Du Daozheng, reformist chief of the General Administration of Press and Publications in the late 1980s, said he was one of four retired officials who helped Zhao secretively record his memoirs before his death under house arrest in 2005.
Zhao’s recollections, published abroad and sure to be banned in mainland China, challenge the ruling Communist Party’s verdict that the student-led protests centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing were a counter-revolutionary plot, and he calls the armed crackdown that ended them on June 4 two decades ago a tragedy.
In a statement explaining his role in making the memoirs, Du said it was time to rehabilitate Zhao, ousted in 1989 by Party conservatives who accused him of siding with the protesters.
“At the major historic juncture of June 4, Zhao Ziyang acted responsibly to the Chinese nation, to history and to ordinary people,” Du said in the statement, which will appear in the Chinese-language version of Zhao’s memoirs to be published in separately administered Hong Kong this month.
Read more about Du Daozheng via CDT.
See also an interview with Bao Tong, Zhao Ziyang’s top aide who was the only senior official to be jailed in connection to the protests of 1989, in the Globe and Mail.