Statue built to Chinese reformer whose death sparked Tiananmen Square democracy protests | China Commentary |

A statue of former Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, a reformer whose death sparked the Tiananmen Square democracy protests, has been set up in the coastal city of Taizhou, state media reported on Monday.


The bronze image, depicting Hu looking into the distance, was unveiled Sunday on Dachen island at Taizhou in the central province of Zhejiang, according to a brief article in the China Youth Daily newspaper.


Hu in 1956 had issued a call for the agricultural development of the island when he was first secretary of the Communist Youth League, the paper reported.


But Hu remains a sensitive figure in China nearly 24 years after his death in 1989 and is a symbol for those who hope China’s new leaders will pursue more political openness.


He was dismissed as party head in 1987 after he allowed students in Beijing to hold protest marches calling for democratic reforms. Those rallies erupted again after he died, culminating in a massacre on the night of June 3-4.