Minitrue: The Death and Funeral of Li Rui

Minitrue: The Death and Funeral of Li Rui

The following  instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Without exception, do not report, reprint, or comment on the death of , his funeral ceremony, etc. Let Xinhua and other authoritative media serve as the standard, and do not take the authority to alter headlines or content details. (February 22, 2019) [Chinese]

Li Rui, a former personal secretary to Mao Zedong who became a fierce critic of both the great helmsman and his successors, died on February 16 in Beijing at age 101. His daughter, Nanyang Li, pledged to boycott an official funeral service for her father at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery on February 20, saying that a state burial went against his stated wishes. At The New York Times, Chris Buckley reported from the funeral:

Hundreds of people gathered in Beijing on Wednesday to say goodbye to Mr. Li, four days after his death at 101. But the funeral revealed tensions between the government, which wanted a brisk Communist ceremony, and mourners who celebrated Mr. Li as a renegade — one who, even as he lay dying, railed against the authoritarian policies of Xi Jinping, the party’s leader and China’s president.

[…] Mourners who passed by his coffin said it was covered in the red banner of a Chinese Communist. (Foreign journalists were not allowed inside the hall.)

[…]“What I want to say now is that Li Rui, a centenarian, has departed, so let him quietly depart,” his widow, Zhang Yuzhen, said in a written message distributed to mourners.

Even so, the funeral also became a rallying point for people who embraced his hope for a more democratic China. […] [Source]

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.

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