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Former Chinese 'dissendent' died

 
 
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2005 09:51 am
Former Communist Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang died Monday at age 85, after suffering a series of strokes. Communist Party hardliners put Zhao under house arrest in 1989 for sympathizing with pro-democracy and human rights activists in Tiananmen Square; after martial law was declared, the Tiananmen gathering was crushed by the military at a cost of hundreds, perhaps even thousands of lives.

Zhao was never seen in public again after that. In an apparent effort to minimize public reaction and any outbreak of reformist sympathies , the Chinese government has reacted to Zhao's death by issuing a terse two sentence acknowledgement and blocking all radio and television reports of his passing. Groups supporting the cause of human rights in China are meanwhile mourning Zhao's passing.

Quote:
Zhao Ziyang passes away at 85

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Comrade Zhao Ziyang died of illness in a Beijing hospital Monday. He was 85.

Comrade Zhao had long suffered from multiple diseases affecting his respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and had been hospitalized for medical treatment for several times. His conditions worsened recently, and he passed away Monday after failing to respond to all emergency treatment. Enditem
source: Xinhua - China view
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2005 09:53 am
Quote:
Add one Tiananmen casualty:
CSN estimate rises to 3,001



In tribute to Zhao Ziyang (1919 - 2005);
former Communist Party Chief, and
85 year old victim of Tiananmen crackdown


January 17, 2005 (CSN) -- Today, the world marks the passing of Zhao Ziyang, a world leader in the time of Ronald Reagan. Zhao was General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party at the time of 1989's uprising for Chinese democracy at Tiananmen Square. Sympathetic to the students on the square, he lost power to hardliners, who purged him and then unleashed the June 4, 1989 massacre -- a mechanized assault, by China's so called People's Liberation Army, against the unarmed students and civilians of Beijing.

The Tiananmen Square crackdown has been universally condemned. "Among miscarriages of government and authority, this was huge, epic, monumental, egregious, and not to be forgotten by history," said John Kusumi, who in 1989 formed the China Support Network (CSN), where Americans joined to respond to the tragedy and to boost the cause of pro-democracy Chinese. The CSN continues to this day in its work for Chinese democracy.

"Much will be said and written about the death of Zhao Ziyang," noted Kusumi. "'The Chinese Gorbachev who fell from grace', is a nice moniker I've seen on the AFP newswire. Zhao will be remembered for being on the right side of history -- that of freedom, democracy, and human rights. Chinese society will value him for his rightist, liberal, reformer impulses. With his political moderation, he pointed the way to a more tolerant, open political system for China." [Ed. Note. In China, the left wing is conservative and the right wing is liberal.]

Kusumi continued, "Whatever else is written about him, this quarter finds it important to underscore that Zhao Ziyang is the latest dead victim of the Tiananmen Square crackdown." [Ed. Note. Zhao Ziyang did not abandon his reformer impulses, and the Chinese government kept him under house arrest during all subsequent years following Tiananmen Square.]

"For over 15 years, the China Support Network has kept steady its estimate that some 3,000 people died in the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Today, to symbolically memorialize the death of Zhao Ziyang, for the first time in 15 years, we are raising our estimate of the casualty count. The official CSN estimate will now be 3,001 dead."
source: China Support Network
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2005 09:56 am
Quote:
January 17, 2005

Chinese government fears unrest after reformer's death

By Jenny Booth, Times Online


Zhao Ziyang, the former Communist Party leader who helped to launch China's economic boom but was ousted after sympathising with the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters, died today in a Beijing hospital. He was 85.

Zhao had lived under house arrest for 15 years. A premature report of his death last week prompted the Chinese government to break its long silence about him and disclose that he had been hospitalised after a series of strokes.

He fell out of favor and was purged on June 24, 1989, after the military used tanks to crush the student-led pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of people.

He was last seen in public on May 19, 1989, the day before martial law was declared in Beijing, when he made a tearful visit to Tiananmen Square to talk to student hunger strikers. He apologized to the students, telling them that he had come too late.

"He is the Gorbachev of China, the failed Gorbachev of China," said Oliver August, the Times China Correspondent.

"If he'd been stronger politically, he could have imposed his will on the Communist Party. And if he had succeeded he would have driven a stake through the heart of the Communist Party in China."

Reformist websites in China quickly filled with comments on Zhao's death. Bao Tong, Zhao's one-time secretary, posted a letter on the internet saying that the Chinese Communist party's attempt to erase Zhao from history revealed its weakness.

"The only reason for Zhao's continued ill-treatment was his opposition to the violent solution to end the Tiananmen protests in 1989," wrote Bao, who was himself jailed for seven years after Zhao's downfall for opposing the bloody crackdown on the students.

He continued: "The conditions under which he was living at the time of his death, in complete isolation from the rest of Chinese society because of a 16-year-long house arrest illegally imposed upon him by the government, is a showcase of shame for Chinese justice and for the Chinese Communist Party itself.

"The persecution of Zhao Ziyang is the persecution of a national leader who dedicated himself for more than a decade to the groundbreaking efforts that became the foundations of China's economic reforms."

Bao has been a thorn in the government's side and has remained under tight surveillance since his release from prison in 1996. He has been an outspoken critic of China's human rights record and the slow speed of political reforms.

Fearing a backlash, the Chinese government took steps to minimise any public reaction to Zhao's death. The official announcement to China's people was limited to a two-sentence Xinhua report carried on websites. It wasn't on the midday state television news, and CNN broadcasts to hotels and apartment complexes for foreigners were blacked out when they mentioned Zhao.

Police blocked reporters from entering the lane in central Beijing where Zhao had lived under guard in a walled villa.

Other activists were also placed under close scrutiny. Ren Wanding, a veteran dissident, said police arrived outside his Beijing home this morning and were preventing him from leaving.

The cause of death wasn't immediately announced, but the official Xinhua News Agency said Zhao suffered from multiple ailments of the respiratory and cardiovascular system and died "after failing to respond to all emergency treatment."

"He was very peaceful," said Frank Lu, a Hong Kong-based Chinese human rights activist who said he had spoken to Zhao's daughter Wang Yannan. "He was surrounded by all his family."

Reports said Zhao occasionally traveled to the provinces. He sometimes was seen teeing off at Beijing golf courses or paying respects at the funerals of dead comrades, but otherwise remained hidden.

Usually seen in tailored Western suits, Zhao served as premier in 1980-1987, then took over as general secretary of the Communist Party, the most powerful post in China, under Deng, who remained paramount leader.

He helped initiate sweeping changes that invigorated an economy mired in the ruins of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. Austere central planning gave way to material incentives and market forces that made China the world's fastest-growing economy.

"The Chinese leadership owes him a lot," said Yan Jiaqi, a former Zhao aide, in comments broadcast on Hong Kong Cable TV. "I hope to see the Beijing leadership formally express to the entire nation that Zhao Ziyang was the people's good premier."

"He introduced capitalism to China," said David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University. "Deng ... had instincts but not a lot of specific ideas about how to implement certain policies. Zhao gave specificity to those instincts."

Those changes also brought inflation, income gaps between the rich and poor, corruption and other problems that Zhao would be blamed for when the conservatives drove him from power.

Zhao's 1989 downfall was not his first. Mao's youthful Red Guards dragged him from his home in Guangzhou in 1967 and paraded him through the streets with a dunce cap before sending him off for years of internal exile.

The son of a landlord, he was born in 1919 in Henan Province. He joined the Communist Youth League in 1932 and became a full-fledged party member in 1938.

An agriculture expert in a country in which 80 percent of the people are rural, Zhao spent most of his career in regional government and party posts.

In the early 1950s, he directed a harsh purge in Guangdong province of cadres accused of corruption, ties to the Nationalists on Taiwan and opposition to land reform.

In 1957, he oversaw a rectification campaign in which 80,000 officials were sent to the countryside to live, work and receive criticism.

After four years in disgrace during the Cultural Revolution, he resurfaced in 1971 as a party secretary in Inner Mongolia. He won favor for his agricultural management there and in the southern province of Guangdong in 1971-75.

Zhao was named party secretary and governor of Sichuan, China's most populous province, in 1975. With Sichuanese Deng's backing, he dismantled the commune system, restored private plots and sidelined rural businesses, raised farm prices and revived bonuses for extra work.

His pragmatic policies there turned acute food shortages into bumper harvests. Between 1977 and 1980, Sichuan's farm output went up 25 percent and industrial production rose 81 percent.

The "Sichuan Experience" became a model for the nation.

Deng brought Zhao to Beijing in 1980 as a vice premier and member of the party's powerful Politburo. Six months later, he was named premier, becoming a role model for the younger technocrats installed by Deng in key positions to carry out his ambitious modernization plans.

But the reforms' expansion to urban areas sparked overheating of the economy in late 1984 and 1985, forcing Deng and Zhao to slow the pace of growth.

In November 1987, Zhao was named general secretary of the Communist Party after Hu Yaobang, who was blamed for pro-democracy student unrest and deposed.

During the 1989 protests, Zhao called for compromise and expressed sympathy for some of their demands. But his adversaries, led by Premier Li Peng, overruled him, called in the military to quash the protests and used the turmoil to attack Zhao and his supporters.

Little was known about Zhao's personal life. A 40-minute-a-day jogger, he once revealed in an interview that he sometimes argued with his family at the dinner table and liked his grandchildren.

He was known to have been married twice and had four sons and a daughter. His second wife was Liang Boqi.
Source
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2005 01:27 am
Quote:
Former Chinese leader's death leaves dilemma for leadership

By Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press Writer
18 January 2005


While he lived, China's Communist Party considered ousted leader Zhao Ziyang such a potent threat that it kept him under house arrest for 15 years.

After his death, China's leaders face an even tougher challenge: how to give a fallen comrade his due without stirring up support for a figure accused of endangering communist rule in 1989.

Zhao helped to launch China's economic boom as then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping's protege. But after he suggested compromising with pro-democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square, he was dismissed, charged with "splitting the party" and forced into house arrest.

"It certainly is a delicate issue for the government," said Kenneth Lieberthal, an expert on Chinese politics at the Brookings Institution. "They will want to show respect without being overly glorifying."

Acting quickly to head off unauthorized commemorations, the government posted extra guards outside Zhao's home in central Beijing hours after his death. Paramilitary police swarmed Tiananmen Square, China's symbolic political center, with two busloads of reinforcements standing by.

As they prepare to memorialize him, Chinese leaders are sure to have in mind the parallels with 1989. Then, the Tiananmen Square protests grew out of public mourning for Hu Yaobang, Zhao's predecessor as party leader, who had himself been purged after student-led protests.

But China has changed vastly in the years since Zhao was banished, and analysts said a repeat is unlikely.

Today's students, just children during Zhao's era, tend to be focused on carving out careers and are far less politically active.

China has few active dissidents left. The rest are in jail or exile.
Source
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 09:50 am
Quote:
Lawyer: China dissident sentenced to 11 years

December 25, 2009 1:20 a.m. EST

Liu, 53, was detained on December 8, 2008, and held under "residential surveillance" as police investigated the case, according to the PEN American Center, a U.S. literary and human rights organization. On June 23 of this year, he was arrested and charged with inciting subversion of state power, the organization said. Liu is on the PEN board of directors.
The case was turned over to the prosecutor's office December 8 -- one year from the time Liu was detained.
Liu co-authored Charter 08, "a declaration calling for political reform, greater human rights, and an end to one-party rule in China that has been signed by hundreds of individuals from all walks of life throughout the country," PEN says on its Web site. The group said Liu was arrested before the formal release of Charter 08.
"Liu has been engaged in agitation activities, such as spreading of rumors and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialism system in recent years," according to a police statement reported by China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
The statement claimed Liu confessed to the charge during a preliminary police investigation.
Liu served as an adviser to student leaders during the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Along with three other intellectuals, he took part in hunger strikes there on June 2 of that year prior to the crackdown to show support for the flagging student protests.
He was arrested two days after the Tiananmen crackdown and was released in 1991. In May 1995 he was detained again for collecting signatures for a petition calling for human rights guarantees.
The U.S. government called for Liu's release.
"The United States was deeply concerned to learn that ... Liu ... was found guilty of 'incitement to subvert state power,'" said Mark Toner, an acting State Department spokesman. "We call on the Government of China to release him immediately and to respect the rights of all Chinese citizens to peacefully express their political views."


Source: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/24/china.dissident.trial/index.html

As far as I can tell, China routinely imprisons people who express disagreement or challenge government officials. Where's the liberal outrage, such as that expressed over American activities?
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 10:08 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
As far as I can tell, China routinely imprisons people who express disagreement or challenge government officials. Where's the liberal outrage, such as that expressed over American activities?


HUH? It's everywhere if you just look for it. I'm in the middle of cooking or I would find them for you with a quick Google search. You could start by joining a group like www.change.org.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 10:25 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
Where's the liberal outrage, such as that expressed over American activities?


Actually, the so-called liberals are the ones who always critisised the Chinese government(s) while the conservatives were more interested in making businesses ...

But just now, even the conservative have opened their opposing mouth.

You should read/listen to/watch some news, Brandon.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 10:50 am
I meant on this board.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 11:14 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

I meant on this board.


Well, Brandon it took you a couple of years to respond on this thread.

Seems, your interest in Chinese politics is fairly new.
But as a 'liberal' I'm pleased that you got your eyes now opened.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 01:30 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Earlier, China was criticized widely for an increase in political arrests, leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
(You certainly remember the trial of dissident Hu Jia and the conviction of Yang Chunlin for the same "subversion" crime with which Liu is charged.)
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 02:52 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:

I meant on this board.


Well, Brandon it took you a couple of years to respond on this thread.

Seems, your interest in Chinese politics is fairly new.
But as a 'liberal' I'm pleased that you got your eyes now opened.

I've always been interested in the immense and continual civil rights abuses in China, and note that they get virtually zero attention on this board from the people who accuse Bush and Cheney of every civil rights abuse imaginable, even when there isn't any evidence to support their allegations.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 03:02 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

I've always been interested in the immense and continual civil rights abuses in China, and note that they get virtually zero attention on this board from the people who accuse Bush and Cheney of every civil rights abuse imaginable, even when there isn't any evidence to support their allegations.


Thanks - but you didn't post here either until today.

So I concluded that you weren't interested until just now.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 04:39 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:

I've always been interested in the immense and continual civil rights abuses in China, and note that they get virtually zero attention on this board from the people who accuse Bush and Cheney of every civil rights abuse imaginable, even when there isn't any evidence to support their allegations.


Thanks - but you didn't post here either until today.

So I concluded that you weren't interested until just now.

On the other hand, I haven't posted numerous accusations here against the Bush administration (or any other American administration) for civil rights abuses. The conclusion is that certain people are immensely interested in pointing out any conceivable civil rights abuse by Americans, including ones for which they have little or no evidence, but are mute about much worse and much more frequent abuses by the Chinese government.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 05:07 pm
You offer not one speck of evidence that liberals don't care about human rights over there, brandon. You accuse by inference. Yet, if a liberal uses inferential evidence for anything, you dismiss it decisively.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 05:25 pm
I've made anti-Chinese gov't statements on this site, mostly when I'm speaking to Chinese students who show up on occasion and ask about history or politics. I've also engaged them in discussions about Tibet and Taiwan. I see no point in debating this with other A2k members, I think we already agree on the basics.

Here's something to think about, the Americans who donate the most to the Chinese Communist Party are people who shop at Walmart. Every time someone purchases a chinese made item (the dominate supplier to WM is China) they are contributing to the CCP because a portion of that purchase goes back to the factory in China, which in turn pays bribes and taxes to the Chinese gov't. I would venture to say that the typical Walmart shopper is more likely to be a fried pork rind eating Conservative than a tofu eating Liberal (yeah, I'm speaking in general terms). You just have to drive around a Walmart parking lot and look at the bumper stickers to see this true. I once counted 13 Bush stickers in a row at my local WM parking lot, but I also know there are some real statistics on this if someone feels like searching. I wish I had a bumper sticker that said: Support Communist China!, Shop Walmart! I know of a number of liberal groups that boycott Walmart because of Chinese human rights abuses (among other reasons), but I don't know of any conservative ones - maybe there are, maybe someone can tell me about them.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  0  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 05:51 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

You offer not one speck of evidence that liberals don't care about human rights over there, brandon. You accuse by inference. Yet, if a liberal uses inferential evidence for anything, you dismiss it decisively.

I've given evidence, but I'll repeat it - the evidence is the relative frequency on this board of complaints about human rights abuses (alleged) by Bush et al compared to complaints about the continual and severe human rights abuses in China.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 06:02 pm
@Brandon9000,
Maybe because Bush was our home problem and responsibility. I know I felt nothing buy embarrassment during the Bush years and wanted to shout from the roof tops that I disagreed with my government. I do not feel like I can change much in China, other than boycotting their products (which is not always easy to do). I think the Chinese will have to fight their way out of their injustices as we voted our way out in the last election.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 07:15 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

edgarblythe wrote:

You offer not one speck of evidence that liberals don't care about human rights over there, brandon. You accuse by inference. Yet, if a liberal uses inferential evidence for anything, you dismiss it decisively.

I've given evidence, but I'll repeat it - the evidence is the relative frequency on this board of complaints about human rights abuses (alleged) by Bush et al compared to complaints about the continual and severe human rights abuses in China.


Jut As I said. Not one speck of evidence.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 12:45 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:

edgarblythe wrote:

You offer not one speck of evidence that liberals don't care about human rights over there, brandon. You accuse by inference. Yet, if a liberal uses inferential evidence for anything, you dismiss it decisively.

I've given evidence, but I'll repeat it - the evidence is the relative frequency on this board of complaints about human rights abuses (alleged) by Bush et al compared to complaints about the continual and severe human rights abuses in China.


Jut As I said. Not one speck of evidence.

The only thing I've alleged in this thread is that the widespread systematic abuses of human rights in China get less time on this board than the alleged human rights abuses by America, which are unquestionably lesser. Do you actually disagree with that? It seems like it would be pretty plain to anyone who reads this board. The only possible proof would be to count the threads on each subject on this board, which would be pretty time consuming. Again, do you actually contend that rights abuses in China get a proportionate amount of complaints on A2K?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 12:46 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

Maybe because Bush was our home problem and responsibility. I know I felt nothing buy embarrassment during the Bush years and wanted to shout from the roof tops that I disagreed with my government. I do not feel like I can change much in China, other than boycotting their products (which is not always easy to do). I think the Chinese will have to fight their way out of their injustices as we voted our way out in the last election.

Maybe it's just the "blame America first" crowd.
 

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