The following is an extract from a letter written by some Peoples Liberation Army Officers. The content of this letter was broadcast by the protestors at Tiananmen Square on 18 May 1989. This was reported in Zhongguo Tongxun She, Hong Kong.

1. We absolutely cannot suppress the students and the masses by armed force. We must teach the whole body of PLA officers and men to love the people and protect them; to carry forward the people’s army’s glorious tradition of identity of army and people; and to strictly follow Central Military Commission First Vice-Chairman Comrade Zhao Ziyang’s demand for reason, calm, restraint, and order in properly handling our relations with the masses. Under no circumstances may we act like family members drawing swords on each other, which would give joy to our enemies.

2. As quickly as possible, urge the government and the student representatives to hold a public and fair dialogue. The lives of the hunger-striking students in Tiananmen Square are in danger and we hope you will be able to persuade the government leadership to go among the students and accept their reasonable demands to attain genuine stability and unity.

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