Feature

Purged leader dies

The week's news at a glance.

Beijing

Zhao Ziyang, a former chief of China’s Communist Party who became an icon of dissent, died this week, at age 85. Zhao publicly opposed firing on the pro-democracy protesters who gathered in Tiananmen Square in May 1989. But he was ousted by hard-liners, and a few weeks later, the army attacked the demonstrators, killing hundreds. Zhao lived under house arrest for the last 15 years of his life. The Chinese media reported his death in a few brief sentences, mentioning neither Zhao’s achievements as prime minister—such as passing economic reforms that triggered the economic boom—nor his arrest. The official news agency, Xinhua, referred to him only as “comrade.”

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