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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 11:03 GMT
Beijing monitors Zhao mourning
Wang Yannan, daughter of Zhao Ziyang, centre, talks to an unidentified man near another relative in the mourning hall, 19/01/2005
Zhao's family has set up a memorial for him in his house
Chinese citizens have been paying their last respects to ousted communist leader Zhao Ziyang, under tight police surveillance.

Mourners visited the house where Zhao, who died on Monday aged 85, spent the last 15 years in detention.

But several democracy campaigners said their movements had been restricted, Reuters news agency reported.

Zhao was sacked for opposing the use of force against pro-democracy protesters who massed in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Zhao's former study has been transformed into a makeshift memorial, adorned with flowers, eulogising scrolls and photographs.

One scroll read: "Our enduring choice is to support you in your decision."
China should follow a moderate, yet sustainable path toward democracy and not an overnight miracle advocated by Zhao. He was ahead of his time in a country that was unprepared for reforms
Tam, New York, US

It remains unclear whether Zhao will be given a state funeral. Correspondents say the Chinese authorities are nervous his death could spark renewed protests for reform.

Several activists said they had been prevented from visiting Zhao's house.

"Plainclothes police came. I cannot go out and the media cannot come to my home," Ding Zilin, a pro-democracy campaigner whose son was killed in the Tiananmen protests, told Reuters.

Zhao's former secretary, Bao Tong, has also been barred from leaving his home.

Family members said Mr Bao's 73-year-old wife was pushed to the ground and suffered a chest fracture during the incident.

In Hong Kong, mourning has been more open, but any public expression of grief was banned in the territory's legislature.
A man tries to stop Chinese tanks in 1989
15 April: Reformist leader Hu Yaobang dies
22 April: Hu's memorial service. Thousands call for faster reforms
13 May: Students begin hunger strike as power struggle grips Communist Party
15 May: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev visits China
19 May: Zhao makes tearful appeal to students in Tiananmen Square to leave
20 May: Martial law declared in Beijing
3-4 June: Security forces clear the square, killing hundreds

Legco's weekly meeting was cancelled on Wednesday when 20 legislators defied the ban by standing up to observe a minute's silence.

China has ruled out reassessing its handling of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, following Zhao's death.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a press briefing on Tuesday that China stood by its actions during the crackdown, in which hundreds of unarmed demonstrators were killed by armed police and soldiers.

Zhao, who as party chief oversaw China's bold economic reforms, was removed from power after he opposed using military force against the protesters.

He was never again seen in public after 19 May 1989, when he went to the square and made a tearful appeal for demonstrators to leave.

The deaths of other liberal leaders in China have tapped latent public frustration at the country's slow pace of democratic reform.

Protests flared when former Premier Zhou Enlai died in 1976, and pro-reform party leader Hu Yaobang's death in 1989 sparked the Tiananmen Square protests that ended Zhao's political era.


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