The following is an article penned by wanxi398 who witnessed the Tiananmen Incident in 1989. English translation by Fish. 

When the Tiananmen Incident occurred, I was just eight-year-old. Although it is an age too young to be able to comprehend complicated matters, I was however aware of what was going on in the world around me.

I remember many schools were shut down for over a month, and we kids considered it to be the best thing happened in the whole event. After I came to the West, over the years, I tried to understand the true nature of the incident that I witnessed as a child.

According to the credible definition of martial law, it is a system of rules that takes effect when the military is in control of the normal administration of justice, which can be declared in situations that may result in grave consequences for national security and law enforcement, such as in face of an external military threat, a violent street riot, a major natural disaster or serious political crisis. Any legitimate government in any nation has a legal right to declare martial law in a state of emergency.

Don’t tell me what happened in Beijing at the time was just a peaceful protest by students. The nature of the protest had changed soon after it began, and the forces behind that directed the whole event were more sinister than most people would have imagined. The Chinese government had been in a series of dialogue sessions with the students for more than a month with no result produced since the students didn’t know what they really wanted to achieve. The martial law was made under such a hopeless situation, as the government seemed to have no other options. Only after martial law was imposed and ignored by the people occupied the square, the army opened fire.

At about 8 am on June 4, my father took me to Changan Avenue (长安街) by cart, the main road in Beijing that runs through Tiananmen Square. We went to Xidan (西单口) and did not dare to go in the direction of Liubukou (六部口). We rode towards the west until we reached the Headquarter Building of the Worker’s Union (工会大楼) and Yanjing Hotel (燕京饭店), and spotted a thick smog in the distance. Later we learned that the military vehicles in front of the Military Museum were burned. I didn’t see any dead bodies though but noticed a large number of abandoned bicycles, and badly burned buses turned sideways, the metal pieces from the construction sites by the road and bullet holes in the walls. Later, I heard the adults mentioning the armoured vehicles near Liubukou firing shots into the air, and they had to bend their bodies when fleeing the scene. I think it is very likely some people might have been hit by the bullets.

The end of the Tiananmen Incident was the beginning of the migration wave to the West. No matter whether you had ever remotely related to the event, as long as you said you did, you were in for the resettlement opportunity in a lifetime. The more outrageous your story sounded, the happier the Westerners who reviewed your application for migration were since they could collect a few more bullets to fire at China. Now 20 years have passed, I’m baffled as to why those who initially made the fanciful claims still haven’t come up to correct the records. Is it so hard for those people to speak the truth? China today is a very different place compared to what it was twenty years ago, and Chinese people cannot be easily fooled. For anyone who intends to rehabilitate the whole event in 1989, he will have to provide hard evidence [to prove that the Chinese army did have intentionally killed the people, and in a large number as it is still claimed by the West and their paid Chinese foot soldiers, and to convince the Chinese people that the movement was not orchestrated by the hostile alien forces with the full cooperation of the “student leaders”].

The majority of the students who participated in the protest were motivated by their concern for China’s future. Unfortunately, the movement was quickly spoiled by the “student leaders” who actually cared about nothing but a power play, which brought a huge negative impact on China’s reform progress. Consequently, it is the Chinese people who have suffered.

It is only half a month away from the day marked as the 20th anniversary of the incident, and I’m sure there will be a lot of related posts appearing, and many old stories encircling online. I urge you to think for yourselves and to find out how much truth in those outlandish tales.


作者:wanxi398 (2009)



戒严(Martial law):是指国家在处于对外战争、内部叛乱、天灾瘟疫或者财政经济危机的等严重危害社会安全与政治稳定的特殊时期采取的一种紧急措施。戒严实施司法及行政权会部分或全部由军队接管。在有的国家又称之为紧急状态。


六四早上8点多,我爸骑着三轮车带我去长安街,在西单口没敢往六部口方向走,去的是西边,一直走到工会大楼,燕京饭店附近,西边远处冒着很浓的黑烟就没再往前。过后听说是军博那里军车被烧了。那天早上在路上我没看到尸体,只有路边扔的成片的自行车,路中间被推倒烧过了的公共汽车,路边工地铁皮和墙上的弹孔。 后来听大人聊天说在六部口坦克用机枪对周围扫射过,但是都是往高处平射,他们都是弯腰跑回来的。我想应该有打到人。




2 thought on “A Child-Witness Account of Tiananmen Incident 1989”
  1. With our fearless leader promoting violence to end violence the possibility of a tragic conclusion to our current situation in the US is all too real. One comment made in “dialogue sessions with the students for more than a month with no result produced” hits home for our situation. The prejudiced here has gone on way too long and now frustration is taking hold.

    1. Yes, the United States is heading in a very dangerous direction.
      As we discussed at the beginning of this year, the era of chaos and destruction will last for years, thus all we’ve experienced so far is just the entree of the big banquet.
      But never lose faith in the better future – all this turbulence will be over within a decade.

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