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Radio Free Asia reports an accumulation of commemorative flowers for Li Keqiang in China

Mourners in central and eastern China have been gathering to honor the late former Premier Li Keqiang, who passed away suddenly from a heart attack last week. The public tributes come amid ongoing dissatisfaction over Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s handling of the economy. Photos uploaded to social media show floral wreaths and bunches of chrysanthemums piled up in Zhengzhou’s Qianxi Square, an area once overseen by Li before he became premier. Similar scenes were also captured in the eastern province of Anhui. To prevent gatherings and maintain security, police were seen blocking streets in Shanghai with bicycles. Meanwhile, a veteran political journalist revealed that the government allowed mourning activities to relieve public pressure and prevent civil unrest. Li’s unexpected passing took people by surprise, and the public mourning demonstrated the level of support for him and concern about China’s direction. However, the authorities have been actively working to restrict these displays of grief to specific locations associated with Li’s life and career. University campuses have prohibited any memorial activities for Li, and government censors have been deleting non-state-approved expressions of grief from social media platforms. In Beijing, tight security measures were implemented as Li’s remains were transported back to the city. Heavy traffic controls were put into place, and people expressed their mourning by honking their car horns. The government did not prevent this form of mourning. Additionally, police have been checking the identities of individuals in sensitive areas of the city. Finally, some suspicions have been raised surrounding the circumstances of Li’s death, with a U.S.-based political commentator questioning why, given the level of medical care and access to emergency medication, Li’s heart attack was not prevented.

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