ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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No Counter-Revolutionary Clique

A Special Correspondent TAIWAN: It is very difficult to cover an event like the Tiananmen massacre from distant Taipei even though the vision of the square remains so strongly in one's mind that one can almost see the event as it occurred. The June 16 copy of Asiaweek has some marvellous pictures of the advancing soldiers on Changan avenue bearing down in full battle array on hundreds of abandoned bicycles, whose owners, totally unarmed, have already been shot at and have fled for safety. That same magazine also has an hour-by-hour description of the various events of those 24 hours. But Asiaweek is not unique in its coverage. The TV programmes have for the most part been very detailed and crowds in public places have gathered around TV sets at news times. It is said that there have been over a thousand reporters or news gatherers in Beijing and it has been almost totally impossible to prevent news being immediately relayed outride China. There have been no restrictions on the use of overseas telephones and over most of China in the larger cities students have broadcast news about China from overseas through public address systems. For example, in Changsha a huge public meeting was held almost immediately after the Beijing incident fuelled by broadcasting the information from the Voice of America. The national controlled broadcasting media do not have a chance today. How was it possible to talk about the 'counter-revolutionary clique' when one could see with one's own eyes that for the most part they were totally unarmed civilians? In spite of this, however, one can see that the soldiers were in many cases frightened at the false information on which they were fed. One soldier who shot an unarmed woman with her baby was literally torn to pieces by the woman's two brothers who were nearby. Soldiers who realised that they had for the most part been deceived and that there was no counter-revolutionary clique, did not automatically feel that they should, fraternise with the population. The first lot of soldiers who 'tested the waters' unarmed had guns stored in their tanks and armoured cars to use if necessary.

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