BEIJING — There was no official comment from China's government, whose hard-line leaders have been highly critical of Gorbachev in internal party documents since socialism began collapsing in Eastern Europe in late 1989. But the official New China News Agency reported the ouster with clear indications of sympathy for the overthrow, endorsing some claims of coup leaders.
In its reports, the news agency quoted the Soviet news agency Tass, including the assertion that "the Soviet Union is 'facing a fatal danger' and 'virtually in a state out of control.' " The Chinese also were told that "extremist forces had emerged in the Soviet Union whose objectives are to destroy the country, to split it and seize the state power at all costs."
The main nationwide evening news show on state-run television was low key in reporting on Gorbachev's ouster, presenting it as the third item after reports on the national economy and a visit by a deputy prime minister of Egypt, Boutros Ghali. By Monday night, most Chinese in public places in Beijing still had not heard the news.