INTRODUCTION: China's top communist party and government leaders attended a memorial service on Wednesday (3 June) for Madame Soong Chingling, the widow of the man who founded modern China, Dr.
GV Madamme Soong's portrait in Great Hall of the People.
SV PAN ACROSS Chinese leaders, Deng Xiaoping on far right.
SV Hua Guofeng centre frame, PAN ACROSS leaders.
SV Portrait PULL BACK TO GV Hall.
SVs Chinese leaders. (2 SHOTS)
SV & GV Audience. (2 SHOTS)
GV Portrait in hall.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: China's top communist party and government leaders attended a memorial service on Wednesday (3 June) for Madame Soong Chingling, the widow of the man who founded modern China, Dr. Sun Yatsen. Madame Soong died on Friday (30 May) and her ashes are to be buried in Shanghai. On Tuesday (2 June) almost a million people lined Peking's main avenue to watch the funeral cortege as it drove to the Babaoshan Cemetery for Revolutionary Martyrs.
SYNOPSIS: Madame Soong was made honorary president of China, the republic's highest honour, a few days before she died at the age of 88. Wednesday's memorial service was the largest held in China since the death of Mao Tsetung in 1976. Communist party Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping, who presided over the memorial service described Madame Soong as an outstanding patriot and a fighter for communism. Party Chairman, Hua Guofeng also attended the service. This lent weight to speculation that he may continue to hold some form of high office even though it is believed he will be replaced as Chairman at a party meeting later this month.
Madame Soong married Dr. Sun Yatsen in 1914, three years after he led the revolution which dethroned the last emperor of China. After the communist takeover Madame Soong applied to join the party several times but this request was not granted until shortly before her death.
The funeral committee had invited Madame Soong's relatives in Taiwan to attend her funeral. Her younger sister is the widow of nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, and her stepson is President Chiang Ching-kuo. But the Taiwanese, who still claim to represent the legitimate republic of China, rejected the invitation.