US embassy cable - 89BEIJING15411

SITREP NO. 31: TIANANMEN AT 0245 ON - JUNE 4: GUNFIRE ON THE SQUARE, TWO APC'S - BURNING ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE SQUARE CONFIDENTIAL

Identifier: 89BEIJING15411
Wikileaks: View 89BEIJING15411 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beijing
Created: 1989-06-03 18:11:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHU SOCI CH
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 031811Z JUN 89
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 0060
INFO AIT TAIPEI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL SHENYANG IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL HONG KONG IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE
COM SEVENTHFLT IMMEDIATE
DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL CHENGDU POUCH)
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 15411 
 
NIACT IMMEDIATE FOR CHINA WATCH 
 
NSC FOR DOUG PAAL 
 
E.O.12356:DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, PHU, SOCI, CH 
SUBJECT:  SITREP NO. 31:  TIANANMEN AT 0245 ON 
-         JUNE 4:  GUNFIRE ON THE SQUARE, TWO APC'S 
-         BURNING ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE SQUARE 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        BEIJIN  15411  01 OF 02  031821Z 
 
 
REF:  BEIJING (##) 
 
1.   CONFIDENTIAL ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  SUMMARY:  AS OF 0145, ABC NEWS REPORTERS ON THE 
SQUARE REPORTED THE PRESENCE OF TROOPS AND RIOT 
POLICE ON THE SOUTHERN END OF TIANANMEN.  TEAR GAS 
AND GUNFIRE WERE REPORTED ON THE SQUARE.  EMBOFF SAW 
TRACERS BEING FIRED OVER THE SQUARE.  ABC JOURNALISTS 
SAID THAT TWO ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS WERE ON FIRE 
AT THE NORTHEAST AND NORTHWEST CORNERS OF THE 
SQUARE.  A BARRICADE NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF 
FUXINGMEN AND THE SECOND RING ROAD WAS BREACHED AS 
TROOPS ADVANCED ON THE SQUARE FROM THE WEST.  AS OF 
0250, THE SITUATION IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY WAS 
VERY CONFUSED.  TROOPS APPEAR TO BE ATTEMPTING TO 
CLEAR THE SQUARE FROM WEST TO EAST.  WE HAVE NO 
ACCURATE COUNT OF DEAD AND WOUNDED, BUT CASUALTIES NO 
DOUBT WILL BE HIGH (##) 
DEMONSTRATOR WHO LAID DOWN IN FRONT OF AN 
ADVANCING APC AND WAS RUN OVER.  UNCONFIRMED ACCOUNTS 
CITE SEVENTY DEAD AND MANY WOUNDED.  GIVEN THE 
AGGRESIVE PLA MOVES REPORTED BY ABC NEWS REPORTERS, 
WE EXPECT FINAL COUNTS OF DEAD AND INJURED TO BE VERY 
HIGH.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  STUDENTS SET DEBRIS THROWN ATOP AT LEAST ONE 
ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER AND LIT THE DEBRIS, 
ACCORDING TO EMBOFF NEAR THE SCENE.  ABC REPORTED 
THAT ONE OTHER ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER IS AFLAME. 
AT LEAST ONE BUS WAS ALSO BURNING, ACCORDING TO ABC 
NEWS REPORTERS ON THE SQUARE AT 0120.  THE 
EYEWITNESSES REPORTED THAT TROOPS AND RIOT POLICE 
WERE ON THE SOUTHERN END OF THE SQUARE AND TROOPS 
WERE MOVING TO THE SQUARE FROM THE WESTERN SIDE OF 
THE CITY.  THEY REPORTEDLY BROKE THROUGH A BARRICADE 
NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF FUXINGMEN AND THE SECOND 
RING ROAD.  DEMONSTRATORS' BARRICADES HAVE SLOWED BUT 
NOT STOPPED THE TROOPS' ADVANCE.  THERE HAS 
REPORTEDLY BEEN INDISCRIMINATE GUNFIRE BY THE TROOPS 
ON THE SQUARE.  WE CAN HEAR GUNFIRE FROM THE EMBASSY 
AND JIANGUOMENWAI DIPLOMATIC COMPOUND.  EYEWITNESSES 
REPORT TEAR GAS ON THE SQUARE, FLARES BEING FIRED 
ABOVE IT, AND TRACERS BEING FIRED OVER IT. 
 
4.  ACCORDING TO UNCONFIRMED REPORTS, SEVENTY HAVE 
BEEN KILLED AND LARGE NUMBERS WOUNDED.  ANOTHER 
REPORT CITED NINE DEAD AND OVER ONE-HUNDRED WOUNDED 
AT THE FUXING HOSPITAL.  THE CHILDRENS' HOSPITAL 
INDICATED THAT IT HAD 11 DEAD.  WE HAVE A FIRM REPORT 
THAT AT LEAST ONE HAS DIED, HAVING BEEN RUN OVER BY 
AN APC.  EYEWITNESSES SAID THAT AN APC MOVING TOWARD 
THE SQUARE FROM THE EAST CRASHED THROUGH A BARRICADE 
AND PLOWED RIGHT THROUGH A CROWD ON CHANGAN STREET. 
FINAL NUMBERS OF DEAD AND WOUNDED COULD BE VERY HIGH, 
BASED ON EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS OF THE ARMY'S ACTION 
THUS FAR. 
 
5.  THE SITUATION IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY IS VERY 
CONFUSED.  POLOFFS AT THE BEIJING HOTEL REPORTED THAT 
TROOPS ARE PUSHING A LARGE CROWD OF DEMONSTRATORS 
EAST ON CHANGANJIE.  ALTHOUGH THESE TROOPS APPEAR NOT 
TO BE FIRING ON THE CROWD, POLOFFS REPORT FIRING 
BEHIND THE TROOPS COMING FROM THE SQUARE. 
 
6.  A LARGE CONVOY OF MILITARY VEHICLES IS COMING 
TOWARD THE CITY FROM THE WESTERN SIDE OF BEIJING. 
 
7.  SOME UNITS HAVE NOT ADOPTED SUCH AGGRESIVE 
MOVES.  AT 0124, AN EMBASSY SPOUSE SAW TROOPS AT THE 
JIANGUOMENWAI OVERPASS NEXT TO THE DIPLOMATIC HOUSING 
COMPOUND TALKING CALMLY WITH THE CITY RESIDENTS 
BLOCKING THEIR PATH.  CONVERSELY, PANIC REPORTEDLY 
SET IN AMONG PEOPLE ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE CITY 
WHERE THE VIOLENCE HAS BEEN WORST THUS FAR. 
 
 
LILLEY 

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