Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
China ex-censor claims key Tiananmen memoirs role
Wed May 20, 2009 11:49pm EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Chris Buckley and Benjamin Kang Lim
BEIJING (Reuters) - A former senior Chinese censor has claimed a major role in recording purged leader Zhao Ziyang's memoirs that decry the quelling of pro-democracy protests in 1989, adding to calls for the government to repent the crackdown.
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.
Zhao's name remains taboo in mainland Chinese media and the government says his rift with Party conservatives over the protests was a "grave error," Du notes.
"In history, of course none of this can stand," Du said in the statement provided by Bao Pu, the son of a former senior aide to Zhao and also publisher of the Chinese version of the memoirs.
Du has joined a small but bold undercurrent within China openly urging the government to renounce the 1989 crackdown, when hundreds of demonstrators and bystanders died as troops and tanks surged down Beijing streets on the night of June 3-4.
A group of Chinese intellectuals has disclosed it recently met on the capital's outskirts to urge an end to official silence about the bloodshed 20 years ago.
Their speeches are now circulating on some Chinese-language internet sites and through email.
"As time has passed, this massive secret has become a massive vacuum. Everyone avoids it, skirts around it," Cui Weiping, a Beijing-based academic, told the 20 or so participants, who included some of the nation's most prominent liberal scholars, among them Qian Liqun, a former professor at Peking University.
"This secret is in fact a toxin poisoning the air around us and affecting our whole lives and spirit," said Cui.
Cui confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday she had made the speech at the meeting on May 10, and said as far as she knew none of the participants has been detained.
The Chinese government has been tight-lipped about the 20th anniversary of June 4, and on Tuesday a Foreign Ministry spokesman brushed aside questions on Zhao's memoirs, saying the official verdict on the demonstrations still stood.
Du, in his late 80s, eased censorship as head of press rules, and has long been associated with China Through the Ages (Yanhuang chunqiu), a magazine published in Beijing which has urged political liberalization. Continued...
View article on single page
H1N1 virus spreads in Asia, protection wobbly
Afghanistan and Pakistan
Fighting the Taliban
A growing insurgency in Afghanistan is also spreading deep into Pakistan, making both countries crucial to U.S. war efforts in the region. Full Coverage
More International News
Iran tests missile as election race starts
Pakistani army says captures Taliban stronghold
Baghdad bomb kills 35 in poor Shi'ite district
Myanmar slammed over "outrageous" Suu Kyi trial
Mexican cartels break open new front in drugs war
More International News...
Featured Broker sponsored link
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Synagogue targeted in NY plot, four charged
"American Idol" winner appears too close too call
Dark horse Kris Allen wins "American Idol"
Hubble's troubles surprised shuttle crew
"Terminator" moves on without busy Schwarzenegger
Tarantino's "Basterds" surprisingly tame war movie
Iran tests missile as election race starts | Video
Tarantino and Pitt in Cannes for Nazi-slaying caper | Video
Study turns back clock on origins of life on Earth
Obama to sign credit card crackdown into law | Video
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Landmarks for sale?
Clinton warns of Mideast arms race
Proposed credit card changes
Geither: Financial system healing
Delivering on Guantanamo
New fossil link for human evolution
Michael Vick leaves prison
Myanmar TV shows Suu Kyi images
Iran claims successful missile test
Customs seize record ivory haul
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The Great Debate
U.S. military giant, diplomatic dwarf?
The U.S. armed forces outnumber the country’s diplomatic service and its major aid agency by a ratio of more than 180:1. Is the huge imbalance destined to remain a permanent fixture in the political landscape? Commentary
Follow Bernd Debusmann on Twitter
We want to hear from you
Join the Reuters Consumer Insight Panel and help us get to know you better
Please take a moment to complete our survey
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.