The Memory of June 4, 1989, by a Student on Tiananmen Square
The following is a Chinese post titled “Why None of the Student Leaders Died? (很多学生死了, 为何柴玲, 吾尔开希, 李录等发起人却还活着?) “, written in 2004. The author took a hunger strike on Tiananmen Square until the last minute.
Translation and photos added by Fish.
The so-called “pro-democracy student leaders” claimed there was a “massacre” taken place on June 4th in Beijing. The question is, if this were true, why none of the “student leaders” perished in the incident?
In the Months Leading Up to June 4
Let’s go back to 1989 when China’s economic reform came to a bottleneck with public dissatisfaction mounting as the inflation rate climbed. By then, the family members of many high officials accumulated huge profits at the public expense. Under such a climate, the student relly in the name of anti-official-corruption was swiftly responded by people in a wide community in Beijing.
But the direction of the demonstrations soon changed, and the ugly nature of the “student leaders” spoiled the whole movement.
In the first meeting between the student leaders and the Chinese authority, Premier Li Peng pledged to investigate official corruption, but Chai Lin and her team still refused to call off the hunger strike on the Tiananmen Square with the excuse that the student leaders might be prosecuted later. So in the second meeting, the premier promised that there would be no such prosecution. But Chai Lin and her team still rejected to leave the square for the reason that they did not trust the premier.
Why Chai Lin and her team appeared to be so unreasonable, determining to escalate the demonstration into a full-scale confrontation with the Chinese government? The answer: they were urged to stick it out by the forces behind them from outside the mainland of China, in particular, a British backed pro-colonial organisation called Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Democratic Movements in China.
Hong Kong Alliance found its way into the student leadership right from the beginning and provided 90 per cent of the supporting fund, and purchased a large number of tents to encourage the students from non-local universities to turn the Tiananmen Square into a camping site. The representatives of the Alliance in Beijing worked as the top consultants for Chai Lin and other student leaders and successfully used the demonstration as blackmail against Chinese authority, aiming at promoting blood confrontation, ideally, with the high death toll. Its goal was to provoke a feeling of horror among the residents in Hong Kong regarding the return of the island to China and to incite the international community to demand the Chinese government to allow the island to remain as a British colony.
In the Days Leading Up to June 4
After martial law was declared, there was a debate among the students, and eventually, a decision to end the hunger strike and leave the premises was made. But the decision and the other similar pleas were all rejected by Chai Lin and her supporters in the leadership. Was she determined to die a martyr or she had lost her sanity that made her gamble with the lives of the thousands of students?
The following is the part of the conversation during an interview with Chai Lin by American television news shortly after the martial law was declared, and the whole interview was aired on June 7, 1989:
The U.S. journalist: Do you understand what kind of risk you are facing by keeping staying on the Tiananmen Square?
Chai Ling: Yes, we understand we’re facing a big risk; and I feel sad that the young students may have to die for the course. (Sobbing and weeping)
The U.S. journalist: Are you ready to die then?
China Ling: (Weeping and sobbing) No! (Sobbing more and weeping again) I want to live, I’m still young.
This conversation shows clearly Chai Lin and her team knew it all along that their reckless action was going to lead to a scenario in which the event would end up in bloodshed.
On June 1 and 2, the “leadership” began to arrange student groups to act as human blockages at various intersections to prevent military troops from entering the square to enforce the martial law.
At a secret meeting held on the midnight of June 2nd, a student leader proclaimed: “According to credible information we received, the troop will enter the square to enforce the curfew, and there will be bloodshed and lives lost. The movement had failed, and now what we need is not a reform but a revolution. We have to bring down the current government and the whole institutional system in China.”
They then distributed donated cash among themselves and discussed the details of a pre-arranged escape path. One of the student leaders felt bad about that and suggested they should advise the students to leave the square as well. His suggestion was harshly turned down by the team: No way, if everyone has left the square, we won’t be able to go without being noticed. Chai Lin further added: “Only by saving us the democracy movement in China can be saved.”
At 3 am of June 3 when thousands of students on hunger strike were fast asleep in their tents, Chai Lin and other student leaders sneaked out of the square and then out of China, under the direct assistance of Hong Kong Alliance, heading for the land of the United States, and then lied (and are still lying) to the world that thousands of students died on the square. It is their great hope anyway. The more students died, the stronger condemnations Chinese government would receive, and the better position they could gain for themselves in the West.
这段对话说明了两个事实：1, 在万里发表了支持戒严法的声明后，高自联的头头柴玲，吾尔开希，李录清清楚楚知道继续留在天安门广场上学生们可能会流血死去。 2, 柴玲不想死的。看来吾尔开希，李录也是不想死的。
6月１日和２日，柴玲，吾尔开希，李录等６４头头对如何阻止戒严部队进入天安门广场作了严密布置, 还指定专人负责把守一些街口。89年６月２日深晚到３日凌晨，北京高自联开了最后的常委会。会上由吾尔开希重点发言。吾尔开希对大家说：”根据可靠情报，明天戒严部队要进行武装清场，一定会流血死人的。” 吾尔开希又说: “这次运动已经失败。看来我们需要的不是一场改革，我们需要的是一场革命，一场体制外的革命。我们今后所要作的是打倒共产党的体制。” 柴玲，李录也作了慷慨的发言。
李禄接下来宣布高自联指挥部成员立即撤出天安门广场, 再一次发了逃命钱。逃亡的方向是美国。吾尔开希对逃亡路径及联络方法作了细述: 先南下广州，然后由港支联接应。于是在６月３日凌晨三点左右，柴玲和大部分高自联指挥部成员乘着天安门广场上的学生正在睡梦之时，偷偷地撤离广场，走上逃亡美国的不归路。一个姓郭的头头在临跑前，突然良心发现。他说：“学生都没撤，我们指挥部提前撤对吗？是不是可以叫学生们也一起撤？” 李禄说: “不行！叫学生们也一起撤我们就撤不了。” 柴玲说:“我们提前撤是为了保护火种。” 于是这最后的良心也被狗吃了。
这时港支联的阴谋就完全清楚了: 先由柴玲，吾尔开希，李录等人用豪言壮语把上千的学生骗在天安门广场，然后在武装清场之前，柴玲，吾尔开希，李录等人再来个金蝉脱壳之计，逃之夭夭，使上千的学生陷入生死的困境。他们已经宣誓要打倒共产党, 所以广场上学生死得越多，对共产党的打击越大，他们逃亡美国的本钱业越多。
On the Eve and the Day of June 4
Ever since the noon of June 3, the radio and television stations in Beijing began to broadcast the warning from the authority, reminding the public that the Tiananmen Square is under curfew and urging people to leave and stay away from the premises. By the afternoon, the military force that was deployed to impose martial law started to move towards the square but the advance was violently obstructed by a large number of students and citizens. Most deaths in the whole incident occurred during the open confrontation at this stage.
The citizens and students had no fear of the PLA, China’s military force, and climbed onto the tanks to challenge the curfew.
No one knew when and what caused the first death. There are many versions of the event, but all acknowledged that at the moment the mob pounced on the soldier, the latter who was armed with machine gun did not open fire; and if he did, none of the attackers would have survived. But he opted not to, and consequently, he paid the price with his young life. The question is why he didn’t open the fire – clearly, he was so ordered. [A similar situation reoccurred during Tibetan Lamas’ Lhasa Riot 19 years later in 2008, sadly – Fish]. It is obvious that the troops initially hoped they could use their own bodies to force their way to the curfew site.
Mobs among citizens and students set fire on PLA’s armoured vehicles
Three PLA soldiers were bashed to death by mobs among the citizens and the students
However, after soldiers were brutally killed by the mobs in the process, the authority realised that the job could not be done without force, thus the troops were given the power to open fire when necessary. One hour after the death of the first soldier, the armoured vehicles arrived at Muxidi and encountered blockages placed by the crowd. When the convoy’s request to remove the blockages met violent objections, the military force opened the fire, not at the crowd but the blockages, which unfortunately still caused injuries to a few students and residents who were then immediately sent to hospitals.
The 600-year-old China capital was on fire
The news that the law-enforcement troops opened fire at the crowd quickly spread around and was received with shock by the students on the Tiananmen Square, who at once flocked to seek instructions from Chai Lin and her team, but only found they were all vanished without a trace.
The fact that the “student leaders” deserted the students they were supposed to lead immediately sent the crowd into chaos. Out of despair, they turned to a Taiwan rock star surnamed Hou for help. Hou thus became the new leader of the crowd and later declared that no one ever died in the square during the whole incident.
谁也不知道第一个死去的学生是怎么死的？谁也不知道第一个被学生和市民打死的士兵是怎么死的？有很多种说法。其中有一个说法似乎比较象真的。故事说：正当学生与戒严部队士兵僵持时，突然响起了一下枪声, 于是群众叫了起来: “解放军打死人了！解放军打死人了！” 接着十几个身强力壮的男人向士兵猛扑了过去，抓住了士兵们的冲锋枪。士兵们吓得丢下枪跑了。但是有一个士兵却给市民打死了, 脑袋被砸碎了。还有其它很多版本的故事。但是所有的故事有个共同点：当市民扑向那个被打死的士兵时，他没有用手里的冲锋枪扫射扑向他的市民。如果他扫了，那些扑向他的市民个个都得被打死，他就会活下来。为什么他不开枪呢？一是恐怕他不忍向老百姓开枪，刚才那一枪也不是他打的，二是恐怕他没有收到开枪的命令。很多研究６４历史的文献都指出，戒严指挥部一开始在使用武力这一点上是很犹豫的。士兵在向天安门推进时，主要是用士兵的躯体，枪虽带着，但是并没有使用。所以几个小时也无法打开通道。
在戒严士兵被打死了一个小时以后，戒严指挥部显然下达了开枪的命令。一批戒严士兵又来到木樨地，他们命令学生与市民撤除路障，但是学生与市民拒绝服从。于是士兵就向路障开枪。有几个学生与市民立即倒下，被别人马上送去医院，路障就打开了。士兵被打死和戒严士兵用冲锋枪开路打死学生的的消息很快传遍天安门 广场。当学生要向柴总指挥请示怎么办时，发现总指挥部是空的。总指挥部外面聚集了许多学生, 有个外地学生头头说他找了一个下午也没找到一个高自联头头。高自联头头丢下学生先逃跑的消息使天安门广场上的学生们陷入一片混乱。大家都不知道怎么办, 于是就去问候德建。
As all student leaders including Chai Lin (柴玲) and Wang Dan (王丹) deserted their followers who were tricked into staying in the square to cover their tracks, a rock star from Taiwan stood out to urge the students not to defy the law-enforcement authority, on the contrary to what the student leaders repeated advocated previously. Although a few extremists still called on a violent confrontation, the vast majority of students chose to follow rock star’s advice. By the time the troops entered the premises, all sat down on the ground quietly.
The PLA soldiers entered the square to enforce the curfew on June 4
When the soldiers seized us, I was scared to death. Then I heard a voice shouting out his order and discerned the sound of the soldiers raising their machine guns, which was followed by ear-deafening gunshots. I promptly lied on my stomach and cried inwardly: “Please don’t shoot me!”
After the square quieted down again, I realised I was still alive. Looking around, I found no one near me was killed either. When I spotted the soldiers in the front line ginning at us, I knew they had no intention to hurt us but just tried to scare us into submission. At that moment I had only one thought: go home!
Soon after, a loudspeaker ordered the student leaders to stand out, and repeatedly called the names of Chai Lin (柴玲), Wang Dan (王丹) and others, but none of them showed up. Finally, it was the rock star who walked towards the vehicle of the military commander. After another while, the loudspeaker sounded again, asking all the students to leave the square from the southeast direction.
In the beginning, the withdrawal went rather orderly, but quickly the procession descended into chaos as everyone tried to get out of the square as soon as possible. The huge crowd pushed and shoved each other, and many lost their shoes but dared not to bend over to search in fear of being stepped to death by crowd surging from behind.
Such was the last scene of the so-called Tiananmen Movement.
You may wonder if anyone was killed by the troops in the square. Well, according to the rock star from Taiwan, there was none; and according to the students at the time in the premises, like me, there was none. Soldiers fired into the air. However, as the troops somehow used expending bullets, and when they fired shots into the sky, some bullets hit the Monument of People’s Heroes, and then bounced back and injured some students around. One of them had his leg wounded and become crippled for life.
Chai Lin made a bold claim in America that the blood in the square flew like streams on June 4. That is incredible! You’d run away from the premises long before that crucial moment, how did you know that? You and your team along with the Hong Kong Alliance had crafted a delicate death-trap, pity we did not jump into it. You refused to let us leave the square, and urged the students to use their bodies to block the advance of the armoured vehicles while you secretly fled the scene. Had not because of your instigation, there would be no road blockages installed and no violent clashes between the civilians and troops. Do you really think your life is much more valuable than that of thousands of innocent students?
Those who died on June 4th 1989 might think they were fighting against the official corruption and for “democracy”, but actually driven to death by Chai Lin, her team and the Hong Kong Alliance. Sooner or later these people will need to pay for the crimes they committed to the Chinese who died in the incident, and to the nation they betrayed. Such a day will come!!!
候德建就这样当上了天安门广场学生运动最后的临时总指挥。候德建说, 现在天安门已经被包围了，逃是无法逃了。我提三点建议：１, 大家不要走动，统统坐下; ２, 大家不要讲话，更不能喊口号; 3, 大家千万不要向士兵扔东西。虽然有人说这是投降，但是候德建的三不主义还是为天安门广场的多数学生所接受。天安门广场上的学生运动最终恢复了理性。等戒严部队开进天安门广场，只见上千学生黑压压一片坐在地上（往往几百人一片），没有一点走动，也没有一点声音。
当士兵拿了冲锋枪把我们包围时，我怕死了。后来我听到预备的命令。我面前的士兵都把枪举了起来。接下来就听到震耳欲聋的枪声。我就马上趴在地上, 心里直叫唤 “不要打我！不要打我！”