Commander appointed to head elite Beijing military unit

Veteran of war with Vietnam to head 38th Army which took part in the suppression of the pro-democracy protests in the capital in 1989

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 11:23am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 11:23am

A military unit involved in the suppression of the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 has a new commander, the PLA Daily reported.

Liu Zhenli has taken charge of the 38th Army, the newspaper said.

The unit forms part of the Beijing Military Command, charged with safeguarding the capital, and is considered one of the best trained and equipped forces in the military.

Liu is a military veteran who fought with the PLA in the war against Vietnam in 1979.

He takes over from Xu Linping who has become deputy commander-in-chief of the Lanzhou Military Command after a military reshuffle last year.

The 38th was one of the units ordered to crush the pro-democracy protests in the capital in 1989.

Major General Xu Qinxian, the then commander of the unit, was arrested and removed from his post after he refused to deploy his army in the capital.

After Xu was ousted, the 38th Army took part in the clearing of the square.

Xu was jailed for five years.



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