China bars Snow's widow from meeting activist

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Mon Apr 3 08:18:13 PDT 2000

Sunday 2 April 2000

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 movement. 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 families. 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 protests. (AP) For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service
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