Former President Jiang Zemin, Who Guided China’s Rise, Dies At 96

Former President Jiang Zemin, Who Guided China’s Rise, Dies At 96


Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who took office following the Tiananmen Square riots, passed away at the age of 96.

state media, he passed away in Shanghai on Wednesday shortly after 12:00 local time (04:00 GMT).

Jiang ruled during a period of broad opening and rapid economic expansion in China.
His passing occurs at a time when Covid restrictions are the focus of some of the most significant protests China has seen since Tiananmen.
The official state obituary reads:
“During the serious political turmoil in China in the spring and summer of 1989, Comrade Jiang Zemin supported and implemented the correct decision of the Party Central Committee to oppose unrest, defend the socialist state power and safeguard the fundamental interests of the people”
International isolation of China as a result of the incident led to a protracted power struggle between hard-line reactionaries and reformers at the leadership of the Communist Party.
Jiang, who had previously been seen as a plodding bureaucrat, was consequently promoted to a high position. In the hopes that he would bring together conservative and more liberal groups, he was picked as the compromising leader.

Under his stewardship, a formidable economy was forged, the Communists tightened their grip on power, and China took its place at the top table of world powers.

He oversaw the peaceful handover of Hong Kong in 1997, and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 which intertwined the country with the global economy.

But political reforms were also put to one side and he crushed internal dissent while pursuing a hardline stance on Taiwan. He was criticised for the heavy-handed crackdown on the religious sect Falun Gong in 1999, which was seen as a threat to the Communist Party.

Jiang’s successors as president, Hu Jintao – who was conspicuously removed from the CCP conference last month – and Xi Jinping, are scheduled to attend his funeral, according to a letter released by the state backed Global Times.

But the letter added that foreign leaders and governments will not be invited to the event. The funeral committee said the decision was in keeping with what it called “China’s practice”.

Stanford Nix
Stanford Nix
Stanford Nix is the Chief Operating Officer of Atlas News. Stanford holds a BBA in entrepreneurship with a minor in political science, and an MBA in finance. His favorite TV show is succession.
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