Top state leaders out in force for Qian funeral

Local | Stella Wong May 19, 2017
Top state officials paid their last respects at the funeral of former vice premier and foreign minister Qian Qichen, who died last week at age 89.

About 300 people attended the service in Beijing which was closed to the public.

Qian was remembered for his diplomacy and contribution to Hong Kong's handover.

President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, former premiers Li Peng and other Politburo members including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng and Liu Yunshan were among the mourners at Beijing's Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Wang Guangya also attended. Former president Jiang Zemin sent a wreath.

Wang praised Qian as a great policymaker and a responsible person who facilitated the smooth transition of sovereignity in Hong Kong and Macau.

"Vice premier Qian made an outstanding contribution to the smooth transition of the handover of Hong Kong and Macau as well as the prosperity of the regions after the handover," Wang said.

"We should learn from him to be a righteous and responsible person."

Leung wrote a blog in memory of Qian on Wednesday, saying he was impressed by the national leader's observation of the global situation.

"Vice premier Qian's gentle manner, sharp political insight, capable leadership and calm attitude in the hour of peril have left a deep impression on me," he wrote.

"Although vice premier Qian has left us, his spirit in contributing to national unity, maintaining 'one country, two systems' and implementing the Basic Law will always be remembered."

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June 2017