Tiananmen Square massacre cable makes chilling '10,000 killed' claim

Pro-democracy demonstrators sit in front of soldiers days before the bloody crackdown on students and protesters in and around Tiananmen Square.
Pro-democracy demonstrators sit in front of soldiers days before the bloody crackdown on students and protesters in and around Tiananmen Square. Photo credit: Getty

Warning: Story contains graphic details

A recently revealed secret British diplomatic cable has uncovered shocking new information about the Chinese government's brutal crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, alleging 10,000 were killed.

A number of diplomatic telegraphs have been uncovered by Hong Kong news website HK01 which contain information from British ambassador at the time Sir Alan Donald about the massacre.

The Tiananmen Square protests occurred over several months in 1989, ending in June when martial law was declared and heavily armed troops attacked protesters in Tiananmen Square.

They were demonstrating against a number of things including political corruption, nepotism and a lack of democracy.

In China, the incident is still forbidden to be debated or taught in schools and is censored on the internet.

Previous estimates of the number killed have ranged between several hundred and over 1000 but the telegraph from Sir Alan provides a minimum estimate of 10,000.

Tiananmen Square massacre cable makes chilling '10,000 killed' claim
Photo credit: HK01

Sir Alan goes into detail about the killings, saying troops bayoneted women as they begged for mercy and a mother was shot as she tried to save her daughter.

"27 Army ordered to spare no one," he wrote.

"Four wounded girl students begged for their lives but were bayoneted.

"A three-year-old girl was injured, but her mother was shot as she went to her aid, as were six others.

"1000 survivors were told they could escape but were then mown down by specially prepared MG [machine gun] positions."

He also claimed one army officer was killed for hesitating to shoot civilians after his fellow troops told they would be killed if they did not shoot him.

Sir Alan cites a "good friend" from China's state council as his source, saying he was "reliable and careful to separate fact from speculation and rumour".

Former student protest leader Xiong Yan, who is now a US citizen, called the estimate reliable.

However, Feng Congde, another former student leader based in the US, pointed out a later estimate by Sir Alan which puts the death toll between 2700 and 3400.

Newshub.

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