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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Zhao Ill After Pneumonia


Zhao addressing students in Tiananmen Square flanked by today's premier Wen Jiabao "Zhao Ziyang, toppled as China's Communist Party chief in 1989 for opposing the army crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, is in ill health after a bout of pneumonia, alarming the country's leaders, a Chinese source said Monday. "

Zhao Ziyang become somewhat of a legend for fighting the Politburo over their treatment of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and has been under house arrest ever since.

At the time of Tiananman Zhao had two people working for him that may interest many and say something about the type of people they have since become.

One is Cao Siyuan who is now a leading radical political activist in China constantly calling for change and liberalisation of the legal system.

Called the "Bankruptcy King" because of his work on framing China's first bankruptcy legislation and running his own private bankruptcy practice Cao was in the news lately when there was a report of him fleeing China ahead of of an anticipated arrest. This has since been refuted by Cao who last heard of was visiting Canada in middle March.

The other is none other than current premier Wen Jiabao who accompanied Zhao on his historic visit to address the students in Tiananmen Square. Wen seemed to be able to walk away from Tiananmen politically unscathed while Zhao was disgraced and put under house arrest.

China's leadership might be getting very jittery at the moment. With Zhao ill and of advanced age, recent calls on the Politburo to re-assess the Communists Party's culpability over the tragedy causing much interest and the 15th anniversary of Tiananman coming up in June, the death of Zhao might just be a catalyst for further pro-democracy activity.

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