Souvenir et oubli de Zhao Ziyang

Ainsi donc l'ancien dirigeant chinois et Secrétaire général du Parti communiste Zhao Ziyang est enfin décédé. Les choix politiques qu’il avait épousés durant sont mandat sont eux morts depuis longtemps : le 19 mai 1989, quand il est apparu sur la Place Tienanmen juste avant l’aube pour supplier, les larmes aux yeux, et demander pardon aux manifestants. « Je suis vraiment désolé » déclara-t-il aux spectateurs. « Je suis arrivé trop tard. » Après cela, il a plus incarné une chimère historique qu’une personne réelle.

Quand son apparition bizarre et imprévue sur la place fut diffusée sur la chaîne de télévision centrale chinoise le matin suivant, lors de l’un de ces derniers jours de couverture médiatique sans censure, à travers toute la Chine, le public fut étonné par ce moment fugace d’angoisse officielle, et bien trop humaine. Après tout, les dirigeants du Parti manifestent rarement leurs sentiments personnels en public, encore moins quand il s’agit de transgresser la ligne du Parti de manière aussi éhontée que Zhao le fit. Un tel individualisme ne correspond ni au Léninisme ni aux proscriptions traditionnelles chinoises de comportement pour les officiels de haut rang.

Tandis que la répression qui suivit ces semaines grisantes de liberté d’expression et de réunion atteignait son summum apocalyptique lors de la nuit du 3 au 4 juin, Zhao disparut, avalé par le trou de mémoire du Parti où tant d’autres dirigeants avaient fini depuis la « libération socialiste » de la Chine. Au discrédit du monde démocratique, il n’y eut quasiment aucun chef d’État pour protester en défense de Zhao, demandant uniquement des comptes sur son incarcération illégale et immorale. Au lieu de cela, la vie de Zhao fut maintenue en suspens, assignée en résidence surveillée, si commodément oubliée comme une sorte de célébrité en cryogénie, gelée, sans aucun espoir de résurrection.

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