Colour photograph of a group of 12 Chinese soldiers standing in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People's Republic of China, on 5 Jun 1989. Li Xiaoming (Thomas) is standing fifth from the left.Thomas formally migrated to Australia in 2002.
Thomas was born in January, 1964. He was 19 year old when he was enrolled in military college. Thomas was a soldier in the army when the Chinese Government declared martial law in Beijing in the lead up and aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on 4 June 1989. His unit arrived at the Square on 5 June and witnessed the evidence of the violence that occurred there. Thomas was 25 years old at this time. He left the army around 1993 and came to Australia in 2000 as an international student. Thomas was invited to speak about the 4 June 1989 events by the Human Rights in China organisation in New York in 2002. He then applied for permanent residency in Australia under the Humanitarian Scheme. He is an Australian citizen, and his wife, son and parents all followed him to Australia. He has another son who was born in Australia.
Description of Content
Group of 12 Chinese soldiers standing.
Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a unique opportunity to document the events of the Tiananmen Square Massacre which occurred in Beijing on 4 June, 1989, through the eyes of a former soldier who was present at that time.This event resulted in over 40,000 Chinese students in Australia at the time being granted permanent residency visas by the Australian Government. This story also demonstrates the unwillingnes of some soldiers to participate in the events that occurred, and the resulting migration of a former soldier as a result of speaking out about the events - a risky act of subversion in the eyes of the Chinese Government.
Type of item