Beijing: China’s former premier Li Peng, regarded as a staunch supporter of the ruling Communist Party’s iron-fisted clampdown on the pro-democracy student protests at the Tiananmen Square in 1989, died in Beijing, officials said here on Tuesday. Li died of illness in Beijing at the age of 91 on Monday night, an official statement said. Li visited India in 2001 as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, the communist nation’s Parliament. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USState-run news agency Xinhua described Li as “a loyal communist warrior” and “an outstanding leader of the Communist Party and the state”. However, he is widely known as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his hard-line approach to quell the 1989 protests at the Tiananmen Square in which hundreds of people were reportedly killed. Born in 1928 in the family of a Communist revolutionary, Li became an orphan after his father was executed by the previous Kuomintang government. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe was raised by former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and his wife Deng Yingchao and grew up to become one of China’s most prominent and controversial leaders. However Li dismissed as rumours that he was the adopted son of the late premier Zhou, although he said he was close to him and Deng. In his memoir published in 2014, Li wrote that his relation with Zhou and Deng was like “a relationship between old comrades and martyrs’ descendants.” “Some say I was the adopted son of premier Zhou. It is not correct,” Li wrote. “Premier Zhou and mother Deng cared about many martyrs’ descendants and I was one of them. They cared just as much about the other descendants of their comrades-in-arms. We all call them uncle Zhou and mother Deng,” he said. Trained as an engineer in the then Soviet Union, Li worked for a national power company after returning to China. He managed to escape the political turmoil during the era of Mao Zedong, including the dreaded Cultural Revolution purportedly due to his political connections. After Mao’s death, he became prominent specially after reformist leader Deng took over power purging the ‘Gang of Four’ led by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing. After that he served as the fourth Chinese premier from 1987 to 1998 and held several influential posts of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It was widely reported that Li was openly at odds with then Communist Party general secretary Zhao Ziyang, who was later purged for siding with the student protesters.
Washington DC: France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated his first top-10 rival in nearly two years, ousting Russian second seed Karen Khachanov 6-4 2-6 7-5 at the ATP Washington Open. The 34-year-old Frenchman, ranked 70th in the world, on Tuesday outlasted eighth-ranked Khachanov after one hour and 58 minutes, turning back the clock to reach the third round of the US Open hardcourt tuneup event. “I played very good tennis,” Tsonga said. “Everything went OK. Just very happy to go through. It’s good to see some results for all the hard work.” Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhTsonga, who lost his only Grand Slam final to Novak Djokovic at the 2008 Australian Open, had dropped six matches in a row against top-10 rivals since beating fifth-ranked German Alexander Zverev in October 2017 in a Vienna quarter-final. There’s a revitalized spark in Tsonga, who won his 17th ATP title in February at Montpellier as a 210th-rated wildcard. He fired 13 aces and won 80 percent of his first-serve points. “When you play so long, sometimes you don’t feel like yourself,” Tsonga said. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”Sometimes you lose your personality. I try to keep it and bring it back on court. When you are like this, it’s a lot better.” Tsonga advanced to a third-round match against British 13th seed Kyle Edmund, who defeated South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 6-1 6-4. Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev reached the third round by ousting US wildcard Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3 6-4. The world number 10 might face an injured rival in the third round as 40th-ranked hometown favorite Frances Tiafoe beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6-1 7-6 (7/5) then quickly departed with a foot injury. “I’m very happy to return home with a win,” 16th seed Tiafoe said in a statement. “Unfortunately at the end of my match I felt a tweak in my foot. In the interest of making sure I can play my next match to the fullest, I will be getting my foot checked out.” ‘ Australia’s Bernard Tomic wasn’t so lucky, withdrawing from his first-round match with a finger injury. German lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk replaced him and outlasted Russian Andrey Rublev 7-6 (8/6) 4-6 7-6 (7/2). Khachanov, who earlier this month became the first Russian in the top 10 since Mikhail Youzhny in 2011, is coached by Vedran Martic but has worked the past couple weeks with former world number three Nikolay Davydenko.