US embassy cable - 89BEIJING14103

SITREP NO. 10: VIEW OF TIANANMEN SQUARE

Identifier: 89BEIJING14103
Wikileaks: View 89BEIJING14103 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beijing
Created: 1989-05-22 04:54:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM SOCI CH
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 220454Z MAY 89
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8996
INFO AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL HONG KONG IMMEDIATE
AIT TAIPEI IMMEDIATE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL SHENYANG IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL CHENGDU POUCH)
C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIJING 14103 
 
CINCPAC FOR FPA 
 
E.O. 12356:DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, PHUM, SOCI,  CH 
SUBJECT:  SITREP NO. 10:  VIEW OF TIANANMEN SQUARE 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
 
2.  POLOFFS VIEWED TIANANMEN SQUARE THE MORNING OF 
MAY 22 FROM 1000 TO 1100 HOURS LOCAL.  NO TROOPS 
WERE ANYWHERE IN SIGHT.  NO BUSSES WERE RUNNING, 
BUT PEOPLE APPEARED TO BE MAKING THEIR WAY TO WORK. 
POLOFFS ESTIMATED THAT THERE WERE FEWER THAN 10,000 
STUDENTS INSIDE THE INNER SQUARE ITSELF AND SOME 
40,000 PEOPLE, INCLUDING ONLOOKERS, IN THE AREA. 
 
 
3.  DEMONSTRATING STUDENTS APPEARED TIRED, DIRTY, 
AND GRIM.  SOME LOOKED ILL.  POLOFFS OBSERVED 
SEVERAL STUDENTS ON IV'S.  THERE WERE CONFLICTING 
ACCOUNTS AS TO HOW MANY STUDENTS WERE STILL FASTING. 
ONE STUDENT SAID NONE, BUT MEDICAL SUPPORT STAFF SAID 
THERE WERE STILL SOME 50 TO 100 FASTING STUDENTS. 
THE INNER SQUARE, WHICH POLOFFS ENTERED, WAS FOUL- 
SMELLING AND NASTY IN APPEARANCE, WITH GARBAGE AND 
LITTER EVERYWHERE.  THE STUDENTS REMAINING IN THE 
SQUARE ITSELF APPEARED TO BE THE DETERMINED HARD CORE 
OF THE DEMONSTRATORS.  ALL STUDENTS EXPRESSED 
CONFIDENCE THAT TROOPS WOULD NOT COME BECAUSE THE 
STUDENTS HAD THE SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE. 
 
 
4.  STUDENTS WERE EAGER TO TALK TO FOREIGNERS. 
THREE STUDENTS SEPARATELY TOLD POLOFFS THEY WERE 
DISAPPOINTED THAT     U.S. EXPRESSIONS OF SUPPORT 
FOR THE STUDENTS HAD NOT BEEN STRONGER.  THEY 
SPECIFICALLY CITED PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT AS 
REPORTED ON THE VOICE OF AMERICA THE MORNING OF 
MAY 22. 
 
 
5.  THREE BUSSES IN THE SQUARE  FACING NORTH TOWARD 
THE PORTRAIT OF CHAIRMAN MAO (ABOVE THE ENTRANCE TO THE 
FORBIDDEN CITY) ALL BORE  PICTURES OF LI PENG AS A 
RAT BEING POUNCED ON BY AN EAGLE REPRESENTING THE 
PEOPLE. 
 
 
LILLEY 

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