|Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with a relative of Ding Guan'gen at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing, capital of China, July 28, 2012. The body of Ding Guan'gen, a former publicity chief of the Communist Party of China, was cremated here on Saturday. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The body of Ding Guangen, a former publicity chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was cremated at Beijing's Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery on Saturday.
Ding died of illness at 83 on July 22 in Beijing.
President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, and other senior leaders including Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang paid their final respects to Ding at the cemetery.
Ding was an alternate member of the Political Bureau and member of the Secretariat of the 13th CPC Central Committee. He was also a member of the Political Bureau and member of the Secretariat of both the 14th and 15th CPC central committees.
Ding was lauded in an official statement as "an excellent Party member and long-tested, loyal Communist, as well as a prominent leader for the CPC's cause of publicity, ideology and culture."
Ding was born in September 1929 in Shanghai. He joined the CPC in 1956.
Appointed Minister of Railways in 1985, Ding shifted the focus of railways development from manufacturing to operation. As a result, the comprehensive transportation capacity of the country's railroads was greatly improved thanks to upgraded projects for key lines and technology innovation campaigns.
In 1992, he became the head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee. During his tenure, he devoted himself to improving the country's overseas image by urging domestic media to expand services in foreign grounds and strengthen exchanges with renowned international media groups.
Ding's other posts included vice director of the State Planning Commission (now known as the National Development and Reform Commission), director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office and head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committe, among others.