Zhao Ziyangs Family Plan Memorial, One Year On

2006-01-12
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Jan. 19, 2005. Wang Yannan, only daughter of Zhao Ziyang, greets visitors to her father's house shortly after his death. Photo: AFP

HONG KONG—The family of ousted Chinese Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang plans to hold a private memorial to mark the first anniversary of Zhao’s death on Jan. 17, Zhao’s daughter says.

“If people come and pay their respects, we will receive them,” Wang Yannan said in an interview. “Actually, some people have already been coming to pay their respects. We are deeply moved by it. Family members living out of town will also return for the occasion.”

Actually, we did not invite anyone. It’s a family event. It’s the first anniversary of my father’s passing. It’s a very important anniversary. All of the children will try their best to come back home for the occasion. If other people want to attend—the memorial altar is still in the house.

“Actually, we did not invite anyone. It’s a family event,” Wang said. “It’s the first anniversary of my father’s passing. It’s a very important anniversary. All of the children will try their best to come back home for the occasion. If other people want to attend—the memorial altar is still in the house.”

“I don’t think there should be any problems," she told reporter Lin Di, referring to authorities in Beijing.

Activist under 'virtual house arrest'

Zhao, once seen as a successor to China’s late supreme leader Deng Xiaoping, was purged from the party’s inner circle for supporting student demonstrators in 1989. He spent the last 15 years of his life under house arrest in Beijing.

Beijing-based AIDS activist Hu Jia meanwhile said police are holding him under “virtual house arrest” in the runup to the anniversary of Zhao’s death.

“As I speak, I am sitting in a police car. I have been under virtual house arrest since Jan. 9,” Hu told RFA’s Mandarin service.

“On Jan. 9 I clashed with police. The next day, Jan. 10, we reached a compromise. Every morning the Tongzhou district police would drive me from my home to my office in the Chaoyang district. Then the Chaoyang district police would take over.”

On Jan. 9 I clashed with police. The next day... we reached a compromise. Every morning the Tongzhou district police would drive me from my home to my office in the Chaoyang district. Then the Chaoyang district police would take over.

“During the day in my office I am under the watchful eye of Chaoyang district police. Late in the afternoon Chaoyang district police would drive me back to my home in Tongzhou district. And there I am under surveillance and house arrest.”

“From past experience, I expect the surveillance to last until a couple of days after Jan. 17, the first anniversary of Mr. Zhao’s passing,” he said.

“So it will be extremely difficult for me to visit Mr. Zhao’s house on Jan. 17 to pay my respects,” said Hu, who visited Zhao’s home on the 100th day after his death last year.

Original reporting by Lin Di for RFA's Mandarin service. Service director: Jennifer Chou. Edited and produced in English by Sarah Jackson-Han.

Original reporting in Mandarin

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