Benjamin Kang Lim: China Imposes Security for Funeral of Purged Zhao

From Reuters, via the Wired News:

Hundreds of mourners braved police checks on Saturday to attend a low-key invitation-only funeral for , the Chinese Communist Party chief purged for opposing the army crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

Nervous the ceremony might spark protest, China’s leaders had wanted to permit only a quick funeral for Zhao who, as premier in the 1980s, launched market reforms that turned the country into a fledgling economic powerhouse from a centrally planned backwater.

However, in a nod to the seniority of a man whom the party had effectively made a non-person by keeping him under house arrest for the past 15 years, China’s number four leader, Jia Qinglin, joined mourners filing past his body at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery.

A dozen police checked identity documents and invitations of mourners and turned away non-mainland Chinese from the funeral for Zhao, who died in a Beijing hospital on Jan. 17 aged 85.

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