US embassy cable - 89BEIJING15390

SITREP NO. 28: TEN TO FIFTEEN THOUSAND ARMED TROOPS STOPPED AT CITY PERIMETER BY HUMAN AND BUS BARRRICADES

Identifier: 89BEIJING15390
Wikileaks: View 89BEIJING15390 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beijing
Created: 1989-06-03 11:43:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM SOCI CH
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 031143Z JUN 89
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 0043
INFO AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY
AMCONSUL HONG KONG IMMEDIATE
AIT TAIPEI IMMEDIATE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL SHENYANG IMMEDIATE
DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL CHENGDU POUCH)
C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIJING 15390 
 
NIACT IMMEDIATE FOR CHINA WATCH 
 
NSC FOR DOUG PAAL 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, PHUM, SOCI, CH 
SUBJECT:  SITREP NO. 28:  TEN TO FIFTEEN THOUSAND 
ARMED TROOPS STOPPED AT CITY PERIMETER BY HUMAN AND 
BUS BARRRICADES 
 
REF:  BEIJING 15383 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  TEN TO FIFTEEN THOUSAND HELMETED, ARMED TROOPS 
MOVED TOWARD BEIJING DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON/EARLY 
EVENING HOURS OF JUNE 3.  AS OF 1930, LARGE CONVOYS 
HAVE BEEN STOPPED AS BEFORE BY BUS AND HUMAN 
BARRICADES.  THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF TROOP 
TRUCKS IS ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE CITY IN FRONT 
OF THE NEW WORLD TRADE CENTER, ABOUT 5-6 KILOMETERS 
FROM TIANANMEN SQUARE.  EMBOFFS SAW AT LEAST TWENTY 
TRUCKS THERE, BUT MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED HAD BEEN 
SEEN HEADING TOWARD THE CITY ON THAT ROUTE, SO WE 
ESTIMATE THAT THERE ARE ONE HUNDRED PLUS TROOP 
TRUCKS AT THAT LOCATION.  THE TROOPS ARE HELMETED 
AND ARE CARRYING AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.  MOST OF THEM 
SEEM TO BE STAYING IN THEIR TRUCKS FOR THE TIME 
BEING.  MORE THAN 35 TRUCKS FILLED WITH HELMETED, 
ARMED TROOPS ARE STOPPED AT THE SECOND RING ROAD 
OVERPASS, DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE JIANGUOMENWAI 
DIPLOMATIC HOUSING COMPOUND.  THERE ARE REPORTEDLY 
82 TRUCKS BLOCKED BY FOUR LARGE DUMP TRUCKS ALONG 
THE ROAD TO CAPITAL AIRPORT.  WE ALSO HAVE REPORTS 
OF TWENTY SIX TRUCKS STOPPED AND SURROUNDED BY CITY 
RESIDENTS BETWEEN THE LIDO HOTEL AND THE GREAT WALL 
HOTEL IN THE NORTHEASTERN SUBURBS.  THERE ARE ABOUT 
TWO THOUSAND TROOPS JUST WEST OF THE GREAT HALL OF 
THE PEOPLE IN A STANDOFF WITH CITY RESIDENTS WHICH 
HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE EARLY AFTERNOON.  THE 
POPULATION APPEARS HOSTILE TO PLA MOVEMENTS INTO THE 
CITY. 
 
3.  ELITE AIRBORNE TROOPS ARE MOVING FROM THE SOUTH 
AND TANK UNITS HAVE BEEN ALERTED TO MOVE.  DAO 
OFFICERS ARE OUT CHECKING THE WESTERN SUBURBS.  DAO 
IS REPORTING FURTHER DETAILS TO WASHINGTON.  ALL 
EMBASSY INFORMATION SO FAR SUGGESTS THAT THE UNITS 
OTHER THAN THE AIRBORNE TROOPS ARE FROM THE 39TH 
ARMY. 
 
4.  THE TROOPS HAVE OBVIOUSLY NOT YET BEEN GIVEN 
ORDERS PERMITTING THEM TO USE FORCE.  THEIR LARGE 
NUMBERS, THE FACT THAT THEY ARE HELMETED, AND THE 
AUTOMATIC WEAPONS THEY ARE CARRYING SUGGEST THAT THE 
FORCE OPTION IS REAL. 
 
 
LILLEY 

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