Leaders bid Chen a quiet farewell

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 April, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 April, 1995, 12:00am

CHINA bade a restrained farewell to senior leader Chen Yun whose body was cremated at Babaoshan Cemetery for revolutionary martyrs yesterday.

Television showed a brief clip of his corpse being brought through the gates and a small group of relatives and senior leaders bidding their last respects.

Flags flew at half-mast in Tiananmen Square, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, in major cities and at border posts and harbours.

The People's Daily devoted its front pages to a lengthy biography of Chen. The papers also had photos of Chen meeting Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping and other leaders.

On Sunday night, television devoted an hour to a full-length documentary, showing his modest way of life and his home.

It showed the stuffing coming out of his armchair and a record player that belonged in museum, but there were no pictures of his widow or family.

The TV documentary left out all mention of his dealings with two general party secretaries, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, although they ran China throughout the 1980s. Chen was prominent in demanding their dismissal and they have since become non-persons in the media.

However, Chen was shown several times with Premier Li Peng and Jiang Zemin, President and Communist Party chief.

Chen died last Monday aged 90. Officials said he had not wanted a state funeral and this was in accordance with regulations adopted in 1990.