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During my nightmarish time in China I met many people whom I would call heroes. Nothing in this recital is exaggerated. It reads the way it happened.
As we arrived in Beijing, we were by met Lao Xu our guide and personal VIP pass to all of China's interesting and exiting places. He approached us and introduced himself and gave us a warm, but slightly hesitant welcome. Lao Xu found it difficult to say my name, so he decided he would give me a Chinese name, Shan Da, which means "tall mountain". He delivered us straight to the Beijing Hotel, where we met Eddie Nowlan. My dad was ecstatic to meet him as he was one of the BBC's top reporters. Eddie was obviously disconcerted to see me, my Dad had clearly neglected to tell him that I was coming along on his business trip.
I had enjoyed exploring the Great Wall of China, as well as the forbidden city. It was astonishing. Since my dad was always working, I was forced to do something creative every day. I found a sort of school for foreign diplomats' kids, there I could learn some Chinese. Leaning Chinese let me actually understand what was going on around me. I knew that if I wanted to go exploring some Chinese language would come in more than useful.
I was extremely intrigued by Beijing, I took a walking guide through Tian An Men Square to burst my knowledge. It's a large square of almost forty hectares, able to fit thousands of people. It has great historic significance as well. In Tian An Men square I found something which can only be described as awesome. I was bewildered to see that there were hundreds of tourists left right and centre, their cameras going off at a rapid rate. I was fortunate to go through the Museum of the Revolution, as well as the Museum of Natural History. Dad informed me that a former politician by the name of Hu Yao-bang was dying because he was really ill and that if he died, there would be a big student demonstration in Tian An Men Square.
I woke and I looked out the window, Beijing was abandoned, absolutely no one around. Then I found a note on the kitchen bench from my dad saying that Hu Yao-bang had died.
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"Tian An Men Square Killings Diary." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Nov 2019
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According to dad the students were demonstrating because they wanted a democracy rather than communism. I finally squeezed my way through the crowd. As soon as I took my first steps in the square I was shocked at how many people were in attendance. There must have been thousands of people. They all seemed to be in their university years. They had white bands around their heads that read "democracy now". Later on dad told me that 90% of the protesters are university students. Many of the students are my age, it was scary I would never do something like this, yet there are thousands of them pulling together as a mass, with one purpose, to better their country. I didn't stay for long because, to tell the truth, I found it pretty boring. There wasn't much happening at the time; they were simply standing around waiting to begin the demonstration. Compared to demonstrations in America and Canada they were not even protesting, there was no violence and no fires, nothing of destructive nature.
I found that dad had left me a note saying that there were already fifty thousand students in the square protesting about yesterday's editorial, it described the students as antirevolutionary and bad elements. Students were starving themselves as a sign that they will do anything to have a democracy.
The PLA have become annoyed with the student protests, they moved in and began trying to move people out of the square. I went outside to catch some of the action on my camcorder. The sights that I saw were tremendously cruel. People were getting pounded into the ground. After some time of arguing and trying to move people, the PLA dropped back. They then attempted the same thing but this attempt was disastrous once again. The reason they were attempting to move the people was because the Premier from Russia, Gorbachev, was visiting China and they didn't want to make the impression that they didn't have control of their people. Gorbachev then went back to Russia, and that's when the terror commenced.
I have seen, and still can see, the PLA shooting at people. That was a sight that a person should not have to see no matter what they have done or where they are. My body was shaking violently with fright. It was a war between the PLA and the people of Beijing. I had never thought that my intriguing and informative holiday in China would turn into a bloody and horrific massacre. The terror-filled scenes are burned into my brain and memory as if I were seeing it all again.
Out of my window I witnessed the people falling to the ground as a spray of bullets came their way. My dad contacted me using the two-way-radio and ordered stay in the hotel because the PLA were making their way in my direction and he didn't want me outside with the PLA shooting left, right and centre. Dad started yelling into the radio, then there was static, and the line was cut. Thinking that I would never see him again I grabbed what I could and headed out of the hotel in search of Dad. Lau Xu stopped me on my way out and convinced me that I would need his help. Presuming dad had been captured by the PLA like some of the students, I was terrified and so afraid I was about to cry. On the streets people were desperately screaming for help. We both ran to find a safe place to hide. I turned around to see Lao Xu running up to a soldier that was shooting at the students "Stop, stop, are you crazy." A noise ripped through the atmosphere, it was like a whip being cracked but a hundred times louder, scarier and terrifying. Lao Xu was dead, the solder had put a round in his chest and Lao Xu fell silently to the ground. It all happened as if it were undewater, everything was in slow motion, for me at least. When I saw Lao Xu hit the ground, it sparked an awesome fear inside of me. It made everything more real. I stared to run, pushing my way through the crowd; I joined a group of students running down an alley. A PLA soldier must have seen us, he fired at us, a bullet hit me in the leg. I fell to the ground, my head hit the concrete. That is all I remember.
When I hit my head the blow must have rendered me unconscious. I woke up in an old woman's house, she had been taking care of my wound. There I met the lady's granddaughter, Xin Hua. I don't remember the rest of that day.
After a couple days of being indoors I was feeling a lot better and was able to move my leg a great deal. I had decided it was time to find my father. I went to the Beijing Hotel where I had been staying. I was told that both my father and Eddie had not returned. I decided to go to the airport the next day. I discussed this decision with Xin Hua because I needed her to take me there as my leg was still significantly sore. She informed me (in broken English) that it would be hard to transport a foreigner with all the PLA road blocks, which were randomly stopping people who they thought were going to tell the outside world about the incident. Xin Hua came up with the plan to transport me as a Chinese worker who was delivering a new washing machine. I thought this was a brilliant idea as I has seen many washing machines been delivered throughout my stay.
Before leaving with Xin Hua to go to the airport I put all of my video tapes into my underpants. I believed it to be vital that I manage to smuggle the tapes out of China so that they could be broadcasted all over the world. The world needed to know what had really happened in Tain An Man Square. I also dressed Chinese clothes and dyed my hair black with shoe polish. We rode a bicycle type machine called a "chi" to the airport, Xin Hua was pedaling and I was taking care of our "washing machine" which was actually just the box of one with some bricks in it to weigh it down. The PLA stopped us half way there. We were both terrified. They let us through with out any hassles, a little shaken Xin Hua rode on. We were almost at the airport when another group of PLA stopped us. One of them pulled at my jacket. They immediately realized that I was not Chinese. They grabbed hold of Xin Hua and me. Xin Hua was dragged into the bushes and I was shoved into a car that took me to the airport. As the car drove away I heard gun shots. At that time I knew that Xin Hua was dead.
I arrived at the airport I found dad, he had been there for two days waiting for me. It turned out that the PLA had captured him and then had finally brought him to the airport on the 19th. My heart pounded in relief as I hugged him. After I had explained what had happened to me I asked what had happened to Eddie, it turned out that he was still in the heart of Beijing.
I am glad I am now home and away from all of my horrific memories. Unfortunately the Chinese government doesn't admit that there were any killings and that the Tian An Man square never happened.