplishment, if you can persuade the students to leave the Square.” unquote

At 4 am, the lights on the Square suddenly turned off, and the government's loudspeaker announced: "Clearance of the Square begins now. We agree with the students' request to clear the Square.” unquote  

The students sang The Internationale and braced for a last stand.[  Hou returned and informed student leaders of his agreement with the troops. At 4:30 am, the lights relit and the troops began to advance on the Monument from all sides. At about 4:32 am, Hou Dejian took the student's loudspeaker and recounted his meeting with the military. Many students, who learned of the talks for the first time, reacted angrily and accused him of cowardice. In my respectful opinion, that was a very bad decision. By then had already made their point. To remain in the Square was akin to walking into a gun fight with pencils in hand.

The soldiers initially stopped about 10 meters from the students. The first row of troops took aim with machine guns in the prone position. Behind them soldiers squatted and stood with assault rifles. Mixed among them were anti-riot police with clubs. Further back were tanks and APCs. Feng Congde took to the loudspeaker and explained that there was no time left to hold a meeting. Instead, a voice vote would decide the collective action of the group. Although the "stays" were louder than "gos", Feng said the "gos" had prevailed. Just at that time, at about 4:40 am, a squad of soldiers in camouflaged uniform charged up the Monument and shot out the students' loudspeaker. Other troops beat and kicked dozens of students at the Monument, seizing and smashing their cameras and recording equipment. An officer with a loudspeaker called out "you better leave or this won't end well.”  

Some of the students and professors persuaded others still sitting on the lower tiers of the Monument to get up and leave, while soldiers beat them with clubs and gun butts and prodded them with bayonets. Witnesses heard bursts of gunfire. At about 5:10 am, the students began to leave the Monument. They linked hands and marched through a corridor to the southeast, though some departed through the north.  Those who refused to leave were beaten by soldiers and ordered to join the departing procession. Having removed the students from the square, soldiers were ordered to relinquish their ammunition, after which they were allowed a short reprieve from 7 am to 9 am. 

The soldiers were then ordered to clear the square of all debris left over from the student occupation. The debris was either piled and burnt on the square, or placed in large plastic bags that were airlifted away by military helicopters. After the cleanup, the troops stationed at The Great Hall of the People remained confined within for the next nine days. During this time, the soldiers were left to sleep on the floors and fed a single packet of instant noodles split between three men daily. Officers apparently suffered no such deprivation, and were served regular meals apart from their troops.

Just past 6 am on June 4th, as a convoy of students who had vacated the Square were walking westward in the bicycle lane along Chang'an Avenue back to their campus, three tanks pursued them from the Square, firing tear gas and one drove through the crowd, killing 11 students, injuring scores of others.

Early in the Tiananmen Square Protests, it looked as though the student protestors had the upper hand over the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The protestors captured tanks and weapons from the young PLA soldiers, who were deployed without any ammunition. This toothless attempt by the Chinese Communist Party government to intimidate the protestors was completely ineffectual, The students chose to remain in the Square, so on June 4th, 1989, the government panicked so it sent the PLA into the square with loaded weapons and tanks.

Most of the student activists in Tiananmen Square were from relatively well-to-do families in Beijing or other major cities. The PLA troops, often the same age as the students, tended to come from rural farm families. Initially, the two sides were relatively evenly matched until the central government ordered the PLA to use all necessary force to put down the protests. At that point, the Tiananmen Square Protests became internationally known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Later in the morning, thousands of civilians tried to re-enter the Square from the northeast on East Chang'an Avenue, which was blocked by rows of infantry. Many in the crowd were parents of the demonstrators who had been in the Square. As the crowd approached the troops, an officer sounded a warning, and then the  troops opened fire. The crowd scurried back down the avenue in view of journalists in the Beijing Hotel. Dozens of civilians were shot in the back as they fled. Later, the crowds surged back toward the troops, who opened fire again. The people fled in panic. An ambulance that was arriving was also caught in the gunfire. The crowd tried several more times but could not enter the Square, which remained closed to the public for two weeks.

On June 5th, the suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man standing in front of a column of tanks driving out of Tiananmen Square. The iconic photo that would eventually make its way around the world was taken on June 5th on Chang'an Avenue. As the tank driver tried to go around him, the "Tank Man" moved into the tank's path. He continued to stand defiantly in front of the tanks for some time, then he climbed up onto the turret of the lead tank to speak to the soldiers inside. After returning to his position in front of the tanks, the man was pulled aside by a group of people.

A stopped convoy of 37 APCs on Changan Boulevard at Muxidi was forced to abandon their vehicles after becoming stuck among an assortment of burned out buses and military vehicles.[131] In addition to occasional incidents of soldiers opening fire on civilians in Beijing, Western news outlets reported clashes between Units of the PLA.[132] Late in the afternoon 26 tanks, three armored personnel carriers and supporting infantry took up defensive positions facing East  at  Jiaanguomen  and  a Fuxingmen overpasses. 

Shellfire was heard throughout the night and the next morning a U.S. Marine in the Eastern part of the city reported spotting a damaged armored vehicle that had been disabled by an armor-piercing shell. The ongoing turmoil in the capital disrupted the flow of everyday life. No editions of the People's Daily were available in Beijing on June 5th  despite assurances that they had been printed. Many shops, offices, and factories were not able to open as workers remained in their homes, and public transit services were limited to Subway and suburban bus routes.

Evetually the government regained control in the week following the military's seizure of the Square. A political purge followed in which officials responsible for organizing or condoning the protests were removed, and protest leaders jailed.

After order was restored in Beijing on June 4th, protests of varying scales continued in some 80 other Chinese cities, outside of the spotlight the international press.  In the then-British colony of Hong Kong, people again took to wearing black in solidarity with the demonstrators in Beijing. There were also protests in other countries, many adopting the use of black armbands as well

In Shanghai, students marched on the streets on June 5th, and erected roadblocks on major thoroughfares. Factory workers went on a general strike and took to the streets as well; railway traffic was also blocked. Public transport was also suspended and prevented people from getting to work. On June 6th, the municipal government tried to clear the rail blockade, but was met with fierce resistance from the crowds. Several people were killed by being run over by the train. On June 7th, students from major Shanghai universities stormed various campus facilities to erect biers in commemoration of the dead in Beijing. The situation gradually came under control without use of deadly force. The municipal government gained recognition from the top leadership in Beijing for averting a major upheaval.

At first, the government sent in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) without weapons to try to basically muscle the students off of the Square.  At this point in the Tiananmen Square Protests, the soldiers were unarmed and were trying to use their sheer numbers to clear the square of protestors. The Chinese government hoped that this show of potential force would suffice to drive the students from the square and end the demonstrations.

Then the armed soldiers entered th square. They were uneducated backwoods men who had no concept as to what was right or wrong. They slaughtered the men, women and children as they moved into the depths of the square. The tanks ran over the students and crushed them to death. 

Nobody knows exactly how many protestors (or soldiers, or passersby) were injured or killed in the melee. The Chinese government claims that 200 people were killed; independent estimates put the number at as many as 3,000 They were all wrong in their estimates.

In 2014, the Next Magazine reported on White House declassified files, which estimated that 10,454 were killed and 40,000 were injured. The documents cited internal files from the Chinese government headquarters in Zhongnanhai, which were passed to the Americans via sources in the martial law troops. According to a source, the army that committed the “atrocities” was the 27th  Army of Shanxi Province, which was “60 percent illiterate and are called primitives.” and the army that committed the “atrocities” was the  27th  Army of Shanxi Province, which was “60 percent illiterate and were called primitives. The source said the commander was Yang Zhenhua, who was the nephew of Yang Shangkun, China’s president at the time.  The 27th Army APCs (armoured personnel carriers) opened fire on the crowd (both civilians and soldiers) before running over them in their APCs.”

A document said that before the slaughter began, the SMR troops separated the students from local residents upon arrival at Tiananmen Square.

The students were led to understand that they were given one hour to leave the square but after five minutes, the  APCs attacked. Students linked arms but were mown down including soldiers. The 27th Army was ordered to spare no-one, They even shot wounded SMR soldiers. When four wounded girl students begged for their lives, they were bayoneted. A three year old girl was injured but her mother was shot dead as she went to her aid.  Six other tried to rescue the girl and they too were shot dead.  As many as 1000 survivors were told they could escape via Zhengyi Lu but were then mown down by specially prepared M/G positions who were waiting for them. A student holding a small pair of blood-stained glasses with a bullet hole in them later said that he saw troops shooting at two little girls to the south of the Monument to People’s Heroes in the middle of the square. One of the girls who was aged around 12 was shot in the face as she shielded her 6-year-old sister with her little body. They had come out for a walk the night before and were stuck in the square.

Army ambulances who attempted to give aid were shot up as was a Sino-Japanese Hospital ambulance. With medical crew dead,  the wounded driver attempted to ram attackers but was blown to pieces with anti-tank weapon. In a further attack, APCs caught up with SMR straggler trucks, rammed and overturned them and ran over the troops who were previously in the trucks. During attack, a 27th Army officer was shot dead by his own troops apparently because he faltered. Troops later explained they would be shot if they hadn’t shot officer.

Then the APCs then ran over bodies time and time again to make sure that they were turned into mush and then the remains were collected by bulldozer. The remains were incinerated and then hosed down the drains.

Li Zhiyun, the political chief of the 38th  Army, said later that the army did not shoot anyone, and 200 deaths were caused by stray bullets.  He was quoted as saying, “If more than 200 can be killed in a single aircraft crash, how anybody can claim that the PLA massacred the people. In any case, most of the dead were rioters trying to overthrow the government.” unquote

He also claimed that fires in the square before the clearance began, were caused by illegal unions burning documents, and that young soldiers were only burning rubbish on the square afterward  “Nobody was killed or wounded on Tiananmen. Nobody in China can come out and testify that people were killed on Tiananmen.”

That creep was such a liar that his nose grew so long unlike that of the fabled Pinocchio, it would make Pinocchio’s nose look like a small pimple on the surface of his face.

After order was restored in Beijing on June 4th, protests of varying scales continued in some 80 other Chinese cities, outside of the spotlight the international press. In the then-British colony of Hong Kong, people again took to wearing black in solidarity with the demonstrators in Beijing. There were also protests in other countries, many adopting the use of black armbands as well.

In Shanghai, students marched on the streets on June 5th , and erected roadblocks on major thoroughfares. Factory workers went on a general strike and took to the streets as well; railway traffic was also blocked. Public transport was also suspended and prevented people from getting to work.[139] On June 6th, the municipal government tried to clear the rail blockade, but was met with fierce resistance from the crowds. Several people were killed by being run over by the train. On June 7th , students from major Shanghai universities stormed various campus facilities to erect biers in commemoration of the dead in Beijing.  The situation gradually came under control without use of deadly force. The municipal government gained recognition from the top leadership in Beijing for averting a major upheaval.

I have only one word to say about the Chinese army and civil authorities who had a part in the slaughter of their victims and their attempt at covering up the slaughter and it is—SHAMELESS.

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