Wreaths at the wake of Zhu Houze — Photo from @gongminyaoyao
Former propaganda chief Zhu Houze (朱厚泽), 79, has died of lung cancer at Beijing Hospital on May 9, 2010, just past midnight. As the head of the Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department, Zhu’s time was short, but during his tenure, he presided over an unprecedented period of openness, described by some as “a bright spot in the history of the central propaganda department”. He became China’s propagandar czar in July 1985, when he was invited to Beijing by the reformist prime minister Hu Yaobang, whose death sparked the 1989 student demonstrations. Once in power, Zhu introduced the “three broadenings” policy — “宽厚、宽容、宽松” [loosely translated as generosity, tolerance, lenience], and encouraged the acceptance of different viewpoints, but was deposed in 1987 along with Hu. A funeral will be held for Zhu among his relatives and his ashes will be brought back to his hometown of Zhijin county in Guizhou. He is survived by his wife, son and two daughters.