10K killed in China's 1989 Tiananmen crackdown: Archive
At least 10,000 people were killed in the Chinese army's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in June 1989, according to a newly released British diplomatic cable that recounts the bloodshed in gruesome detail
At least 10,000 people were killed in the Chinese army's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in June 1989, according to a newly released British diplomatic cable that recounts the bloodshed in gruesome detail. The document, made public more than 28 years after the event, describes injured girls being bayoneted, bodies being ground up by armoured vehicles and human remains being flushed into the sewers.
People gather around armoured vehicles burnt by protesters during clashes with soldiers near Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Pic/AFP
"Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000," the then British ambassador Alan Donald said in the secret telegram to London seen at Britain's National Archives. The estimate, given on June 5, 1989, the day after the crackdown, is almost 10 times higher than that commonly accepted at the time of several hundred to more than a thousand dead. But, experts said the 10,000 figure seemed credible.
Donald's account gives horrific details of the violence unleashed on June 3-4, when the army entered Beijing to end seven weeks of protests on Tiananmen Square, the symbolic heart of Communist power. During their advance, armoured personnel carriers "opened fire on the crowd [both civilians and soldiers] before running over them", the ambassador wrote.
The Chinese government had said suppression of "counter-revolutionary riots" had killed 200 civilians and several dozen police and military. Nearly three decades after the crackdown, the communist regime continues to forbid any debate on the subject, mention of which is banned from textbooks and censored on the Internet.
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No. of civilians killed, according to China
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