2009-07-15

Zhao Ziyang remembered

The memoirs of Zhao Ziyang (趙紫陽) have now been published. This is a boon that was achieved against long odds indeed. Zhao, once the Chinese Communist Party general secretary, supported Beijing's student democracy activists in 1989. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Even after his death in 2005, public mention of his name remains taboo in China.

The Taipei Times published a two-part interview this week with Bao Pu (鮑樸), who helped make Zhao's memoirs available to the world.

Interview Part 1: 'Zhang's tapes tell his side of the story'
Interview Part 2: 'History of Tiananmen Massacre still alive'

When asked about the state of 'progress' on human rights in China, Bao observed: 'The reform process practically ended in 1992 after Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) southern tour [of China] because the debate was over and China was on its course — that is, a commitment to free market and also a renewed sense of authoritarian autocracy. So there was no more debate, no more packaging or proposals for political reform...'

Zhao's memoirs have been published in English translation with the title Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang. Amazon makes the book available in paper and electronic formats.


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Conductor's Notebook

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