Happy Lunar New Year from the USC US-China Institute!
Tiananmen Square Document 9: Secretary of State's Morning Summary for June 3, 1989, China: Police Use Tear Gas on Crowds, 1989
The initial moves against the students suggested to many that the Chinese leadership was still, as of the morning of June 3, committed to a relatively peaceful resolution to the crisis. This document describes two incidents that in retrospect may have convinced Chinese authorities that the use of force was necessary. The document reports, according to various sources, that "approximatley 5,000 unarmed troops … were turned back by students and citizens as they attempted to advance on foot to Tiananmen Square." Later in the day Beijing police fired tear gas on crowds gathered near the Zhongnanhai leadership compound, but the report suggests that this was an "accidental rather than a premeditated effort to escalate the level of force beyond that used unsuccessfully earlier in the day." With respect to the disorderly withdrawal of the military units earlier in the day, the summary notes that "the obvious confusion of many of the soldiers suggests they were unprepared for the outpouring of opposition their movements triggered."
To access the document, please click here.
Original source: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/index.html#d9
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