China Premier Calls on Ousted Zhao to Correct His Errors
Former Chinese Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who was dismissed in June and accused of fomenting student protests, should act to correct his mistakes, his hard-line rival, Premier Li Peng, said in remarks published Thursday.
“We did not say Zhao Ziyang betrayed the party. We only said he committed mistakes,” Li told the West German publication Die Welt. Excerpts of his remarks were released by aides Thursday.
“If he can correct his mistakes by actual deed, we will welcome it,” Li added.
Diplomats in Beijing said Li’s remarks seem to confirm accounts by Chinese sources that Zhao had so far refused to confess and accept blame for the student-led democracy movement that swept China from mid-April until its bloody end in early June.
Zhao, a leading reformist, was effectively removed from power in May and formally sacked in late June after the army killed hundreds, possibly thousands, of people in the Beijing demonstrations.
He was accused of backing the student unrest and splitting the party.