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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 07, 1989


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    Note from the Romanian Embassy in Beijing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the situation in Beijing in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square and the institution of restrictive measures under the rubric of martial law
    "Information Note of Romanian Embassy in Beijing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," June 07, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Telegrame, folder Beijing/1989, vol. 3, pp. 133-134. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu
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07 June 1989, 12:30 am

Deputy Foreign Minister, Cde. Olimpia Solomonescu

Please allow us to inform you on the following exceptional aspects of the situation which are apparent in Beijing after the occupation of Tiananmen Square by military forces and the introduction of certain especially restrictive measures introduced under the rubric of the martial law beginning with Saturday night (03 June 1989) and continuing today: traveling on city streets is allowed, with the exception of the downtown and some important street intersections which are occupied by the army and where traffic is denied. Generally, the mass transit system is not operating. Neither is the transportation system of the factories and institutions in the city, their vehicles being kept in the garages; there are only a handful of taxis [operating].

The majorities of important intersections—which have not been occupied by the army—are blocked by busses, trolleys, loaded trucks (filled with earth or coal), [which are] parked across the street, and crashed one into another in order to prevent their easy removal. The population has set many busses, truck and off-road vehicles on fire. The army, using tanks and soldiers armed with automatic weapons, is guarding the points it occupied [in the last days]. Warning shots are fired in the air. People curios [to see what is happening in the occupied areas] are kept at a distance of 50-60 meters [from the barricades]. Aggressive acts against the army (the killing of soldiers, setting fire to [army] transportation vehicles, throwing of Molotov cocktails, etc) have ended. Since, the army is no longer firing [with live ammunition] into groups of hostile civilians. There are rumors [informatii] that there are thousands of wounded and hundred of dead (civilians and soldiers) in [Beijing] hospitals. Only a few people [can be seen] on the streets, fewer than on a typical [business] day and especially fewer than during the protests.

[Groups of] people can still be seen gathering around light posts or trolley support posts, reading notices placed there the previous night by students and their supporters. [The notices] describe the events of the previous night[s] and which ask [the public] to express solidarity and oppose the measures taken under the authority of martial law. The mass-transit system is not operating. Traveling is done by bicycle or by foot. Factories and business [in the city] are operating at partial capacity, with [only] those workers that could arrive [present]. Most [people] prefer to stay at home. Stores are closed, [with] small exceptions [such as] food markets, which do not have much to sell. At the farmer's market, the prices have jumped by 400 to 500 percent in the last four days. [There are] long lines. The population [is] disturbed [and] agitated by the prospects of not having enough to eat in the next few days. For the embassy, we have restricted travel in the city to the absolutely necessary, on special routes, avoiding the zones that are occupied by the army [and] where there is the danger of conflict. We continue to carry out, [but] with considerable difficulty, [the planned] trade and economic negotiations (discutiile). The embassy is housing about 30 representatives. We have taken measures to insure the availability of food. We maintain contact with the train-station and the airport, [and] are traveling convoy, with the ambassador and [displaying] the Romanian flag on the cars. [We] are providing defense and security, [taking] special safeguarding measures. [We] are constantly informing the members of the convoy of the developing [security] situation. Health and morale are good. [We] believe that the state of affairs will not change in the immediate future. Businessmen and some of the personnel of some embassies (Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy, Canada, Australia, the US, etc.) have started to leave Beijing.

(ss) [Ambassador] Angelo Miculescu