China bars Snow's widow from meeting activist
By John Leicester
BEIJING: The widow of noted American journalist Edgar Snow tried Saturday to
deliver money and a book to a woman whose son was killed during the
Tiananmen Square demonstrations, but authorities barred the meeting.
Lois Snow attempted to meet Ding Zilin at her home inside the People's
University in Beijing, but school security officials turned her away at the
campus gate, saying she couldn't come in without permission.
Inside the campus, around a dozen security agents prevented Ding, a retired
professor, from leaving her home, said a friend of Ding's who came to meet
Snow at the gate.
Snow, 79, of Switzerland, visited China with her husband before his death in
1972 and returned regularly afterward. However, until her arrival Friday,
she had stayed away from the communist nation in recent years because of her
disgust with the 1989 crackdown.
Snow's decision to come to China to meet Ding presented authorities with an
embarrassing challenge because Edgar Snow is greatly respected in China for
his reporting of the Communist Party's struggle to take power.
Snow gained acclaim for his interviews with Mao Tse-Tung and other leaders
when they were still fighting a guerrilla war and his book Mao Zedong and
Snow drew international attention to China's then-struggling communist
The communists succeeded in overthrowing the Nationalists in 1949.
Ding has led a 10-year campaign to try and persuade authorities to apologize
for the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, in which hundreds or
possibly thousands were killed.
Ding has collected the names of victims and distributed money to their
Because she was unable to meet Ding in person, Snow gave a book of photos
taken by her husband as well as an envelope of money and a statement of
support to the friend who met her, Su Bingxian, who also lost a son in the
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