General Defied Tiananmen Square Orders

On the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, a new account from inside the Chinese government is coming out. Maj. Gen. Xu Qinxian, who led the 38th Group Army, told a historian he defied orders to quash the protesters because he felt it was a political problem that should be solved through negotiations. Xu was arrested shortly thereafter for his refusal but said, “I’d rather be beheaded than be a criminal in the eyes of history.” He ultimately passed the orders along to his troops, but he refused to lead them and was expelled from the Communist Party and imprisoned for four years.