Former Chinese Premier Li Peng is scheduled to be cremated on the 29th. It is expected that Beijing will hold a formal high level ceremony. In addition to the attendance of the top leaders, the national flag will be lowered. Some commentators believe that Beijing’s high praise for Li Peng is an indication of its endorsement of its decision on the June 4th movement. It also reflects the current situation in Hong Kong.
The official obituary states that Li Peng “during the political disturbances of the spring and summer of 1989 . . . carried out decisive measures to stop the unrest, suppress the counter-revolutionary riots, and stabilize the domestic situation. This played an important role in a great struggle concerning the future and fate of the party and nation.”
Compared with the official praise, Li Peng’s reputation among the general public is quite different. He is most well-known for advocating the suppression on June 4th and is therefore called the “June Fourth butcher.” In addition, he pushed forward the Three Gorges Dam project and enabled his children to benefit financially from the project.
An article that VOA published quoted a commentator who stated that the obituary indicates that Beijing recognizes that this year is a year of high risk and it must guard against all dangers, including the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
Source: Central News Agency, July 28, 2019