Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin Dies at 96, Officials Announced

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Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who steered the country through a transformational era from the late 1980s and into the new millennium, died on Wednesday at the age of 96, state news agency Xinhua said.

The former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, who led his country out of isolation after the crushing of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and supported economic reforms that led to a decade of explosive growth, has died aged 96.

Jiang took power in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and led the world’s most populous nation towards its emergence as a powerhouse on the global stage.

Jiang Zemin passed away due to leukemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai at 12:13 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2022 it was announced on Wednesday,” the BBC news reported.

When Jiang replaced Deng Xiaoping as leader in 1989, China was still in the early stages of economic modernisation.

A surprise choice to lead a divided Communist party after the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, Jiang saw China through a revival of market-oriented reforms, the return of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997 and Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

While China opened to the outside, Jiang’s government stamped out dissent at home. It jailed human rights, labour and pro-democracy activists and banned the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which it viewed as a threat to the Communist party’s monopoly on power.

By the time he retired as president in 2003, China was a member of the World Trade Organization, Beijing had secured the 2008 Olympics, and the country was well on its way to superpower status.

Analysts say Jiang and his “Shanghai Gang” faction continued to exert influence over communist politics long after he left the top job.

He is survived by his wife Wang Yeping and two sons.