US embassy cable - 89BEIJING15407

SITREP NO. 29: ARTICLE JUSTIFIES MARTIAL LAW; PLA TO USE ANY AND ALL MEANS TO ENFORCE MARTIAL LAW; DEFENSE MINISTER APPEARS, SO DOES LI PENG; TENSION ON TIANANMEN SQUARE

Identifier: 89BEIJING15407
Wikileaks: View 89BEIJING15407 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beijing
Created: 1989-06-03 15:05:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM SOCI CH
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 031505Z JUN 89
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 0051
INFO AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
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 SECTION 01 OF 05 BEIJING 15407 
 
FOR SECRETARY BAKER 
NSC FOR DOUG PAAL 
CINCPAC FOR FPA 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, PHUM, SOCI, CH 
SUBJECT:  SITREP NO. 29:  ARTICLE JUSTIFIES MARTIAL 
LAW;  PLA TO USE ANY AND ALL MEANS TO ENFORCE MARTIAL 
LAW;  DEFENSE MINISTER APPEARS, SO DOES LI PENG;  TENSION 
ON TIANANMEN SQUARE 
 
REF:  A.  BEIJING 15288  B.  BEIJING 15383 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  SUMMARY:  THE JUNE 3 EDITION OF THE PEOPLE'S 
DAILY CARRIED A FRONT PAGE ARTICLE INDICTING "A SMALL 
GROUP OF PEOPLE" WHO ALLEGEDLY INCITED THE PRESENT 
TURMOIL IN BEIJING AND JUSTIFIED MARTIAL LAW.  THE 
ARTICLE WAS ISSUED BY THE BEIJING MUNICIPAL PARTY 
COMMITTEE, PROBABLY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF 
CONSERVATIVE POLITBURO MEMBER LI XIMING.  LI APPEARS 
TO BE SPEARHEADING THE ATTEMPT TO BRAND ZHAO ZIYANG 
AS A COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY. 
 
3.  THE EVENING TELEVISION NEWS ON JUNE 3 BROADCAST A 
STERNLY WORDED MARTIAL LAW HEADQUARTERS ANNOUNCEMENT 
STATING THAT TROOPS WILL USE ANY AND ALL MEANS TO 
ENFORCE MARTIAL LAW IN BEIJING.  AS THIS CABLE IS 
DRAFTED, THE MARTIAL LAW HQ IS WARNING BEIJING 
CITIZENS TO STAY OFF THE STREETS IN REPEATED 
TELEVISION BROADCASTS.  DEFENSE MINISTER QIN JIWEI 
ALSO APPEARED ON THE EVENING NEWS.  QIN, WHO IS 
RUMORED TO HAVE OPPOSED MARTIAL LAW, MAY HAVE BEEN 
REHABILITATED BY DENG XIAOPING IN ORDER TO COUNTER 
ENHANCED INFLUENCE AMONG PARTY ELDERS.  THE TV NEWS 
ALSO BROADCAST A BAFFLING ADDRESS BY LI PENG ON 
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. 
 
4.  TENSION MOUNTED THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AS 
BEIJING RESIDENTS VENTED THEIR ANGER BY HARASSING 
MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONNEL AND ATTACKING THEIR 
VEHICLES.  STUDENTS DISPLAYED CAPTURED WEAPONS, 
MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES, INCLUDING IN FRONT 
OF THE ZHONGNANHAI LEADERSHIP COMPOUND.  AN EFFORT TO 
FREE STILL CAPTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL OR TO CLEAR THE 
SOUTHERN ENTRANCE TO ZHONGNANHAI MAY HAVE BEEN THE 
CAUSE OF A LIMITED TEAR GAS ATTACK IN THAT AREA 
AROUND 1500 HOURS LOCAL.  AROUND THE SAME TIME 
SEVERAL THOUSAND UNARMED, BUT HELMETED, TROOPS TOOK 
UP POSITIONS ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE GREAT HALL OF 
THE PEOPLE.  EARLIER IN THE AFTERNOON, STUDENT 
LEADERS AND THE FOUR HUNGER STRIKERS HELD A PRESS 
CONFERENCE IN WHICH THEY THANKED THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR 
SUPPORT. 
 
5.  THE AMBASSADOR HAS REQUESTED THAT ALL EMBASSY 
PERSONNEL NOT ENGAGED IN REPORTING TO REMAIN AT 
HOME.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
PEOPLE'S DAILY ARTICLE CONDEMNS CONSPIRATORS, 
JUSTIFIES MARTIAL LAW 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
6.  THE FRONT PAGE OF THE JUNE 3 PEOPLE'S DAILY 
CARRIED A LONG ARTICLE ISSUED BY THE BEIJING MUNICIPAL 
PARTY COMMITTEE PROPAGANDA BUREAU INDICTING THE "SMALL 
GROUP" OF CONSPIRATORS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING 
TURMOIL IN THE CAPITAL AND JUSTIFYING MARTIAL LAW AND 
THE POSSIBLE USE OF TROOPS.  THE OPENING SECTION OF 
THE ARTICLE ARGUES THAT A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE 
PLANNED TO CREATE TURMOIL FROM AS EARLY AS LATE LAST 
YEAR.  THESE PEOPLE'S POLITICAL GOAL IS TO NEGATE THE 
LEADERSHIP OF THE PARTY AND THE SOCIALIST SYSTEM. 
THEY PLANNED SECRETLY IN COLLUSION WITH INTERNAL AND 
DEMOCRATIC LEAGUE AND THE PUBLISHERS OF CHINA SPRING 
MAGAZINE.  AFTER THE DEATH OF HU YAOBANG, THE 
CONSPIRATORS SPREAD RUMORS TO ENFLAME THE SITUATION, 
ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE.  FINALLY, THESE PEOPLE 
MALEVOLENTLY TRAMPLED DEMOCRACY AND LAW TO SPREAD 
SERIOUS SOCIAL DISORDER. 
 
7.  IN A SECOND SECTION, THE ARTICLE EXPLAINS THAT 
DESPITE THE CESSATION OF THE MAY 13-21 STUDENT HUNGER 
STRIKE, THE CONTINUATION OF MARTIAL LAW IS NECESSARY 
TO RESTORE ORDER AND TO COUNTER THE MACHINATION OF 
THE "SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE."  A FINAL SECTION EXHORTS 
READERS TO "UNITE WITH THOSE WHO CAN BE UNITED AND 
EXPOSE THE SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE INCITING TURMOIL." 
IT VOWS THAT THE PARTY AND GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE 
DIALOGUE WITH STUDENTS AND OTHER GROUPS WITH 
GRIEVANCES.  IT NOTES THAT SOME WORKERS, CITIZENS, 
AND CADRES WHO SUPPORT THE PARTY AND GOVERNMENT AND 
WHO MAY HAVE PARTICIPATED IN DEMONSTRATIONS WILL NOT 
BE PURSUED.  THOSE GROUPS OF "HOOLIGANS" SUCH AS THE 
"FLYING TIGERS" MOTORCYCLE BRIGADE AND THE "SUICIDE 
BICYCLE BRIGADES" WILL BE PUNISHED, THE ARTICLE 
STATES.  FINALLY, THE ARTICLE DEMANDS THAT THE "SMALL 
GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO INCITED THE TURMOIL" BE EXPOSED. 
 
8.  WE BELIEVE THE ARTICLE TO HAVE BEEN DRAFTED UNDER 
THE GUIDANCE OF POLITBURO MEMBER AND BEIJING PARTY 
COMMITTEE SECRETARY LI XIMING.  AS WE HAVE REPORTED 
IN THE PAST, THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE LI HAS RESOLUTELY 
SIDED WITH LI PENG AND THE ELDERS AND APPEARS TO BE 
SPEARHEADING THE ATTEMPT TO LABEL ZHAO ZIYANG AS A 
COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY.  IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING AN 
IDEOLOGICAL BASIS FOR MARTIAL LAW, THE ARTICLE 
EMPLOYS A VENOMOUS TONE THROUGHOUT IN ITS ATTEMPT TO 
TO ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE SMALL GROUP OF 
CONSPIRATORS -- READ ZHAO ZIYANG AND HIS FOLLOWERS -- 
WITH ALLEGEDLY ANTI-PARTY AND ANTI-GOVERNMENT 
ACTIVITIES OF STUDENTS AND DEMONSTRATORS.  THE 
ARTICLE EVEN QUOTES ANTI-DENG AND ANTI-LI PENG BIG 
CHARACTER POSTERS PUT UP ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES SINCE 
THE DEATH OF HU YAOBANG. 
 
 
BEIJING MARTIAL LAW HEADQUARTERS ANNOUNCES THAT THE 
PLA WILL USE ANY AND ALL MEANS TO IMPLEMENT ORDERS 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
9.  THE JUNE 3 CCTV EVENING NEWS REPORTED THAT 
MARTIAL LAW HEADQUARTERS ISSUED AN ANNOUNCEMENT 
CONCERNING THE ENTRY OF SOME TROOPS INTO THE BEIJING 
CITY CENTER ON THE NIGHT OF MAY 2 (SEE REFS. A AND 
B).  THE ANNOUNCEMENT CLAIMED THAT THE PLA IS BACKED 
BY THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE, BUT FEW HOOLIGANS 
INSULTED, HELD, AND BEAT PLA TROOPS WHO ENTERED THE 
CITY.  SOME PEOPLE EVEN STOLE WEAPONS, THE 
ANNOUNCEMENT SAID.  IT FURTHER STATED THAT NO ONE HAS 
THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE WITH TROOPS ATTEMPTING TO 
IMPLEMENT ORDERS.  THE PLA WILL USE ANY AND ALL MEANS 
TO ENFORCE MARTIAL LAW IN THE CAPITAL.  ANYONE 
ORGANIZING RESISTANCE TO THE TROOPS WILL SUFFER THE 
CONSEQUENCES, THE ANNOUNCEMENT STATED.  AS THIS CABLE 
IS DRAFTED, BEIJING TELEVISION IS REPEATEDLY 
BROADCASTING A MARTIAL LAW HQ WARNING TO BEIJING 
CITIZENS TO STAY OFF THE STREETS. 
 
 
DEFENSE MINISTER QIN JIWEI APPEARS 
---------------------------------- 
 
10.  CCTV NEWS ALSO REPORTED THAT ON JUNE 3, DEFENSE 
MINISTER QIN JIWEI VISITED PLA TROOPS ENCAMPED 
OUTSIDE OF BEIJING.  QIN WAS WIDELY BELIEVED TO HAVE 
OPPOSED THE MAY 20 MARTIAL LAW DECLARATION.  HOWEVER, 
HIS APPEARANCE FOLLOWS BY SEVERAL DAYS A SIMILAR 
APPEARANCE BY PARTY CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION 
MEMBER HONG XUEZHI, WHO ALSO WAS RUMORED TO OPPOSE 
MARTIAL LAW.  QIN WAS SEEN IN THE COMPANY OF A GROUP 
OF HIGH RANKING PLA OFFICERS CASUALLY CHATTING WITH 
TROOPS. 
 
11.  THE TV NEWS QUOTED QIN AS DELIVERING GREETINGS 
FROM DENG XIAOPING AND YANG SHANGKUN.  THE 
APPEARANCES OF BOTH QIN AND HONG STRONGLY SUGGEST 
THAT THEY HAVE CUT A DEAL WITH AT LEAST DENG XIAOPING 
IN WHICH THEY SUPPORT SOME FORM OF MARTIAL LAW IN RETURN 
FOR THEIR CONTINUED POLITICAL HEALTH.  IT HAS BEEN RUMORED 
IN BEIJING THAT DENG MAY NEED THE TWO IN ORDER TO 
COUNTER THE INCREASED INFLUENCE OF PARTY ELDERS, 
PERHAPS INCLUDING YANG SHANGKUN, IN THE WAKE OF 
ZHAO ZIYANG'S POLITICAL DEMISE. 
 
 
LI PENG DISCUSSES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (|?) 
------------------------------------------- 
 
12.  THE LEAD ITEM ON THE JUNE 3 EDITION OF THE 
NIGHTLY TELEVISION WAS RESERVED FOR PREMIER LI PENG, 
WHO APPARENTLY DELIVERED AN ADDRESS ON CHINESE 
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ON THE SAME DAY.  LI WAS SHOWN 
SITTING STIFFLY AT A TABLE WITH A MICROPHONE.  HE 
FACED THE CAMERA RIGIDLY AND READ FROM A TELEPROMPTER 
WITH A TONE OF VOICE SIMILAR TO THAT OF HIS MAY 19 
SPEECH ON THE NEED FOR LAW AND ORDER.  WE WERE 
BAFFLED BY THIS APPEARANCE, IN WHICH THE PREMIER MADE 
NO OBVIOUS REFERENCES TO THE SITUATION IN BEIJING. 
IT COULD HAVE BEEN A NOT VERY REFINED ATTEMPT TO SHOW 
THAT LI IS IN CHARGE AND STILL ABLE TO FOCUS ON 
DAY-TO-DAY STATE COUNCIL BUSINESS.  HOWEVER, THE 
BEIJING MARTIAL LAW HQ ANNOUNCEMENT IMMEDIATELY 
FOLLOWED THIS SEGMENT. 
 
 
THE AFTERNOON OF MAY 3 
---------------------- 
 
13.  TENSION MOUNTED THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON ALL 
OVER BEIJING AS RESIDENTS VENTED THEIR ANGER OVER THE 
ENTRANCE OF TROOPS IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF 
JUNE 3.  EMBOFFS ENCOUNTERED A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS IN 
DIFFERENT LOCATIONS IN WHICH CROWDS HARASSED MILITARY 
OR POLICE PERSONNEL, FORCED THEIR VEHICLES TO TURN 
AROUND, JEERED AT DISPLAYS OF CAPTURED MILITARY 
EQUIPMENT, OR VANDALIZED CAPTURED MILITARY VEHICLES. 
ONE OF THE HOTTEST AREAS WAS ON CHANGANDAJIE BETWEEN 
THE SOUTH ENTRANCE OF THE ZHONGNANHAI LEADERSHIP 
COMPOUND AND THE BUS-BARRICADE AT THE XIDAN 
INTERSECTION.  A BAMBOO TRIPOD SET UP DIRECTLY IN 
FRONT OF THE ENTRANCE TO ZHONGNANHAI BORE CAPTURED 
MILITARY EQUIPMENT INCLUDING A BAYONET, A TENT STAKE, 
MILITARY SHOES AND CLOTHING.  FURTHER DOWN THE STREET 
TOWARD THE XIDAN INTERSECTION A DISABLED MILITARY BUS 
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET ALSO DISPLAYED CAPTURED 
EQUIPMENT. ON TOP OF THE BUS A SMALL TABLE HAD BEEN 
PLACED ON WHICH THERE WAS A MACHINE GUN ON A TRIPOD, 
TWO AK-47S, A HELMET, A PLA HAT, AND A BANNER (ONLY 
PARTIALLY VISIBLE) READING "THIS IS LI PENG'S..." 
THOUSANDS OF ONLOOKERS CROWDED AROUND THE DISPLAYS, 
TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS AND CHEERING THE IMPROMPTU 
SPEECHES DENOUNCING THE GOVERNMENT. 
 
 
A STRIKE PLANNED? 
----------------- 
 
14.  A BEIJING REVIEW JOURNALIST STOPPED ONE POLOFF 
NOT FAR FROM THE XIDAN INTERSECTION, EAGER TO EXPLAIN 
THE DAY'S EVENTS.  THE JOURNALIST REPORTED THAT A 
MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION WAS PLANNED FOR 1400 HOURS 
LOCAL AND HE SAID IT HAD BEEN PROPOSED THAT A GENERAL 
STRIKE BE CALLED. 
 
 
STUDENT PRESS CONFERENCE 
------------------------ 
 
15.  EARLIER IN THE DAY AROUND NOON LOUDSPEAKERS IN 
TIANANMEN SQUARE BROADCAST A LENGTHY SPEECH BY 
SOMEONE IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS A JOURNALIST REPORTING 
ON THE ENTRANCE OF TROOPS INTO THE CITY.  THOUSANDS 
OF BYSTANDERS LISTENED ATTENTIVELY AS THE JOURNALIST 
DESCRIBED HOW STUDENTS AND RESIDENTS EVENTUALLY 
PERSUADED THE SOLDIERS TO TURN AROUND.  AT 1300 HOURS 
LOCAL THE STUDENTS HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE NEAR THE 
"GODDESS OF FREEDOM."  STUDENT LEADER WUERKAIXI LED 
OFF THANKING THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND THEIR 
CONCERN.  HE ALSO THANKED THE REPORTERS WHO AT "GREAT 
RISK" HAD COME TO COVER THE CONFERENCE.  HE THEN 
INTRODUCED THE FOUR HUNGER STRIKERS.  LIU SHAOBO, A 
DOCTOR OF LITERATURE AT BEIJING NORMAL UNIVERSITY, 
THANKED THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE 
STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE PREVIOUS NIGHT WHEN 
LI PENG, UNDER THE "RUSE OF ENFORCING MARTIAL LAW," 
HAD SENT IN ARMED TROOPS.  LIU SAID EVERYONE HAD A 
RESPONSIBILITY TO UPHOLD THE IDEAL OF DEMOCRACY FOR 
WHICH THE PEOPLE LONGED.  LIU SAID THE GOVERNMENT WAS 
COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE.  HE SAID IT WAS CONTROLLED 
BY A SMALL MINORITY AND DID NOT REFLECT THE WISHES OF 
THE PEOPLE. 
 
16.  TAIWAN-RAISED MUSICIAN HOU DEJIAN ANNOUNCED THAT 
DONATIONS FROM THE MAY 27 CONCERT FOR FREEDOM IN HONG 
KONG HAD SO FAR TOTALLED 13,700,000 HONG KONG 
DOLLARS.  SUCH SUPPORT, HE SAID, SHOWED THE 
IMPORTANCE AND THE CORRECTNESS OF THE MOVEMENT. GAO 
XIN, BEIJING NORMAL UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND 
COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBER, SPOKE ABOUT HOW AS A PARTY 
MEMBER HE WAS DOING THE CORRECT THING BY FASTING.  HE 
WAS RESPONDING TO THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE WHICH WAS 
WHAT THE PARTY AND ITS MEMBERS WERE SUPPOSED TO DO. 
 
17.  IN RESPONSE TO A REPORTER'S QUESTION,  LIU 
XIAOBO SAID THE MOVEMENT MUST CONTINUE ITS PEACEFUL 
METHODS TO ACHIEVE ITS GOALS AND THAT THE PEOPLE MUST 
DO NOTHING OUT OF ANGER.  THE PRESS CONFERENCE ENDED 
WITH WUERKAIXI BEING RAISED UP ON OTHER STUDENTS' 
SHOULDERS AND CARRIED AROUND THE SQUARE. 
 
 
A TEAR GAS ATTACK 
----------------- 
 
18.  ACCORDING TO SOME REPORTS, A FEW PLA SOLDIERS 
REMAINED CAPTIVE THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON ABOARD 
THEIR DISABLED BUSES IN THE FUYOUJIE INTERSECTION 
BETWEEN ZHONGNANHAI AND XIDAN.  AN EFFORT TO FREE 
THESE TROOPS MAY HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF A TEAR GAS 
ATTACK IN THE AREA SOMETIME AFTER 1500 HOURS LOCAL. 
IT MAY HAVE ALSO BEEN AN EFFORT TO CLEAR JEERING 
CROWDS FROM THE FRONT OF ZHONGNANHAI.  IN EITHER 
CASE, IT APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN A LIMITED ATTACK. 
THERE WERE ALSO SOME UNCONFIRMED REPORTS OF BEATINGS. 
 
19.  ABOUT THE SAME TIME, SEVERAL THOUSAND TROOPS, 
UNARMED BUT WEARING HELMETS, APPEARED ON THE WEST 
SIDE OF THE GREAT HALL OF PEOPLE WHERE THEY SAT IN 
ROWS TWO-TO-THREE MEN DEEP.  THEY APPEARED 
WELL-DISCIPLINED.  SEVERAL BYSTANDERS WERE OBSERVED 
THROWING THINGS AT THE TROOPS, BUT THEY DID NOT 
RESPOND.  MEANWHILE THE EAST SIDE OF THE GREAT HALL, 
ON TIANANMEN SQUARE REMAINED RELATIVELY NORMAL. 
 
 
EMBASSY SECURITY 
---------------- 
 
20.  THE AMBASSADOR HAS REQUESTED THAT ALL EMBASSY 
EMPLOYEES NOT ENGAGED IN POLITICAL OR MILITARY 
REPORTING AND DEPENDENTS TO REMAIN AT HOME.  SECTION 
HEADS HAVE PASSED THE WORD TO EMPLOYEES.  EMBOFF IN 
VICINITY OF TIANANMEN SQUARE IS NOTIFYING ALL 
AMERICANS THAT HE ENCOUNTERS IN THE AREA TO LEAVE. 
 
 
LILLEY 

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