WikiLeaks confirms it
Tiananmen Square ‘massacre’ was a myth
Published Jun 29, 2011 2:53 PM
How many times have we been told that the U.S. is an “open” society
and the media are “free”?
Usually such claims are made when criticizing other countries for not being
“open,” especially countries that don’t follow
If you live in the United States and depend on the supposedly
“free” and “open” commercial media for information, you
would without a doubt believe that the Chinese government massacred
“hundreds, perhaps thousands” of students in Tiananmen Square on
June 4, 1989. That phrase has been repeated tens of thousands of times by the
media of this country.
But it’s a myth. Furthermore, the U.S. government knows it’s a
myth. And all the major media know it too. But they refuse to correct the
record because of the basic hostility of the U.S. imperialist ruling class to
On what do we base this assertion? Several sources.
The most recent is a WikiLeaks release of cables sent from the U.S. Embassy in
Beijing to the State Department in June 1989, a few days after the events in
Second is an assertion in November 1989 by the Beijing bureau chief of the New
York Times, an assertion that has never again been referred to by that
And third is the account of what happened by the Chinese government itself,
which is corroborated by the first two.
Only one major Western newspaper has published the WikiLeaks cables. That was
the Telegraph of London on June 4 of this year, exactly 22 years after the
Chinese government called out the troops in Beijing.
Two cables dated July 7, 1989 — more than a month after the fighting
— related the following:
“A Chilean diplomat provides an eye-witness account of the soldiers
entering Tiananmen Square: He watched the military enter the square and did not
observe any mass firing of weapons into the crowds, although sporadic gunfire
was heard. He said that most of the troops which entered the square were
actually armed only with anti-riot gear — truncheons and wooden clubs;
they were backed up by armed soldiers.”
A following cable stated: “A Chilean diplomat provides an eye-witness
account of the soldiers entering Tiananmen Square: Although gunfire could be
heard, he said that apart from some beating of students, there was no mass
firing into the crowd of students at the monument.”
It should be remembered that Chile at that time was ruled by Gen. Augusto
Pinochet, who had come to power in a violent, anti-socialist, U.S.-supported
right-wing coup in which thousands of leftists, including President Salvador
Allende, had been killed. The “Chilean diplomat” referred to would
have been no friend of China.
Not one U.S. newspaper, television or radio outlet has reported or commented on
these cables released by WikiLeaks, nor on the Telegraph story about them. It
is as though they fell into a bottomless chasm.
Is it because the media here don’t believe the report is credible?
They knew the truth in 1989
The New York Times knows it’s credible. Their own Beijing bureau chief at
the time, Nicholas Kristof, confirmed it in an extensive article entitled
“China Update: How the Hardliners Won,” published in the Sunday
Times magazine on Nov. 12, 1989, five months after the supposed massacre in the
At the very end of this long article, which purported to give an inside view of
a debate within the Chinese Communist Party leadership, Kristof stated
categorically: “Based on my observations in the streets, neither the
official account nor many of the foreign versions are quite correct. There is
no massacre in Tiananmen Square, for example, although there is plenty of
Even though Kristof’s article was harshly critical of China, his
statement that there was “no massacre in Tiananmen Square”
immediately drew howls of protest from China bashers in the U.S., as reflected
in the Times’ letters column.
Had there been fighting in Beijing? Absolutely. But there was no massacre of
unarmed students in the square. That was an invention by the West, intended to
demonize the Chinese government and win public sympathy for a
The turn toward a market economy under Deng Xiaoping had alienated many
workers. There was also a counter-revolutionary element trying to take
advantage of popular grievances to completely restore capitalism.
The imperialists were hoping the struggles in Beijing would bring down the
Chinese Communist Party and destroy the planned economy — similar to what
was to happen two years later in the Soviet Union. They wanted to “open
up” China, not to truth, but to the looting of the people’s
property by imperialist banks and corporations.
After much wavering at the top, the army was called out and the uprising
crushed. China was not broken up like the Soviet Union; its economy has not
imploded nor has the standard of living declined. Quite the opposite. Wages and
social conditions have been improving at a time when workers elsewhere are
being forced backward by a severe capitalist economic crisis.
Despite deep concessions to capitalism, foreign and domestic, China continues
to have a planned economy based on a strong state-owned infrastructure.
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