Former aide to late Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang pays his final respects

South China Morning Post 發布於 2019年10月23日03:10 • Staff Reporter
  • Communist Party boss, whose ashes were interred on Friday, 'finally free and appeased', 87-year-old Bao Tong says on Twitter
  • 'I wish my Chinese people are all able to obtain freedom and peace in the human world,' he says
Bao Tong pays his last respects at the grave of former Communist Party of China boss Zhao Ziyang. Photo: Handout

A former top aide to Zhao Ziyang, the late leader of the Communist Party of China whose ashes were interred on Friday, 14 years after his death, said on Tuesday he had been allowed to visit the grave to pay his last respects.

"I was approved to sweep the tomb of Ziyang and (his wife Liang) Boqi," 87-year-old Bao Tong said on Twitter.

"As Yannan (Zhao's daughter) said, they were finally free and appeased. I hope they find freedom and peace in heaven," he said.

"I wish my Chinese people are all able to obtain freedom and peace in the human world."

Bao was joined by a small group of people, including Zhao's daughter. Photo: Handout

Zhao's ashes were interred alongside Liang, who died in 2013, in a low-key ceremony at a cemetery on the northern outskirts of Beijing.

A former Chinese premier, Zhao was ousted in 1989 for "splitting the party" by sympathising with pro-democracy student protesters and opposing the crackdown in Tiananmen Square. He spent the rest of his life under virtual house arrest and died in 2005 at the age of 85.

Bao, who in 1989 was one of the 175 members of the party's powerful Central Committee, was arrested days before the military crackdown on June 4 amid a massive purge of party cadres who sympathised with the movement.

As one of Zhao's top aides, he was expelled from the party and sentenced to seven years in prison for leaking state secrets. He was the most senior Communist Party official jailed in 1989.

Bao was released in 1996 but has been under house arrest in Beijing ever since.

According to video footage shared on Twitter, Bao was accompanied on his visit to the cemetery by a small group, including Zhao's daughter. At the graveside he bowed three times and though aided by a walking stick declined an offer to sit down.

"I can stand. I should stand," he said. "This place is a restricted area, but it is a sacred land, a sacred land for ever."

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