Tanks run over student’s bodies. The newly declassified document, written little more than 24 hours after the massacre, gives a much higher death toll than the most commonly used estimates which only go up to about 3,000. Afterwards Independent.
Written on 5 June 1989 by Sir Alan Donald, the then-British ambassador to China, the hitherto secret cable has now been placed in the UK National Archives at Kew, where it was found by the news website HK01 The ambassador said his account of the massacre of the night of 3-4 June was based on information from a source who had spoken to a “good friend” in China’s State Council, Sir Alan wrote, “The 27 Army APCs [armoured personnel carriers] opened fire on the crowd before running over them. APCs ran over troops and civilians at 65kph [40 miles per hour].”
Sir Alan added: “Students understood they were given one hour to leave square, but after five minutes APCs attacked.
“Students linked arms but were mown down. APCs tanks then ran over the bodies time and time again to make, quote ‘pie’ unquote, and remains collected by bulldozer.
“Remains incinerated and then hosed down drains.”
In unflinching detail, Sir Alan told London that the “atrocities” against thousands of pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square had been coordinated by the 27 Army of Shanxi Province, whose tanks troops he described as “60 per cent illiterate and called primitives”.