Troops deployed from China’s provinces laughed as they shot randomly at pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, according to a US account declassified Tuesday for the 25th anniversary

Troops ‘laughing’ in Tiananmen crackdown

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 – 09:51


WASHINGTON – Troops deployed from China’s provinces laughed as they shot randomly at pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, according to a US account declassified Tuesday for the 25th anniversary.

The US documents, released by the National Security Archive at George Washington University which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act, showed chaos and confusion sweeping across China as authorities crushed the student movement on the night of June 3-4, 1989.

A classified US military report quoted an unnamed source, who observed Tiananmen Square from a hotel room, as calling the crackdown “brutal” with an intention to inflict high casualties.

Troops belonging from the 27th Army, who did not speak the Beijing dialect, “were laughing and shooting at random at any assembly of persons they encountered,” the document quoted the source as saying.

The cable also quoted the source as witnessing plainclothes police seizing individuals in a restaurant as part of a “one-by-one crackdown” in Beijing ahead of the main offensive in Tiananmen Square.

But the documents showed that information was sketchy. One US intelligence cable the day after the crackdown quoted a source – implied to be an official from a foreign government close to China – as saying that supreme leader Deng Xiaoping had died. In reality, Deng died in 1997.

Another US cable, showing the feeling of crisis spreading through China, said that the military flew foreign currency into the Shanghai branch of the state-run Bank of China as customers raced to withdraw cash following the Tiananmen violence.

Soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in Tiananmen Square, with some estimates putting the death toll at more than 1,000.

China’s government has tried to quash public memories of the crackdown and has stepped up surveillance, censorship and detentions of activists ahead of the 25th anniversary.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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