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.
(NBC) (NEW YORK) (c January 9 . 1976 )
CU Dr. Waldheim speaking
DR. WALDHEIM: "I wish to express my deep sorrow at the loss which the world has suffered with the death of Mr. Chou En-lai a statesman of the highest stature and historic figure of our times. I had the honour and the pleasure of knowing Mr. Chou En-lai personally and I shall always remember his great wisdom, his profound knowledge of the world and his remarkable personality."
Tributes from all parts of the world were sent to Peking following the death of the Chinese Premier, Chou En-lai on thursday. The seventy-eight year-old leader had been confined to bed with cancer for much of the past year.
In Hong Kong, all flags on government buildings were flown at half mast. But Chou's death was not expected to change Peking's policy of tacitly accepting the status of the one hundred and thirty four year old British Colony.
But observers point out that the sound state of Sino-British relations regarding Hong Kong could be largely attributed to the moderate and practical stand typified by Chou in recent years. Chou was Premier since the formation of the People's Republic in nineteen forty-nine.
In Tokyo, government sources said Japan does not expect much change in China's policies, although some experts had noted an apparent loss of flexibility in its foreign affairs in the months leading up to Chou's death.
Japan's Prime Minister Miki visited the Chinese Liaison office in Tokyo to offer his condolences. And the United Nations Secretary General K??? Waldheim paid his respects, at a news conference in New York.
Background: 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)