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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 02, 1989

TELEGRAM NO. 048 724 FROM THE CZECHOSLOVAK EMBASSY, BEIJING

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    Saul describes divisions amongst the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square.
    "Telegram No. 048 724 from the Czechoslovak Embassy, Beijing," June 02, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AMZV), Telegrams Received, 048.401 - 048.800, May 26 – June 5, 1989. Contributed by Jan Adamec. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/220113
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Telegram from: Beijing

Received: June 2, 1989, 09.30 am

Prepared for distribution: June 2, 1989, 12.30 am

Secret.

Flash

No. 048 724

Despite various attempts and further activization, the students' protest activities are visibly diminishing, fueled by the split between the activists and the disagreement on how to proceed.

One of the two main student leaders Wu'er Kaixi left the square a week ago after the argument with the students from the provinces. He proposed to move from sit-in demonstration to more legal means, via the representatives of the National Peoples’ Congress.

The second one out of original leaders, Wang Dan, announced on May 27 a plan to evacuate the square by Wednesday. He gained support mainly from Beijing's students who are now returning to the universities' campuses and leaving their banners on the square. Predominantly the students from the provinces remain on the square.

The events on the square are regulated by two spontaneously formed organizations – the so-called "Beijing Workers and Students Self-Government" /workers only in the title/ and "the Tian-an-men's general staff", which announced a reorganization of its structure on Tuesday. It establishes three groups to control how to spend the world donors' money, allegedly worth several million dollars.

There is a differentiation in students’ opinions from the proclamation of support to “the good leadership of the CCP, respect for the constitution and the laws" to insisting on four demands: the abolition of the state of emergency, the departure of troops from Beijing, the promise of not punishing the students' activists and the freedom of press.

Within the latter group, there are again two opinions: the fulfillment of 4 points is a condition for leaving the square for some; or a condition for initiating a dialogue with the government for others. New forms of protest are emerging, such as students shaving their heads /based on the same sound of the words "without hair" and "lawless" as an insinuation to the "illegal procedure of the government"/.

There is an extreme requirement to continue the occupation of the square until June 20 when the session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is to be opened. The retreat from demonstrations is even more visible in the provinces. Students are gradually returning to school after the loss of public support.

For example, in Shanghai, all demonstrations have been recalled since Tuesday. The situation is similar in other provincial centers. There is also a new moment when TV aired the march of the public the Beijing rural district of Daxing in support of government measures and against chaos. /pb./.

SAUL 0267