The 27th Army Group of the People’s Liberation Army leaves behind a bloody legacy.
During the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4, 1989, it became notorious for the atrocities it committed on the streets of Beijing. According to eye-witness accounts, its soldiers and armored carriers were the most active in shooting students and residents.
Its warpath can be traced back to the Chinese Civil War where it helped bring the Communists Party to victory. In fact, the 27th engaged in key battles against Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s Republican forces. The unit was also one of the first to battle United Nations forces during the Korean War.
But on Dec. 29, the unit’s stories came to an end.
As part of a massive reorganization and modernization of the military under President Xi Jinping, the unit was disbanded.
It was reorganized into a division that was relocated to a tank regiment barracks in a suburb of Taiyuan, according to the reliable Hong Kong daily broadsheet Ming Pao.
The massive reorganization project, which is expected to be completed at the end of November in 2020, affects all 18 army groups. This means 45,000 to 60,000 soldiers would be affected.
And they have no say in the matter.
High-ranking army officers can either accept Xi’s plan or leave the service, according to an article published by the People’s Liberation Army newspaper in December.
But the 27th was born out of reorganization.
Parts of it belonged to the 8th Route Army, which saw action during World War II as the Communist Party’s main fighting force. It later became the 9th Column of the Eastern China Field Army in 1946 before becoming the 27th Army Group in February 1949.
But despite its battles, history will remember the 27th for what it did to unarmed civilians on the streets of Beijing.
Its carnage was even extended to fellow soldiers, as recently declassified diplomatic cables reveal.
One correspondence from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to Washington states that “soldiers from other units” were “run over” by the 27th’s armored combat vehicles and tanks.