11/24/2018, 13.30
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Hunan: a statue for Hu Yaobang, a leader close to students and workers

In 1987, Deng Xiaoping dismissed him as party secretary for tolerating "bourgeois liberalization" and being too close to the students. His funeral triggered the demonstrations and sit-ins on Tiananmen Square, which ended in the bloody repression during the night between June 3 and 4.


Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After almost 30 years since his death, the Chinese authorities have inaugurated a statue in honor of Hu Yaobang (photo 2), reformist leader and secretary of the Communist Party between 1982 and 1987. In the presence of family members and friends, the ceremony (photo 1) took place on November 18 in Hu's hometown: Liuyang, in the southern province of Hunan.

Hu held the highest office in the Party and led the country through political and economic reforms in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. In 1987, Deng Xiaoping dismissed him for tolerating "bourgeois liberalization" and being too close to the students, who demanded "more democracy and less corruption in the Party". He died on April 15, 1989, and his funeral (photo 3) triggered the demonstrations and sit-ins in Tiananmen Square, that ended in the bloody repression on the night between 3 and 4 June.

The statue of the leader was approved by the Central Committee of the Party and by the Council of State. Analysts say the move could be the authorities' attempt to focus the spotlight on Party unity. This year the 40 years of economic reforms and openings inaugurated by Deng Xiaoping are celebrated. For others, the official inauguration of the monument is proof that Hu is becoming a less sensitive name in China: the Party would be exploiting his image as a reformist, recognizing his contribution to the regime and minimizing his ties with the dead of Tiananmen.

Hu Deping, Hu's eldest son, spoke at the ceremony, citing for a long time the speech with which President Xi Jinping had commemorated the centenary of his father's birth three years ago. In front of the Party officials present, Hu Deping stressed that his virtues were "in line with Xi's thinking".

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