The family of Chen Xitong, mayor of Beijing during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, were prevented from playing the national anthem and displaying the flag of the People’s Republic of China at Chen’s funeral, according to the SCMP.
A request to hold Chen’s funeral at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing was denied. Babaoshan is the resting place for many deceased party officials, even some who, like former general secretary Zhao Ziyang, fell out of favour with the party.
Instead of Babaoshan, Chen’s funeral was held in Changping, a suburb northwest of the capital, where he began his career in the 1970s. The family’s wishes for the national anthem to be played and the coffin wrapped in the Communist Party’s red hammer and sickle flag were also refused, the source said.
Chen had been stripped of his party membership in 1997. The terse Xinhua statement announcing his death did not refer to him as “comrade” – a title reserved for party members.
According to sources close to the family Chen, who was sentenced to 16 years in jail for corruption in 1998, maintained that he was framed by Jiang Zemin. He also allegedly expressed a deep desire to outlive Jiang, who is 87 this year (and subject to frequent death rumours).