Chinese whispers

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The Independent Online

The macabre dispute about Zhao Ziyang's funeral has been resolved. The obsequies for the purged Chinese Communist leader will be held tomorrow at the cemetery where dignitaries are buried, but there will be no official oration: the party wanted to cite "mistakes" made over Tiananmen Square; his family refused. That Zhao remains so controversial even after 15 years as a non-person shows that the argument about democratic reform still seethes beneath the surface of today's richer, pro-market China. The man who regretted that he had come "too late" to save the students of Tiananmen Square was, rather, ahead of his time.

The macabre dispute about Zhao Ziyang's funeral has been resolved. The obsequies for the purged Chinese Communist leader will be held tomorrow at the cemetery where dignitaries are buried, but there will be no official oration: the party wanted to cite "mistakes" made over Tiananmen Square; his family refused. That Zhao remains so controversial even after 15 years as a non-person shows that the argument about democratic reform still seethes beneath the surface of today's richer, pro-market China. The man who regretted that he had come "too late" to save the students of Tiananmen Square was, rather, ahead of his time.

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