Zhao Ziyang to be Laid to Rest, Ten Years After Death

Zhao Ziyang to be Laid to Rest, Ten Years After Death

Ten years after the death of former Premier Zhao Ziyang, authorities have agreed with his family to allow his burial, though a location for his final resting place has not yet been determined. Verna Yu reports for the South China Morning Post:

His funeral in 2005 was a sensitive event as the authorities feared it could spark large-scale mourning. On the day of his funeral, police and security agents were posted on every corner along Changan Avenue, Beijing’s main thoroughfare, and many of his supporters were barred from the ceremony.

The lack of a burial site for Zhao became an issue again after Zhao’s wife died over a year ago.

Wang said on Sunday that officials from the party and the Beijing government had met the family in recent months to discuss finding a burial site for Zhao and his wife. There was still no firm plan but the family said it was a step forward. “Their attitude was sincere and we can talk about things,” Zhao’s youngest son, Zhao Wujun , said. “We just want the old people to be buried peacefully.”

Zhao Ziyang’s burial has not been resolved because the authorities are still nervous about invoking the memory of the popular leader, whose opposition to the armed crackdown made him a symbol of conscience. Zhao spent the last 16 years of his life under house arrest, accused of “splitting the party” and “supporting unrest” for sympathising with protestors in the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement. [Source]

After expressing sympathy with protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, Zhao was purged from the Party and held under house arrest until his death in 2005. Upon his death, his family and officials did not reach agreement over the location of his burial. In January, supporters visited his home on the tenth anniversary of his death, but the gathering was heavily monitored by police.

Read more about Zhao Ziyang, via CDT.


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