Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict: the Basic Documents

By Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan et al. | Go to book overview

23
The Last Eight Days of Hu Yaobang

LO PING

Source: Chengming (Contending) ( Hong Kong), no. 139 ( May 1, 1989): 6-10; FBIS, May 2, pp. 20-24.


My First Interviewee in the Course of Finding Out the Cause of Hu's Death

In a country shrouded in mystery, many things remain unsolved. Since the death of Hu Yaobang, some people said that his death was also a mystery. I tried to probe the "bewildering" mystery to its depths.

I tried to trace the clues among some people. My first interviewee was a friend of mine, a scholar who visited Hu Yaobang at the hospital three days after he suddenly fell ill at a Politburo meeting on April 8.

When my friend visited Hu, his condition was improving. My friend was entrusted with the task of taking Hu some books and magazines he wanted to read. Some were newly published magazines on social science. At that time, Hu looked good. After greeting the visitor, and asking him to take a seat, Hu put on his glasses to look over the books and magazines. My friend told Hu Yaobang: We all hope you will recover soon. You look good today. Thank goodness!

Hu Yaobang said cordially: Since I am only suffering from a minor illness, I should not take a long rest. I will leave in a few days. If I lie in bed all the time, I will truly become ill. Hu then asked a nurse to bring in some fruit to entertain his visitor.

Hu Yaobang was a person who always kept himself busy. He rapidly turned the topic of conversation to the domestic political situation. Due to the change of the topic of conversation, Hu no longer looked relaxed. He said: As long as the party and the people unite closely as one, no difficulty is insurmountable. Saying so, he pondered the problem. It seemed as though he was not lying in bed. It seemed as if he was addressing an audience of tens of thousands, as he did in the past. My friend told Hu Yaobang: Now the problem of the workers is not merely loafing on the job. They simply do not work. The intellectuals' confidence in the

-195-

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