The state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that Jiang Zemin, China’s former leader who led the country through a transformative era from the late 1980s into the new millennium, has passed away at the age of 96.
Following the events of Tiananmen Square, Jiang assumed power and guided the world’s most populous nation toward its rise to global prominence.
Xinhua stated, “Jiang Zemin passed away due to leukaemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai at 12:13pm on November 30, 2022, at the age of 96.”
According to the news agency, a letter expressing “profound grief” for Jiang’s passing was sent to the entire Communist Party, the military, and the Chinese people.
It stated that his death occurred after all medical treatments had failed.
According to the letter, which was quoted by Xinhua as saying, “Comrade Jiang Zemin was an outstanding leader… a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, a long-tested communist fighter, and an outstanding leader of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
In a tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered his condolences for Jiang’s passing.
The late president was a statesman and a wise leader.He stated, “We in Pakistan fondly remember him as a great friend who made valuable contributions to strengthening the relations between Pakistan and China.”
The death of Jiang comes as China experiences a resurgence of anti-lockdown demonstrations that have evolved into demands for greater political freedoms. These demonstrations are the most widespread since the 1989 pro-democracy rallies, which were crushed the year Jiang took power.
“During the serious political strife in China in the spring and summer of 1989, Friend Jiang Zemin upheld and executed the right choice of the Party Focal Board of trustees to go against distress, shield the communist state power and protect the key interests of individuals,” state telecaster CCTV said on Wednesday.
Chinese government buildings would be flagged at half-staff, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
China was still in the early stages of economic modernization when Jiang took over as leader in 1989.
China was a member of the World Trade Organization when he left office in 2003, Beijing had secured the Olympics for 2008, and the country was well on its way to superpower status.
According to analysts, Jiang and his “Shanghai Gang” faction continued to have an impact on communist politics long after he left his position as head of state.
The identical black-and-white image of a chrysanthemum was shared by all Chinese state media outlets on their official Weibo accounts shortly after the announcement.
Similar to Wikipedia, Jiang’s entry on the Chinese website Baidu Encyclopedia became black-and-white.
Jiang’s wife Wang Yeping and two sons are still living.