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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 17:54 GMT
Online tributes to Zhao Ziyang
A Chinese paramilitary officer attempts to stop a photographer outside the residence of Zhao Ziyang in Beijing
China is nervous Zhao's death might spark demonstrations
When former Communist leader Zhao Ziyang's death was announced on China's news portals on Monday, the country's main online forums were soon overwhelmed with messages of condolence.

People expressed their views in forums on the state news agency Xinhua's website, as well as the popular news portal Sina and the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily.

Their comments were quickly deleted, but many new postings then ridiculed the forum moderators for getting rid of their contributions.

More than 15 years after the Tiananmen crackdown, these postings show that many Chinese people have not forgotten Zhao, even though some of them are too young to remember the bloody events of 1989.

Some postings said Zhao would be given a fair verdict by history and he had been a "good comrade".

Others spoke of their "sadness" and "sincere condolences". Many wished Zhao "yi lu zou hao" [ a safe journey].

Some used poetry to express their feelings of grief, and called for the Chinese government to fly flags at half mast.

Others said they planned to buy wreaths to mourn his death, or had stood in three minutes' silence.

Some of the postings from the closed Sina forum:

Deepest condolences to Comrade Ziyang

Three bows [traditionally given at funerals as a mark of respect to the deceased]

Solemnly cherish his memory!

Fondly remembered, with respect!

Bon voyage!

Deepest condolences! Goodbye Old Zhao!

Cherish the memory of Old Zhao! Silent tribute!

We deeply love you Comrade Ziyang!

Deepest condolences, we will fondly remember you forever!

History will remember you forever!

We wish you a safe journey to Heaven

Some posts from the People's Daily website's Strong Nation Forum:

His most admirable trait was persisting with the truth until the final second, not submitting and admitting defeat

The rays of democracy will forever shine on the nation

A person [who] sacrificed his life for noble principles

These 10 years must have been a melancholy 10 years for him. Today he is finally free

The backstage manipulators who intensified the conflict [Tiananmen crackdown] should be investigated

Ziyang is a good comrade! Deepest condolences on his passing

I have not shed tears for several years, can I shed tears now? It's alright to shed tears! It shows that my heart is warm, and has not turned into a block of ice

I suggest the Chinese government and the United Nations fly the flag at half-mast for him

A person of awesome virtue

At a critical time, he stood on the people's side

Deepest condolences! China's conscience!

Democracy is a path that China cannot avoid by detouring. Historical facts cannot be avoided forever

I wish the old man happiness in Heaven

Why, why, why is China's progress so slow?

A politician who put the country and the people's interests first

The Chinese people will forever fondly remember you

Sometimes a long time is needed for a fair appraisal of a person or incident who influenced the course of history

Long live democracy

I could post messages in the morning, but why not in the evening? Is there a time limit on letting the people speak? What about human rights?

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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