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Was there a Tiananmen massacre? : the visit of General Chi : hearing before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, December 18, 1996 online

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WAS THERE A TIANANMEN

MASSACRE?
THE VISIT OF GENERAL CHI



Y 4. IN 8/16: T 43

Uas There a Tianannen flassacre? The...

HEARING



BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



DECEMBER 18, 1996



Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations







U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
45-254 CC WASfflNGTON : 1998

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-055976-6



WAS THERE A TIANANMEN

MASSACRE?
THE VISIT OF GENERAL CHI



Y 4, IN 8/16: T 43

Uas There a Tianannen Hassacre? The...

^ HEARING



BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



DECEMBER 18, 1996



Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations




AP.? 17 ■■'-!



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
45-254 CC WASHINGTON : 1998

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-055976-6



COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman



WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania

JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa

TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin

HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois

DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska

CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey

DAN BURTON, Indiana

JAN MEYERS, Kansas

ELTON GALLEGLY, California

ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida

CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina

DANA ROHRABACHER, California

DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois

EDWARD R. ROYCE, California

PETER T. KING, New York

JAY KIM, California

SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas

DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina

STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio

MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South

Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON. New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California



LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana

SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut

TOM LANTOS, California

ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York

HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida

ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American

Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L HASTINGS, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
VICTOR O. FRAZER, Virgin Islands (Ind.)
CHARLIE ROSE, North Carolina
PAT DANNER, Missouri



Richard J. Garon, Chief of Staff
Michael H. Van Dusen, Democratic Chief of Staff



SUBCOMMirTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman



BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York

WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania

HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois

PETER T. KING, New York

DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina

MATT SALMON, Arizona

EDWARD R. ROYCE, California



TOM LANTOS, California
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American

Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey



GroVER Joseph Rees, Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel

Robert R. King, Democratic Professional Staff Member

David Wagner, Professional Staff Member

Douglas C. Anderson, Counsel



(II)



CONTENTS



WITNESSES



Page

Ms. Louisa Coan, Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA 4

Mr. Xiao Qiang, Executive Director, Human Rights in China 6

Dr. Jian-Li Yang, Vice-President, Alliance for a Democratic China 9

Mr. Xuecan Wu, Citizens' Forum 12

Mr. David Aikman, former Beijing Bureau Chief, Time Magazine 15

Ms. Nina Shea, Director, Puebla Program on Religious Freedom, Freedom

House 18

APPENDIX

Prepared statements:

Ms. Louisa Coan 43

Dr. Jian-Li Yang 48

Mr. Xuecan Wu 51

Ms. Nina Shea 56

Additional material submitted for the record:

"The Factual Account of a Search for the June 4 Victims," by Ding

Zilin 59

Directory of People's Republic of China Military Personalities, October

1995, submitted by Nina Shea 93

Letter to President Clinton from William F. Schultz, Amnesty Inter-
national USA, December 16, 1996 97

Letter to Chairman Smith from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense,
Kurt M. Campbell, March 27, 1997 98



(III)



WAS THERE A TIANANMEN MASSACRE?
THE VISIT OF GENERAL CHI



WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1996

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Operations and

Human Rights,
Committee on International Relations,

Washington, DC.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:30 a.m. in room
2123, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher Smith
(chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. Smith. The Subcommittee on International Operations and
Human Rights will come to order. Good morning. The civilized
world was stunned last week by a statement of General Chi
Haotian, the Defense Minister of the People's Republic of China,
that nobody was killed on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. The
general, who was the operational commander of the forces that at-
tacked the pro-democracy demonstrators that day, has been invited
to the United States by our government. He has been given full
military honors, a 19-gun salute, visits to several military bases,
and a tour of a nuclear laboratory. He even had a personal meeting
with President Clinton at the White House.

The idea behind official visits like these is to foster mutual un-
derstanding. If we are going to live in the same world with govern-
ments run by people like General Chi, the argument goes we had
better get to know each other. There is no denying that General
Chi's remarkable statement about Tiananmen Square has helped
the American people to understand what he and his government
are really like.

Bv telling us in what he called a "responsible and serious man-
ner' that, "Not a single person lost his life in Tiananmen Square,"
by claiming that the People's Republic Liberation Army did nothing
more violent than, the "pushing of people", the general called these
people hooligans. He told us really all that we needed to know.

The purpose of this hearing is to make the process of getting ac-
quainted a reciprocal one. We want Greneral Chi to know the people
of the United States. We want him to understand that in America
it matters whether you tell the truth. Denial of the truth and the
habitual use of the big lie, a tactic that was honed by the Nazis,
brute deception, all of these are highly offensive to Americans.

Because our political culture also values fairness, because Ameri-
cans believe in open and transparent procedures, we invited Gren-
eral Chi to come to the hearing and tell his side of the story. Let
me say parenthetically that we said we would meet at any time,

(1)



any place, at any hour to hear from him or his representative, and
that could be the ambassador or someone else from the Govern-
ment of the People's Republic of China. If he could establish that
the Tiananmen Square Massacre was really a myth, those of us
whose view of the Beijing Government has been shaped by that
massacre would have to admit that we were wrong.

We were also prepared to give General Chi an opportunity to
substantiate his claim that China has sold no illegal weapons to
Iran. Perhaps he could have also shown us that there are no per-
secuted Christians in China, no religious persecution in Tibet or in
Sinkiang, no forced abortions, no coerced sterilizations, no dying
rooms for unwanted children. These claims would have been con-
trary to all the evidence we have seen so far, but in America every-
one is given a fair opportunity to be heard.

Unfortunately, General Chi has not responded to our invitation.
We made clear that we would rearrange this hearing, as I indi-
cated, to suit his schedule. We even called the Chinese Embassy
and made it clear that if he couldn't make it, we would be happy
to hear from the ambassador.

To date — right to this hour — we have received no response, but
we are saving a place at the witness table today for General Chi
or some other representative of the Beijing Government and we
will hold it until the end of this hearing, just in case the Beijing
Government wishes to present its version of Tiananmen alongside
the accounts of human rights observers, independent journalists,
and Chinese democracy acwocates from whom we will hear today.

Our hearing will focus first on what really happened in
Tiananmen. One observer who was present at the scene, Jonathan
Mirsky, of the London Times, recorded the following series of eye-
witness accounts. As he points out, Nicholas Christoff of the New
York Times, who was in the Square that night, reported, and I
quote, "The troops began shooting. Some people fell to the ground
wounded or dead. Each time the soldiers fired again and more peo-
ple fell to the ground."

When he went to the Xiehe Hospital, the nearest to the Square —
this is Nicholas Christoff speaking now, "it was a bloodv mess with
hundreds of injured lying on the floors. I saw bullet holes in the
ambulances."

Jan Wong of the Toronto Globe and Mail, looking down from the
balcony in the Peking Hotel, "watched in horror as the army shot
directly into the crowds. ..people fell with gaping wounds." Later
she reported, 'The soldiers strafed ambulances and shot medical
workers trying to rescue the wounded."

Jan Wong, 14 floors above Jonathan Mirsky, when he saw the
people being shot in front of the hotel wrote, "I counted more than
20 bodies," Mirsky crawled away, but she kept watching. "In all,"
she reported, "I recorded 8 long murderous volleys. Dozens died be-
fore my eves."

We will hear our witnesses today and ask our witnesses today to
help us establish for the record which version is true: "pushing^' of
a few "hooligans", or tanks crushing people and soldiers strafing
crowds and ambulances?

The second focus of the hearing will be on how the victims of
Tiananmen, as well as other victims of human rights abuses in



China, are faring today. Has the CHnton Administration's policy,
which it calls "comprehensive engagement" of the Beijing Govern-
ment, resulted in improvement or deterioration of human rights in
that country? Frankly, my own view is that the Administration's
policy is better described as one of aggressive appeasement of dic-
tators ever):where.

It began with China, but almost everywhere else in the world —
in Vietnam, Serbia, Romania, and in Russia during the brutal war
against the people of Chechnya — our government has chosen to
hobnob with tyrants rather than to stand in solidarity with the
brave people who resist them. We stand with the oppressors, not
with the oppressed.

We offered the Administration an opportunity to testify today
and to defend their posture toward Beijing and their welcome of
General Chi. We also asked them to come prepared to answer some
questions, including how much the visits had cost the U.S. tax-
payers. I still hope and expect to receive the answers to these ques-
tions.

In the meantime, I ask our witnesses today to evaluate the prac-
tical effects of the "comprehensive engagement" policy in the lives
of ordinary people in China. Finally, I ask our witnesses to assess
the effect of General Chi's visit. What have we learned from this
experience and, perhaps, what has the General learned? Is it pos-
sible that Beijing learned that in dealing with America honesty is
the best policy? Or is it possible the U.S. Government will finally
learn that a government that murders its own people and then lies
about it cannot be trusted as a treaty or trading partner?

I welcome our very distinguished witnesses and I look forward to
their testimony. I would like before going to our distinguished wit-
nesses to ask Mr. Faleomavaega if he would like to make any open-
ing comments.

Mr. Faleomavaega. Mr. Chairman, I certainly would like to
thank you for your initiative and being able to call this hearing
this afternoon. I do regret that we don't have the presence of any
of the officials from the Administration. I guess because of the holi-
day season it makes it very difficult for them to perhaps offer some
comments or at least the Administration's position of some of the
issues that we have taken on this matter.

I do have some observations that I am going to state at a later
point in time, but I do look forward to hearing from our witnesses
this morning and I, again, thank you for calling this hearing this
afternoon.

Mr. Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Faleomavaega. Let me
note for the record that you are here and I am here, holidays not-
withstanding. These issues are so compelling that I think the Ad-
ministration should have been here and it is regrettable they
choose not to be here.

Let me introduce our witnesses and this will be in the order of
their testimony. Again, I want to thank you in advance for coming
and look forward to hearing from you.

Louisa Coan is the vice chair of Amnesty International USA and
has been the China coordinator for that organization since 1990.
Miss Coan, who also serves as the program officer for Asia at the



National Endowment for Democracy (NED), was living in China at
the time of the Tiananmen Massacre.

Xiao Qiang, the executive director of Human Rights in China,
was formerly a dissident leader in China. Mr. Xiao also maintains
contact with numerous activists still in that beleaguered country.

Jian-Li Yang is the vice president for the Alliance for a Demo-
cratic China. Doctor Yang received his doctorate in mathematics
from UC at Berkeley and is currently a Ph.D. student at the John
F. Kennedy School of Grovemment at Harvard University. He was
present at Tiananmen Square during the protests and the mas-
sacre in June 1989.

Xuecan Wu was a journalist and organizer of the demonstration
in China. After the crackdown in June 1989, Mr. Wu was placed
on the Chinese Government's most wanted list. After his arrest in
December of that year he was convicted of, "counterrevolutionary
propaganda and incitement" and sentenced to prison. Mr. Wu ar-
rived in the United States only 2 months ago and we welcome him
as well.

Dr. David Aikman was the Beijing bureau chief for Time Maga-
zine at the time of the Tiananmen Massacre and personally wit-
nessed the events in and around the Square in June 1989.

And, finally, last but not least, a real stalwart on behalf of per-
secuted religious believers, Nina Shea, the director of the Puebla
Program on Religious Freedom of Freedom House, a 5-year-old
human rights and pro-democracy organization.

In addition to her fact-finding travel and work as an inter-
national human rights lawyer. Miss Shea has recently been ap-
pointed to the Secretary of State's new Advisory Committee on Re-
ligious Freedom.

Miss Coan, if you could begin.

STATEMENT OF LOUISA COAN, CHINA COORDINATOR,
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Ms. Coan. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Mr.
Chairman, for the opportunity to testify today about this very seri-
ous concern.

Mr. Smith. Your mike is not on.

Ms. Coan. Is that on? Thank you again. Amnesty International
is very concerned about the question of impunity for human rights
abusers. The Chinese Government has waged a 7-year propaganda
campaign in a desperate attempt to deny that it killed or injured
thousands of unarmed demonstrators in Beijing in June 1989.

From the beginning, the government has used its characteristic
Orwellian language saying that the troops were called in to quell
an armed counterrevolutionary rebellion. Denying any wrongdoing,
failing to explain why the leadership chose to use lethal force
against unarmed civilians, refusing to allow any impartial inves-
tigation, the government leaves us still waiting for the Truth Com-
mission for 1989.

This effort to suppress the truth, which you alluded to is, in fact,
a necessity for current leaders because were the truth to be ac-
knowledged, there could be no justification for allowing those re-
sponsible for massive human rights abuses to get away scot-free,
no justification for promoting these officials to top positions.



Over and over again, we confront the same pattern around the
world. Impunity for the abusers, driven by the desire to stay in
power, deprives the victims of justice and gives the green light to
continued abuses. The impunity granted to the leadership respon-
sible for the killings in Beijing in 1989 allows the Chinese system
to continue to violate basic human rights standards.

Law enforcement officials throughout China know that they are
extremely vmlikely ever to be brought to account for violating inter-
national human rights norms or indeed the provisions of China's
own constitution.

Amnesty International USA is deeply disappointed that the U.S.
Government has given such a warm welcome and reception to a
man like l3efense Minister Chi Haotian. He tried again last week
to put over the government line that the PLA has done nothing
wrong. We in the United States must refuse to confer prestige on
anyone who tries to deny the truth about the Tiananmen killings.

In this case, this is not just anyone denying the truth. This is
the youn^ man who commanded the troops in Beijing. All this hap-
pened with terrible symbolism surrounding Human Rights Day,
December 10, as human rights groups and the U.S. State Depart-
ment were commemorating, publicly observing International
Human Rights Day. This welcome went on.

Amnesty International has gathered much of the same eye-
witness evidence that you referred to in your statement, that many
of the other witnesses today, I am sure will bring out, about mas-
sive killings, numerous injuries, all within sight of Tiananmen
Square.

Now, General Chi in his statements in Washington, very care-
fully referred to the deaths in Tiananmen Square. This has been
an ongoing tactic of the Chinese Grovernment knowing that impar-
tial investigators have not been allowed to gather evidence in a
systematic way to know precisely where particular deaths occurred.
We are unable to enter a dialog about this purely technical ques-
tion of what counts as Tiananmen Square for the purpose of count-
ing which deaths where. We know that deaths occurred in the
streets surrounding the Square, in other areas of Beijing, and in
fact across China.

So Amnesty International continues to call upon the Chinese
Government to conduct an impartial investigation into the fate of
those killed, those injured and those unjustly imprisoned in the
crackdown. The victims need to be compensated, those responsible
punished.

Let me just give a human face to this and remind you all of a
young man we know very well and with your permission I would
like to show a poster, a photograph.

This is the point. The government must acknowledge the truth
about Wang Weilin, who became so famous because he was cap-
tured on videotape. Where is he now? Harry Wu, in fact, was told
by officials of the Ministry of State Security, otherwise known as
China's secret police, that, in fact, Wang Weilin was taken care of
on the spot. In other words, the victim of an extrajudicial killing.
The government must allow an impartial investigation that would
bring out the truth about this case which so many across the world
are concerned about.



The government also owes an explanation to another woman
whom I would like to mention, Ding Zilin. Ding Zilin is a professor
in Beijing whose 17-year-old son was killed by a soldier's bullet on
Chang" An Avenue, the Avenue of Eternal Peace, on the night of
June 3. This is the avenue that runs east- west across the city,
north of Tiananmen Square, south of the Forbidden City right in
front of the front door to the Zhongnanhai compound where Chi-
nese Grovernment officials live and work.

Since her son's death. Professor Ding has been engaged in a
search for other victims' families for a chance to have an acknowl-
edgment of her loss, which the government refuses to do, to find
out what happened and to demand government accountability. Her
report, published last year in Chinese and English, contains de-
tailed information about more than 60 dead victims and their sur-
viving families. I have a copy of this report. If it is appropriate to
have it entered into the record, I would like to do so.

Mr. Smith. Without objection, it will be made part of the record.

[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]

Ms. CoAN. This report contains very detailed information about
the circumstances of the death and the families of more than 60
victims, and also 40 who are permanently injured. These numbers
represent what one person was able to gather under very harsh
conditions of harassment. She has been detained periodically and
continually harassed. She wrote about her son, "Money and power
cannot smother the human conscience or corrupt our memory of
those who defended the 1989 movement with their blood and lives."

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing to
allow us to ensure that the memory is not corrupted, to demand
accountability, and to demand an end to the continuing abuses.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Coan appears in the appendix.]

Mr. Smith. Thank you very much for your testimony and for the
tremendous work you do on behalf of innocent victims and human
rights activists in China and elsewhere where totalitarian dictator-
ships reign.

Mr. Xiao Qiang.

STATEMENT OF XIAO QIANG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN

RIGHTS IN CHINA

Mr. Qiang. Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ladies and
gentlemen.

I feel very privileged to be able to speak here. I also feel tremen-
dously responsible, Doth in personal and professional elements, to
testify in front of the Subcommittee today about the truth of the
Beijing Massacre, which sometimes the media refers to as the
Tiananmen Massacre, which happened IV2 years ago in Beijing,
China.

Let me start on the personal level. Seven-and-a-half years ago I
was a Ph.D. student in the physics department of the University
of Notre Dame. I was the same as other 40,000 Chinese students
who were studying in this country and, like billions of more people
around the world, I watch CNN and other TV and witnessed on the
screen what happened in Beijing. The martial troops opened fire
and the tanks ran over the streets of the city where I lived.



The moment I read about the kilHng, I decided to go back to
China right away with a personal determination to be with my peo-
ple, to be in my country at its critical moment and to find out the
truth, to do whatever I can do to fight against the ruthless tyranny
for the fireedom of Chinese people. And I left the United States 2
days after the massacre. I got on an airplane and went back to
China.

I took some donations with me fi-om the Chinese student commu-
nity, which wanted me to give them to the victims and their fami-
lies. I actually did find them, I visited Beijing and other parts of
China during a 2-month stay in China, from June to August 1989.
I was in Beijing. I visited those families, visited the students and
citizens who were on the street that night and witnessed the
killings, the cold-blood killings of the soldiers. And I talked to
them, I gave the money to the families, and I also visited those
streets where the killing happened.

I saw the bullet holes on the wall, inches above the ground. That
means the soldiers fired toward the people. There was also a time
in China people lived under terror and their lies. On the TV, in the
newspaper, the government propaganda again, again, and again,
repeated what General Chi said recently about what happened in
Tiananmen, accompanied by pictures of the people who were speak-
ing out being taken to jail, who were tortured and arrested and had
heavy sentences. That was a time I will never forget.

There was a massacre on Tiananmen in China in Beijing at that
time. I don't want to play the game of words defining exactly where
Tiananmen Square is. There were killings. There were hundreds of
people who died. I knew it, I visited those families. I also witnessed
those bullet holes. The Chinese people knew it.

This time also gave me a personal commitment to continue the
struggle for democracy and human rights, in other words, to know
the truth of the massacre. And that is a hope the Chinese people
still hope. I have been working for this goal ever since.

Mr. Chairman, today I'm speaking in my capacity as executive
director of Human Rights in China, an organization begun by Chi-
nese students and scholars IV2 years ago in this country with the


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on InterWas there a Tiananmen massacre? : the visit of General Chi : hearing before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, December 18, 1996 → online text (page 1 of 10)