According to Ming Pao, Chinese magazine “Yanhuang Chunqiu” published in its recent issue a letter by Bao Tong, former secretary of dismissed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. Bao recalls in the letter what he saw at a Politburo meeting when former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang suffered a heart attack.
People are surprised by the publication of Bao’s letter and think that the ban on publication of Bao Tong’s writings has been lifted. Bao Tong’s son was also surprised, but said that the authority had banned publication of any writing by Bao Tong in China since the June 4 Incident and that as far as he knew there had been no relaxation of the surveillance and control over his father.
“Yanhuang Chunqiu” is a PRC monthly on politics and history that dares to speak out. This time, Bao Tong’s writing on what happened when Hu Yaobang had a heart attack is published as a letter from readers about 1,000 characters long. At its beginning, it says that as an old article on the incident of Hu Yaobang having a heart attack that fails to give a complete description, he feels that it is necessary to write the letter for clarification.
Jiang Zemin did not know how to use the first aid kit when Hu Yaobang had heart attack.
Bao Tong recollected that when the Politburo was having a meeting at about 9:00 am on April 8, 1989, Hu Yaobang was sitting 3 to 4 metres away from him. At about 10:00 am, Hu Yaobang suddenly held his breast in one hand and waved to Zhao Ziyang, saying, “Comrade Ziyang, I do not feel well here and have to ask for leave.”
Zhao told him to stay put and immediately called for the doctor. Jiang Zeming, a Politburo member then, took out the first aid kit for heart attack but did not know how to use it. Staff soon came in haste and Wen Jiabao, the then director of the General Office of the CCP Central Committee, directed the work of emergency treatment.
Bao Tong stresses that Hu Yaobang persevered in doing his job when he was attacked by the disease and “was our respected and beloved leader”; while Zhao Ziyang who presided over the meeting gave priority to the emergency treatment and interrupted the meeting. “All those are facts,” says Bao Tong. The date of the letter as marked at its end is June 12, 2012.
Bao Pu was surprised and pointed out that there had been no relaxation in the surveillance and control.
At the end, Hu Yaobang died on April 15 while students’ mourning activities finally developed into the June 4 Incident. At Ming Pao’s enquiry, Bao Tong’s son Bao Pu responded by saying that since the June 4 incident, the authority had banned the publication of any of Bao Tong’s writings in China.
Also, there had been no relaxation whatever of the surveillance and control. However, he was very surprised that though it was published as a “letter from readers”, it was indeed signed by Bao Tong and is not some indirect writing “based on oral narration”.
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