REMEMBERING TIANANMEN — AND DEBUNKING THE EMPIRE’S MYTHOLOGY (2)
THE FOUR MYTHS — by Robert K Tan (June 4, 2017)
When history writes the final version, the Tiananmen turmoil of 1989 will be seen as a Chinese tragedy that was hugely exaggerated and skewed by ill-wishers of the People’s Republic to discredit and demonize socialist China. It is also one of the great propaganda hoaxes of modern times (see link at bottom). Here are the core myths surrounding the episode — and the corresponding realities:
MYTH 1: Thousands of unarmed student protesters at Tiananmen Square were mowed down by machine guns and crushed by tanks of the Chinese army in the early hours of June 4, 1989.
REALITY: No one was killed in Tiananmen (TAM) Square in the early morning of June 4, 1989. Secret cables from the American ambassador in China, James Lilley, to the US State Department published by Wikileaks in June 2011 unequivocally affirmed the fact. The cables were based on an eyewitness account by Chilean second secretary in China, Carlos Gallo, who was at the square until he left with the last students that morning.
“Once agreement was reached for the students to withdraw,” said Lilley in his cable, “the students left the square through the southeast corner. Essentially everyone, including Gallo, left. The few that attempted to remain behind were beaten and driven to join the end of the departing procession.”
One other source has confirmed the Chilean diplomat’s account. That was Eugenio Bregolat, Spain’s ambassador to Beijing at the time. In a book he wrote about Tiananmen, he angrily denies the massacre stories. He notes that Spain’s TVE channel had a television crew in the square most of the evening, and that if there had been a massacre, they would have been the first to see it and record it. He points out that most reports of an alleged massacre were made by journalists hunkered down in the safe haven of the Beijing Hotel, some distance from the square.
A Taiwan-born singer and composer, Hou Dejian, who joined the student protesters at the square and negotiated with the Chinese army commissar for the remaining students to leave it, said categorically that there were no killings in the early morning of June 4.