Saturday, June 20, 2015

Days of 1989: June 6, Riots in Shanghai, Yuan Mu Announces Casualty Numbers

On June 6, 1989, the martial law troops are gaining full control of Beijing. But riots break out in many other cities. Traffic are completely blocked in Shanghai, and a sit-in on railway tracks turns violent there with an empty train burned up.

Oversea media are propagating unfounded rumors that "Deng Xiaoping is dead, Li Peng is injured, and Yang Shangkun is on the run." Many western countries have launched efforts to evacuate their citizens from China.

The government of Japan halts exchange programs with China but stops short of economic sanctions. The British government announces that the schedule of returning Hong Kong to China by 1997 will not change. The Soviet government is the only one expressing sympathy and support to Chinese government. They denounce diplomatic pressures from western countries.

In the afternoon, Yuan Mu chairs a press conference on which he announces the first version of the official death toll: more than 300 people died, including 23 university students. Zhang Gong, an officer from the martial law troops emphasizes that
Between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning of June 4, when the martial law troops cleared Tiananmen Square, they absolutely have not killed a single student or civilian. Military vehicles did not crush any person.
This statement is later mis-interpreted in the western press as the government announcing no one ever died during the massacre.

Days of 1989

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