A recently declassified British diplomatic cable put Tiananmen Square massacre toll at 10,000, much higher than the previous estimation of 3000.
According to recently released British diplomatic cable, more than 10,000 people were killed during the June 4 crackdown on the pro-democracy protester in Tiananmen Square in 1989 by The Chinese Army.
The declassified documents which were sent 24 hours after the massacre by UK ambassador to China Alan Donald in 1989 read “Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000,” put the casualties of the crackdown much higher than previously estimated of 3000.
The Ambassador also wrote “Students understood they were given one hour to leave square but after five minutes APCs [armoured personnel carriers] attacked. Students linked arms but were mown down including soldiers.
“APCs then ran over bodies time and time again and remains collected by a bulldozer. Remains incinerated and then hosed down drains. Four wounded girl students begged for their lives but were bayoneted.”
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a French China expert and a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University told AFP that the estimate revealed by the British seems credible because similar estimation was also made by declassified US documents.
The Chinese government had kept an indisputable stand on the incident and its casualties since 1989 and claims only 180 people died during the protest or crackdown which it blames on the anti-social element or Western-backed protester.
The Global Times, a state-controlled media house in China countered the claim by calling it “extremely unreliable” and “falsehood” adding that “deaths were rare, individual cases” and “official account of the death toll was fewer than 200.”
The editorial added “External forces have been propagating the falsehood that thousands were killed. The latest number given by the British document is even higher. But the official count found the number of casualties in the hundreds.”