Former Chinese premier Li Peng to be cremated in Beijing on Monday: State media

Chinese newspapers reporting on the death of former premier Li Peng are seen in Beijing on July 24, 2019.
Chinese newspapers reporting on the death of former premier Li Peng are seen in Beijing on July 24, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - Former Chinese premier Li Peng, who died this week, will be cremated in Beijing next Monday (July 29).

State news agency Xinhua made the announcement in a short two-paragraph statement on Saturday.

It added that flags would fly at half-mast in a sign of mourning in various areas in Beijing, provincial capitals, municipalities, and special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau.

In Beijing, these areas include Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People and the Foreign Ministry, among others. 

Xinhua's statement commemorated Mr Li, who died of an unspecified illness on Monday (July 22) aged 90, as a "tried and tested, staunch communist warrior and an outstanding socialist revolutionary".

Mr Li served as premier from 1987 to 1998, and as chairman of the National People's Congress - China's Parliament - from 1998 to 2003.

But he is perhaps best known for declaring martial law on national television days before the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

With the blessings of party patriarch Deng Xiaoping, Mr Li ordered troops to seize Tiananmen Square on the night of June 3, 1989, leading to bloodshed as the military gunned down unarmed protesters.

 

After his death on Monday night, state media in official obituaries lauded Mr Li's role in acting decisively to end the "political disturbance" of 1989.

Mr Li had "made decisive moves to stop the turmoil, end the counter-revolutionary riot and stabilise the domestic situation, and played an important role in the major struggle concerning the future and fate of the Party and the state", said the obituary on the front page of the People's Daily on Wednesday.