June 13, 1989 The Seeds of Civil WarBy James Ridgeway By yesterday, the battle between the army and the students had died down, but the battle for control of the Peoples’ Liberation Army was just beginning. In Beijing, elements of the crack 38th Army, renowned in China for routing Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, was believed to have come to the aid of the students. In early skirmishes, the 38th reportedly engaged units of the 27th Army, the instrument of the Party hierarchy in Saturday’s massacre. An exchange of gunfire was reported in the western suburbs at a military airport, followed later by an attempted assassination of Li Peng. In downtown Beijing Tuesday morning, Michael Morrow reported a general strike had shut down the city. Emotions were running high. The people are rebellious, defiant, and determined above all to liquidate the 27th Army, now viewed as an army of assassins. “They can kill as many of us as they want,” a resident said, “but they can’t kill us all.” The troops of the 27th are skittish, moving along streets in patrols, usually under covering fire. Passport control and airport security are lax at the Beijing airport. Troops (possibly from… Read full this story
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