Tens of thousands of students chanted for democracy and an end to dictatorship on Saturday as China's top officials, guarded by the military, entered the Great Hall of the People.

The officials arrived for Communist Party memorial ceremonies for disgraced former party chief Hu Yaobang, whose death last week touched off massive student demonstrations.Saturday's student demonstrators, their numbers bolstered by the arrival of thousands of non-students in the early morning hours, waved colored banners, gave the victory sign and raised clenched fists in a tumultuous show of resistance.

They shouted "Down with dictatorship!" again and again.

The crowds in Tiananmen Square, which dwindled in the pre-dawn hours, swelled again to as many as 150,000. Demonstrators filled a street dividing the square from the Great Hall, which was guarded by a triple line of People's Liberation Army soldiers.

The students did not try to break through the line. Many sat in the street in front of the hall, the national seat of government.

Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, Hu's successor, delivered a 10-minute address at the memorial service. He said Hu "worked unswervingly" for the party and Marxist ideals during his 60-year revolutionary career.

About 4,000 mourners, led by senior leader Deng Xiaoping and members of the Politburo, attended the ceremonies.

Hu's body was draped in the red flag of the Communist Party. Most of the mourners wore Mao jackets and trousers, but Hu was dressed in a Western suit.

Zhao made no specific mention about Hu's ouster, but said he was a man "brave enough to admit his mistakes and to insist upon what he thought was right. He never tried to hold back his own opinions."

The student rallies have filled Tiananman square since Monday and are much larger than pro-democracy demonstrations in the winter of 1986-87 that led to the ouster of Hu, an outspoken reformist. Hu, 73, died of a heart attack last Saturday.