World leaders paid tribute to the achievements of Chinese Premier, Chou En-lai, a top figure in his country for over a quarter of a century.
World leaders paid tribute to the achievements of Chinese Premier, Chou En-lai, a top figure in his country for over a quarter of a century. Chou died in Peking on Thursday (8 January).
President Ford of the United States, who visited China only last month, said that Chou would be long remembered as a remarkable leader who has left his imprint not only on the history of modern China, but also on the world.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, said the world would be poorer as a result of Chou's death. He said Chou's dedication to the fostering of better understanding among nations and international peace was widely recognised.
Flags in countries throughout the world were flown at half mast to pay respects to Chou. In Hong Kong, most of the Chinese communist buildings and the Bank of China flew their red flags at half mast. Black bordered newspapers devoted their entire front page to the news of Chou's death.
In China, six days of mourning were declared. The ashes of Chou will then be buried in China's Cemetery of Revolutionaries. The Chinese people were urged to turn their grief into strength and to continue Chou's struggles to build a powerful, modern and socialist China.
Chou was Premier of the People's Republic of China since its creation in 1949. He was the country's leading force for moderation and detente with the United States. He had been suffering from cancer for some time before his death.
His funeral will not be attended by any foreign leaders, following a local custom. The only part of the lengthy ceremony which foreigners will be able to attend will be to express condolences to relatives at the Workers Cultural Palace in the ancient Forbidden City on Monday (12 January)