(Reading time: 18 - 35 minutes)
burning tank
Roberto Petitpas

There are few places in China that seem more burned into the consciousness of typical Westerners than Tiananmen Square, and few events more commonly mentioned than the student protests of 1989. But the stories are wrong on several levels.

It was never reported in the Western media that there were two separate events that occurred in Beijing on June 4, 1989. One was a student protest that culminated in a sit-in in Tiananmen Square by several thousand university students, which had lasted for several weeks and finally terminated on June 4. The other was a one-day worker strike that occurred (perhaps not by chance) also on June 4, when a group of workers unhappy with their lot in life, organised their own protest independently of the students, and in a different place. For reasons that will become apparent, the workers’ protest is the necessary focus for understanding the events of that date, so I will begin there.

The Workers’ Revolt

A group of workers gathered, and barricaded several streets in Muxidi, an area in Beijing five or six kilometers from Tiananmen Square, the barricades attended by several hundred mostly adult workers, with an undetermined few young people. However, there was a third quite large group present that to my knowledge has never been clearly identified, though it is obvious from the photos they were not workers and certainly not young students. (1) Thugs or anarchists might be an appropriate adjective, but the facts seem to support the conclusion (and my own personal judgment) that they were mercenaries. (2)

The government sent in busloads of soldiers, accompanied by a few APCs to clear the barricades and re-open the streets to traffic. (3) The violence began when the third group attacked the young men attempting to clear the barricades. They were well-prepared, armed with at least hundreds and perhaps thousands of gasoline bombs, and immediately torched dozens of buses and the few APCs – with the soldiers still inside. Many soldiers in both types of vehicles escaped, but many others did not, and many burned to death. There are countless photos of dead soldiers burned to a crisp, some hung by the thugs from lampposts, others lying in the street or on stairs or sidewalks where they died, others hanging out of bus windows or the APCs, having only partially escaped before being overcome by the flames. There are documented reports and photos showing that the group of thugs managed to get control of one APC, and drove it through the streets while firing the machine guns on the turret. (4) It was only then that the government sent in armed soldiers and military equipment.

Government reports and independent media personnel generally claim a total of 250 to 300 civilian deaths before the violence subsided, but a similar number of soldiers had already been killed. When police or military are attacked in this way, they will surely use force to defend themselves and cannot be faulted for that. If you or I were the military commander on the scene, watching our men being attacked and burned to death, we would have done the same. From everything I know, I can find no fault here.

Here is an eyewitness report from someone who was there, an excerpt from the book ‘Tiananmen Moon’: (5)

There was a new element I hadn’t noticed much of before, young punks decidedly less than student-like in appearance. In the place of headbands and signed shirts with university pins they wore cheap, ill-fitting polyester clothes and loose windbreakers. Under our lights, their eyes gleaming with mischief, they brazenly revealed hidden Molotov cocktails. Who were these punks in shorts and sandals, carrying petrol bombs? Gasoline is tightly rationed, so they could not have come up with these things spontaneously. Who taught them to make bottle bombs and for whom were the incendiary devices intended?"

Someone shouted that another APC was heading our way. My pace quickened as I approached the stalled vehicle, infected by the toxic glee of the mob, but then I caught myself. Why was I rushing towards trouble? Because everyone else was? I slowed down to a trot in the wake of a thundering herd of one mass mind. Breaking with the pack, I stopped running. Someone tossed a Molotov cocktail, setting the APC on fire. Flames spread quickly over the top of the vehicle and spilled onto the pavement. I thought, there’s somebody still inside of that, it’s not just a machine! There must be people inside.

Someone protectively pulled me away to join a handful of head-banded students who sought to exert some control. Expending what little moral capital his hunger strike signature saturated shirt still exerted, he spoke up for the soldier. “Let the man out,” he cried. “Help the soldier, help him get out!” The agitated congregation was in no mood for mercy. Angry, blood-curdling voices ricocheted around us. “Kill the mother fucker!” one said. Then another voice, even more chilling than the first screamed, “He is not human, he is a thing.” “Kill it, kill it!” shouted bystanders, bloody enthusiasm now whipped up to a high pitch. “Stop! Don’t hurt him!” Meng pleaded, leaving me behind as he tried to reason with the vigilantes. “Stop, he is just a soldier!” “He is not human, kill him, kill him!” said a voice. “Get back, get back!” someone screamed at the top of his lungs. “Leave him alone, the soldiers are not our enemy!” After the limp bodies of the soldiers were put into an ambulance, the thugs attacked the ambulance, almost ripping off the rear doors in an attempt to remove the burned soldier and finish him off. After that, charred bodies of soldiers were hung from a lamp post, and a large amount of ammunition was taken from the APC.” (6)

From a Government Report on the Worker’s Riot:

Rioters blocked military and other vehicles before they smashed and burned them. They also seized guns, ammunition and transceivers. Several rioters seized an armored car and fired its guns as they drove it along the street. Rioters also assaulted civilian installations and public buildings. Several rioters even drove a public bus loaded with gasoline drums towards the Tiananmen gatetower in an attempt to set fire to it. When a military vehicle suddenly broke down on Chang’An Avenue, rioters surrounded it and crushed the driver with bricks. The rioters savagely beat and killed many soldiers and officers. At Chongwenmen, a soldier was thrown down from the flyover and burned alive. At Fuchengmen, a soldier’s body was hung upside down on the overpass balustrade after he had been killed. Near a cinema, an officer was beaten to death, and his body strung up on a burning bus. 

"Over 1,280 vehicles were burned or damaged in the rebellion, including over 1,000 military trucks, more than 60 armored cars, over 30 police cars, over 120 public buses and trolley buses and over 70 motor vehicles of other kinds. The martial law troops, having suffered heavy casualties before being forced to fire into the air to clear the way forward. During the counter-attack, some rioters were killed, some onlookers were hit by stray bullets and some wounded or killed by armed ruffians. According to reliable statistics, more than 3,000 civilians were wounded and over 200, including 36 college students, were killed. As well, more than 6,000 law officers and soldiers were injured and scores of them killed.” (Cables from the US Embassy in Beijing confirmed the basics of this report as well as the casualty estimates). (4)

Though conclusive direct evidence is still thin, it appears a certainty the revolt had considerable outside help. In addition to the curious timing, there is too much evidence of advance preparation for violence and supply of the weaponry used. Gasoline was tightly rationed at the time, and unavailable in the volume required for this event. Black hands arranged the supply lines and provided instructions for the manufacture and use of the gasoline bombs which were almost unheard of in China before that time.

There are also too many signs of external incitement in the still-unidentified third group, whose violent actions in no way represented the sentiment of the attending public. The enormity of violence unleashed at Muxidi requires considerable prior emotional programming and could not possibly have originated spontaneously from a simple workers’ strike, almost a guarantee of external interference. Disaffected citizens in any country may parade and protest from real or imagined grievances, but burning young soldiers to death and stringing their charred bodies from lampposts, are not the acts of naive students wanting “democracy” or of workers protesting an inadequate social contract. (7) They are almost always the result of substantial programmed incitement from behind the scenes, usually directed to regime change.

The Student Protest

Briefly, the students congregated in the Square and waited for an opportunity to present various petitions dealing with social policy, perceived corruption, idealism, in fact the same things that we as students all had on our list of changes we wanted to make in the world. Since the government did not immediately respond, the students camped in the square and waited. Government officials held talks with the students for several weeks, and finally set a June 4 deadline for evacuation of the Square. Soldiers were sent to the Square on the day prior, but they were unarmed and carried only billy sticks. By all reports, there was no animosity between the students and the soldiers. Neither had a philosophical dispute with the other, nor did they see each other as enemies. In fact, photos and reports show the students protecting the soldiers from angry bystanders.

Discussions were held between the students and the soldiers at repeated times during the evening and throughout the night. Almost all of the students were persuaded to leave the Square during the evening, and the small remainder left the following morning. Tanks and bulldozers did enter the Square the following morning, flattening all the tents and rubbish that had piled up during the previous three weeks, pushing the garbage into huge piles and setting them afire. This was the apparent origin of claims that “thousands of students” were crushed by tanks streaming through the Square, but this was just the clean-up crew and the students were long gone when the bulldozers and heavy machinery arrived. There is overwhelming documented evidence from a multitude of reputable sources (8-15) that no violence occurred in the Square, that no students were killed, and that there never was any “Tiananmen Square Massacre”. Gunfire was apparently heard in the distance, but the few reports of gunfire from within the Square itself were later quickly discredited and, as mentioned above, the soldiers in the Square were not armed. (16)

The Ever-Present Black Hand

It seems plausible that the student movement in China during the late 1980s may, at its origin, have generated spontaneously, but there is no shortage of evidence that the entire movement was quickly hijacked by agencies of the US government long before the students gathered at Tiananmen Square. It has taken some time to open locked doors and ferret out details, but it is no longer in dispute that the leaders of China’s student movement were trained in Hong Kong and Guangdong by Col. Robert Helvey, an officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency of the Pentagon, who spent 30 years instigating revolutions throughout Asia on behalf of the military and the CIA. (17)

There is little reason to question the assertion that a major part of US foreign policy then, as today, lay in attempts to destabilise China and perhaps instigate a massive revolution that would open the door to US influence and control. It is increasingly clear today that the student movement in 1989 was a major part of that strategy, orchestrated by the US State Department with the full approval of then President George Bush. (18)

I live in China and was for many years the editor of a widely-read newsletter that gave me trusted access to about 2,500 middle and high-level corporate executives who were university students in China during the period in question, many of whom were involved in the student movement, and more than a few of whom were at Tiananmen Square. I’ve spoken to many of them at length about the student movement and the events of the time. In addition to confirming my observations and conclusions, their comments and testimony strongly suggest that the very idea of a mass confrontation with the government, and the selection of Tiananmen Square as the venue, did not originate with them but were orchestrated ”from somewhere outside”.

It is necessary to understand that the student movement in China in 1989 was categorically not a “pro-democracy movement”. At its origin the student protest was primarily pragmatic civics, and secondly Chinese cultural. The students visioned themselves intellectual protesters, not political activists, with no thought of their government replicating the political structure of the West. From my discussions with many former students, the references to ‘democracy’ were imposed upon them by their CIA handlers as the best method of realising their practical and cultural ends. And these cultural ends were not necessarily very deep. Wu’er Kaixi, one of the student leaders, responded to questions about his participation by saying (in different words) “Because we want to wear Western brands and take our girlfriends to bars like the Americans do.”

Many of the students with whom I spoke, particularly those who were actually present at the Square, have told me of the supplies provided for them by various US government sources. They especially mentioned the countless hundreds of Coleman camp stoves – which at the time were far too expensive for students in China to acquire, and many commented on the well-established supply lines of these and other items. Adding to the student supplies were manuals, instructions, training, strategy and tactics, and the patiently inflammatory rhetoric of the VOA broadcasts from Hong Kong. It is not possible to sensibly challenge the assertion that the puppet-masters were American.

According to a government report, many Americans were active in stage-managing the student leaders, in violation of the martial law decrees operative in parts of Beijing at the time. John Pomfret, now of the Washington Post, was an AP correspondent in Beijing, and an important information conduit for the ringleaders, and Alan Pessin, a VOA correspondent in Beijing at the time, violated the restrictions by his illegal VOA news coverage, and repeatedly dispatched distorted reports, spreading false rumors and encouraging both rebellion and violence among the students. (19)

John Promfet


Alan Pessin

What Really Happened in Tiananmen Square 25 Years Ago

Most university students of that day will tell you of the influence of the VOA and the picture it painted of “freedom and democracy”. They tell of listening to the VOA in their dorms late into the night, building in their imaginations a happy world of freedom and light. The Voice of America:

The world’s most trusted source for news and information from the United States and around the world.”

They also confirm that the VOA was broadcasting to the students 24 hours a day from their Hong Kong station during the weeks of the sit-in at Tiananmen Square, offering provocative encouragement and giving advice on strategy and tactics.

One of the original participants in the student sit-in wrote this:

We settled down and continued with our study. We dated, found our loved ones, and many sought to go abroad. By the time we graduated there was almost no discussion about the student movement and we no longer listened to the VOA. One thing I have been kept thinking was the role of the VOA. Many students were the fans of the radio station before, during and shortly after the student movement. Even when we were on the square many students were listening to their programs as if only they could tell us what was going on. I remember at one stage . . . I realized how stupid I was . . .”

Another student made these comments:

But it was true that the 1989 student movement was being manipulated by someone, wasn’t it? The students had nothing but emotions and superficial knowledge of politics. We started only demanding the cleaning up of corruption by officials, yet the slogans were somehow led through a transformation into ones “demanding democracy”.

There is a huge difference in political implication between these two classes of demands. So what was democracy? What kind of democracy was practiced in the west? What kind of democracy would befit China? Frankly, I (we) didn’t have clue. In other words, I didn’t know what I really wanted. I simply had this … resulting impulse to go onto the street and shout slogans. It was as if I participated just to participate and I was moved by the simple fact of experiencing a students movement. And then things got out of control. But because the student leaders refused to change stance, the students wouldn’t back off. So the whole thing dragged on. Yet a miracle happened, those “leaders” somehow managed to escape unharmed. For many years since 1989, I had been reluctant to accept that I and the other students were actually so stupid and naive to be truly manipulated by others behind the scene.”

The perception in the West, and also in China, has always been that the student congregation in Tiananmen Square was spontaneous, idealistic and, above all, peaceful. It may at its origin have been idealistic, but it was in no way spontaneous and, by May and June, the underlying peacefulness was rapidly coming to an end. In 1995, two American filmmakers at the Longbow Group, Dr. Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon, released a now-famous documentary on Tiananmen Square titled “The Gate of Heavenly Peace”. (20) Chai Ling, the Tiananmen students’ self-proclaimed “Supreme Commander”, for years pursued lawsuits against the film company (21), primarily because the documentary included incriminating video dated May 28, 1989, of her in an interview with American journalist Philip Cunningham:

The students kept asking, ‘What should we do next? What can we accomplish?’ I feel so sad, because how can I tell them that what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, for the moment when the government has no choice but to brazenly butcher the people (i.e. the students: Ed.). Only when the Square is awash with blood will the people of China open their eyes. Only then will they really be united. But how can I explain this to my fellow students? I can’t say all this to my fellow students. I can’t tell them straight out that we must use our blood and our lives to call on the people to rise up. Of course, the students will be willing. But they are still such young children! And what is truly sad is that some students, and famous well-connected people, are working hard to help the government, to prevent it from taking such measures. For the sake of their selfish interests and their private dealings they are trying to cause our movement to collapse and get us out of the Square before the government becomes so desperate that it takes action.”

If this isn’t clear, Chai Ling is openly stating her intention to provoke the government to a violent military solution, filling Tiananmen Square with the blood of the students – for the express purpose of “uniting the people” to incite a widespread political revolution. She then laments that (1) she cannot reveal to the students that their lives are meant to be sacrificed for this cause, and (2) “what is truly sad” is that some people, “for the sake of their selfish interests” are seeking to avoid bloodshed by preventing the government from resorting to violent measures, and seeking to disband the student protests before they themselves turn violent.

Cunningham then asked, “Are you going to stay in the Square yourself?” “No, I won’t.” “Why?” Chai replied, “Because my situation is different. I want to live. . . . I believe that others have to continue the work I have started. A democracy movement can’t succeed with only one person!” And finally, “I might as well say it – you, the Chinese, you are not worth my struggle! You are not worth my sacrifice!”

In the video there is a damning reference to American cold-bloodedness in directing the student protests, a literal confession by Chai Ling that, after the students had already voted to end their protest and leave the Square, her Hong Kong handlers still pushed her and the students to remain in the square and continue to agitate until they provoked their own bloodshed, encouraging them to sacrifice their lives as the only way to attract the world attention and sympathy which had somehow now become crucial to their cause. Transcripts and video of her entire interview along with reader comments are available online. (22)

The American plan was to incite the students to not only irritate but eventually enrage the Chinese government sufficiently to provoke a violent crackdown against the students, with the expectation this would in turn provoke the general population into a ‘color revolution’ resulting in the overthrow of the government and the collapse of China. In accord with this plan, the students were pushed to begin demanding “democracy”, quickly followed by insistent and intractable demands that the government step down. As part of the process, the students were given details on the construction of a huge papier-mâché “goddess of democracy” statue in the Square. In an intelligence summary prepared for then US Secretary of State James A. Baker dated June 2, 1989, the hope was noted that the statue would “anger top leaders and prompt a response”, stating that the students (or, factually more likely, the US government) hoped the erection of the statue would provoke “an overreaction by authorities (and) breathe new life into their flagging movement.” (23) In all cases in all countries, students and young people are co-opted into a US attempt at regime change. Westerners may not easily appreciate that Beijing in 1989 was not different in any material aspect.

After the Government declared martial law, Chai Ling’s American puppet-masters rapidly escalated their offensive by having her distribute leaflets inciting armed rebellion against the Government, calling upon the students and the general public to “organize armed forces and oppose the Communist Party and its government”, going so far as to actually make a list of names of government officials they planned to kill, encouraging the students to obtain firearms for the purpose. She claimed they would never yield and “would fight to the finish” with the government, scheming until past the end to provoke a bloody incident in Tiananmen Square.

China was spared a national catastrophe primarily by the patient and non-threatening stance of the government which served to dampen the inflammatory rhetoric emerging from the VOA and their handlers in Beijing and the urging toward bloodshed by their stage managers in Hong Kong. The result was that when the deadline approached for the evacuation of the Square, the students abandoned their “Supreme Commander” and agreed to leave peacefully, meaning that the Americans simply ran out of time. My feeling is that China was protected by Providence, because the specter of violence and bloodshed may have been very near indeed. (24)

Intricate plans had been made in advance to spirit the student leaders out of China when the hoped-for bloodshed began. Operation Yellowbird (25) was a Hong Kong-based CIA scheme to help the leaders of the student protests and of the violence at Muxidi to escape arrest under the diplomatic protection of the American Embassy, by offering political sanctuary, by the advance issue of US passports, and by arranging their escape from China. The CIA was central in this, but the UK MI6 and the French intelligence agencies were also involved. When the protests failed and the students dispersed, the primary leaders fled first to Hong Kong, then to the US. (26) Some of the leaders of the violence in Muxidi were helped to flee, while others where sheltered in the American Embassy in Beijing, the Americans refusing to surrender them to the Chinese authorities. (27)

As well, for their efforts to destroy their own country, these student leaders were handsomely rewarded by the Americans with prestigious university degrees, good jobs, and CIA salaries for continuing to incite political instability in China. Chai Ling was given an honorary degree in political science from Princeton university and a job with the management consultancy of Bain & Co., as well as being the salaried head of an NGO especially created for her and tasked with condemning China’s then one-child policy. Wu’er Kaixi, who was actually a troublesome and unstable Uigur named Uerkesh Daolet, was rewarded with a free pass to Harvard university. Liu Xiaobo remained in China on a CIA stipend of $30,000 per year, tasked with irritating the Chinese government under direction from the US State Department.

The Path Forward

The Americans succeeded, perhaps beyond their wildest expectations, with the inflamed violence in Muxidi, but failed miserably in their main effort which was the provocation of bloodshed in Tiananmen Square, which offered the possible prize of a revolution and the overthrow of the government.

The most immediate problem faced by the US State Department was that their success in Muxidi was not a particularly useful victory from a political standpoint since it had no long-term propaganda value. Nobody in the West, especially when seeing photos of the carnage produced, would have much sympathy for a workers’ revolt in a far-away country, and it would have ceased being news within a day or two. What the Americans wanted, and badly needed, the prize they were hoping for, was photos of dead student bodies and student blood in thestreets since these infallibly draw universal condemnation. But, with the peaceful resolution in Tiananmen Square, these didn’t exist, so they gathered the photos of the carnage and dead bodies from Muxidi and presented those to the world as evidence of a student massacre in Tiananmen Square by the Chinese government, a totally fabricated story.

By the time the students voted to evacuate the Square and even before the violence in Muxidi had subsided, plans were already well in place for more than the evacuation of the leaders. Without exception, the Western media in all countries immediately published identical claims and photos, consistently omitting all the contradictory evidence. Every photographer who took photos at Muxidi knew where he took them, and he and the media editors knew full well those photos were not taken in Tiananmen Square. It is not possible that more than 200 newspaper editors and more than 100 TV station news managers in more than 30 countries mis-captioned the same photos in the same way by carelessness or accident. This is why the Western media suppressed entirely the facts of the violence in Muxidi, and unanimously refused to publish photos of the soldiers burned to a crisp and hanging from lamp posts. They needed the facts and photos for their already-planned “Tiananmen Square Student Massacre” story.

It has been 30 years since the June 4, 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square. In spite of all the categorical documentation proving there was never any student massacre in China, the US Government and its handlers refuse to let go of their prize because of its powerful political propaganda value, having enabled the West for decades to define China as being “ruled by the jackboot, the rifle, and the thought police”. This has been unquestionably one of the greatest propaganda victories in history, turning a US State Department-sponsored color revolution, albeit a failed one, into a whip that could lash China non-stop for 30 years. It was so successful that the Western media, led by the NYT but followed by nearly everyone, publish in June of every year a kind of “anniversary story” to continue to milk it for its residual propaganda value. This false story has been hammered into the consciousness of Westerners for 30 years, to the point where it is nearly impossible to discuss Tiananmen Square due to the enormous emotional baggage it carries.

Some missing pieces of this story began to fall into place when, in 2011, Wikileaks released all the cables sent to Washington from the US Embassy in Beijing on June 4, 1989, confirming that the student movement ended peacefully and that there had been no violence, no student massacre in Tiananmen Square and, importantly, confirming some important basics of the violence at Muxidi. As well, some highly-respected international journalists, as well as foreign camera crews, and some foreign diplomats, who were present in Tiananmen Square at the time of the student dispersal, have written books and articles testifying that the student sit-in ended peacefully and that the stories of a student massacre at Tiananmen Square are pure fiction.

Faced with this release of evidence, Western media editors and prominent columnists are attempting to prolong this myth by fabricating an entirely new one, this being that it was the students who rigged and manned the barricades at Muxidi to prevent the military from proceeding to Tiananmen Square to kill the students thereso the Chinese government instead massacred the students at Muxidi. (28) There is no evidence whatever to support those claims, and it should be obvious from the above narrative that they are false on all counts. (29) (30)

If there were a massacre in Beijing on June. 4, 1989, it was at Muxidi, not at Tiananmen Square, and the massacre was of soldiers, not students, with all evidence indicating it was engineered by the US Department of State and the CIA. While the American government deserves to take the blame for orchestrating these events, the blame must be shared since the Americans were themselves puppets. The conspiracy against China was wider and deeper than I’ve indicated here.


(1) From the photos, some appear to be Xinjiang Uigurs, of which there are five distinct groups, four being eminently sociable, the last seeming genetically predisposed to almost any kind of crime.

(2) To produce a unit of this kind would normally involve prior training and cash payment. One reason the US Consulates in China insist on cash-only payments for US visa applications from Chinese citizens (1,000 RMB each) is that this money bypasses the banking system and is freely available for black operations, today producing more than 800 million RMB per year that leaves no paper trail.

(3) Military use for civilian purposes is a normal operation in China for typhoon and flood evacuations, landslide and earthquake rescues, and other similar emergencies. These are not armed soldiers in military vehicles, but simply able-bodied men available on command in the large numbers often required for such occasions. In Muxidi, these were all young men, most appearing from the photos to be perhaps in their early 20s. They were not armed, and arrived at the scene in ordinary city buses. 

(4) The Morning Intelligence Summary for June 4, 1989, for US Secretary of State Baker, described the violence in Muxidi, and referred to how civilians “swarmed around military vehicles. APCs were set on fire, and demonstrators besieged troops with rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails.”

(5) I haven’t a link for the availability of this book. I believe it is out of print but may be obtainable as a download from secondary or tertiary websites. 

(6) If we read carefully, it is evident from even this minuscule report that the third group, the ‘mercenaries’, were not acting in concert with either the workers or the students but were unknown outsiders acting against and above the public wishes and pursuing their own agenda of violence for which they had come prepared, and functioning as a team in the carnage they unleashed.

(7) The strikingly similar pattern of uncontrolled violence by China’s Xinjiang Uigurs several years ago, where they bombed police stations, randomly burned hundreds of cars and buses, and killed indiscriminately hundreds of people (mostly police), were not, as the Western media claimed, spontaneous rebellions against intolerance by Beijing, but the result of a deliberate process of emotional programming. After the rebellion was put down, the government found in the hands of these people thousands of foreign-supplied “Otpor” manuals, inflammatory DVDs, instructions on bomb-making, and more, all clearly part of a planned program. The rioting in Hong Kong today exhibits the same fundamentals.

(8) A mere glance at any of the published photos displaying violence or mayhem, will permit anyone with even a passing familiarity with Beijing to see instantly that none of those photos were taken in Tiananmen Square. It was only the world’s lack of knowledge of China that permitted the US government and the international media to perpetrate this enormous fraud. 

(9) One cable sent on June 22, 1989 from the US Embassy in Beijing to the US Department of State in Washington, was a document that, in the words of its authors, “attempts to set the record straight” about the events of the night of June 3-4. It claims that, contrary to the reports in the Western media, any deaths did not occur in Tiananmen Square, but elsewhere. It also confirmed the casualty estimates. The contents of this cable were suppressed for more than 20 years until Wikileaks released it.

(10) In addition to the reports and chronicles from the Chinese government, the cables from the US Embassy in Beijing, and the written testimony of a number of respected journalists and diplomats who were present at the Square, a Spanish News camera crew took live video, which I believe is still available, of the peaceful clearing of the square. The video has never been shown.

(11) The Spanish Ambassador to China, Eugenio Bregolat, was present at the Square with the camera crew and wrote a book on the event, in which he vents his anger at the Western media for fabricating the massacre story. Publishers in English-speaking countries unanimously refuse to print a translation, and Amazon refuses to carry the original.

(12) The Columbia Journalism Review conducted a detailed study in 1998, and published an article written by Jay Matthews, titled “The Myth of Tiananmen And the Price of a Passive Press”; the Columbia Journalism Review; June 4, 2010; https://www.cjr.org/https://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/the_myth_of_tiananmen.php

(13) In 2009, James Miles, who was the BBC correspondent in Beijing at the time, admitted he had “conveyed the wrong impression” and that “there was no massacre on Tiananmen Square”, claiming “we got the main story right, but some of the details wrong”.

(14) New York Times, June 05, 1989. Article by Nicholas Kristoff confirming a peaceful end to the student sit-in.

(15) Birth of a Massacre Myth; How the West Manufactured an Event that Never Occurred; Japan Times; Monday, July 21, 2008, By Gregory Clark; http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html

(16) “Live Reports” were published from some Western reporters detailing the view from their windows of the Beijing hotel of hundreds of students being mowed down by machine guns. Their reports were ridiculed and condemned by others who revealed that the Square cannot be seen from the Beijing Hotel. Similar claims were made by Wu’er Kaixi, the Uigur student leader, also discredited when foreign reporters stated that he was seen in a far side of Beijing at the time he claimed to have seen those events.

(17) Helvey organised student revolutions in Vietnam and Myanmar, along with Otpor! in Serbia, Kmara! in Georgia, Pora! in Ukraine, Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet revolution” in 1989, then spreading his talents to Africa and South America. Helvey was associated with Gene Sharp in the George Soros-funded Einstein Institute, formed in 1983 as an offshoot of Harvard University to specialise in organising student political protests as a form of US colonial warfare. It was Sharp and Helvey who created the Otpor manuals that began the process of the destruction of Jugoslavia. 

(18) Near the end of May, 1989, Wan Li, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, was in Washington for a meeting with then President George Bush, in which Wan raised the issue of the student protest in Beijing. The record of the meeting is too heavily redacted to create much understanding or draw conclusions but, after the meeting, Wan abruptly cut short his US visit, returned home, and publicly supported the dire necessity for the government’s prior declaration of martial law. 

(19) The VOA is operated by the NED – the National Endowment for Democracy – a front company funded by the CIA that does much of that agency’s dirty work not involving actual killing – although sometimes it does that, too. The VOA is funded for its public activities by the US State Department, and by the CIA for its participation in black ops.

(20) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gate_of_Heavenly_Peace_(documentary

(21) Longbow lawsuit: The New Yorker; May 7, 2009 The American Dream: The Lawsuit

(22) TAM Transcript Index; Chai Ling; http://www.tsquare.tv/film/transcript_complete.php

(23) Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History; Edited By Jeffrey T. Richelson and Michael L. Evans; National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 16; Published – June 1, 1999; http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/index.html

(24) For the potential showdown in Tiananmen Square, the workers’ protest, and the mercenary violence in Muxidi, it is difficult to believe the simultaneity was accidental. The theory that appears to fit all the known facts is that the workers’ revolt, with the mercenary violence separately coordinated and injected into the picture, was timed to coincide with the hoped-for Tiananmen bloodshed with the intent of reducing much of Beijing to violence and anarchy, resulting in a range of unpleasant possibilities. It nearly happened just this way.

(25) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Yellowbird

(26) In those days, travel to Hong Kong was not quick and easy as today, so some clever logistics were necessary, Chai Ling claiming to have been shipped to Hong Kong in a suitcase.

(27) Many diplomatic problems resulted from the US government’s interference in China’s internal affairs at the time. In addition to stoking revolutionary fires in the students and fueling the violence at Muxidi, the US government was condemned for providing sanctuary in the US Embassy for several of the Chinese riot leaders, and on June 11 a US Embassy cable reported that Chinese radio and TV stations read official letters on the air, accusing the US government of not only actively supporting political rebels but providing refuge for the “criminals who created the violence” at Muxidi. (18) The Western media entirely censored all such news.

(28) US Embassy confirms China’s version of Tiananmen Square events; Cables obtained by Wikileaks confirm China’s account. UK Telegraph, By Malcolm Moore, Shanghai; 04 Jun 2011;

(29) Students were not involved in arranging the protest at Muxidi though a few may have been in attendance. The square already had a contingent of soldiers and was in no need of reinforcement, the military may have entered Muxidi with guns firing, but students were not the target, and in any case the students had already voted to clear the square before the violence erupted at Muxidi.

(30) It should be noted that the truncated version of the famous “tank man” photo, which was taken a day or two later, of a single young man apparently defying several military tanks, was used to embellish the hoax. The wide-angle view of that photo shows a long string of military vehicles on a totally unrelated passage down Chang’An Avenue and through the Square and, in any case, they were clearly leaving, not arriving.


Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).  His full archive can be seen at https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ and https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

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