This is a wrap of several top stories from China for April 19, 2021.

Hong Kong (CNN)Under President Xi Jinping, China's former leaders have grown accustomed to keeping their heads down.

But in an essay published this week, ostensibly a tribute to his late mother, former Premier Wen Jiabao appeared to issue what many have interpreted as a coded criticism of Xi: calling for fairness, justice, humanity and liberty, all while remembering a period of history the Communist Party would rather forget.

Wen's words took Chinese social media by the storm. His essay was shared hundreds of thousands of times -- before censors stepped in to stop people spreading it (yes, even the country's second-highest official for a decade could not escape China's increasingly stringent censorship).

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