Chinese netizens discreetly paid tribute to the late Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang on social network sites on the 8th anniversary of his death on Thursday.
The Chinese characters of Zhao Ziyang’s name remain censored as of Thursday on Weibo, China’s most popular twitter-like service, and a search of his name results in a message that reads, “According to relevant laws and policies, the search results are not shown.”
Beijing-based reporter Liu Xiangnan posted a photo of Zhao on his Weibo  and wrote: “On Janurary 17th, 2005, he died in Beijing.”
The post drew over 200 comments and was reposted 430 times as of Thursday afternoon.
“He is the backbone of the Chinese nation,” read a Weibo comment.
“We can only honour him by building a democratic China,“ said another Weibo comment.
Zhao was criticised in June 1989 for abetting a schism over Western liberal values, something that many hard-line party conservatives could not tolerate.
The party does not acknowledge Zhao in public, and past commemorative activities have faced opposition from the authorities.