Jiang Zemin, a Former Chinese Leader, Dies aged 96
Chinese, Having served as a leader in China for over five decades, Jiang Zemin has been a key figure in Communist politics for much of the past century. His death at the age of 96 leaves a large hole in the world, and his legacy will be a hard one to fill. The Chinese government announced his death on Monday, and his family members are mourning his passing. Earlier this week, a group of former Chinese leaders said they would help in the preparation of a memorial ceremony in Beijing. The event will be held on May 21.
Leukemia and multiple organ failure
Upon the death of Jiang Zemin, the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese people have lost a stalwart leader. A long-time communist fighter and statesman, Jiang embodied the spirit of the communist revolution.
During his tenure as president, he led the Chinese government through a decade of rapid economic growth, leading China out of deep political isolation after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and into the World Trade Organization. He also played a key role in the return of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997.
Jiang was a statesman and a political figure whose influence waned in his old age. He served as the chief of the Chinese Communist Party for about 15 years, but his rule felt more like a distant memory.
The announcement of Jiang’s death was made by the State Council and Central Military Commissions of the People’s Republic of China in a party-wide letter. It addressed the entire military, the Chinese people and the Party.
Influence on communist politics
During his long career as a Chinese politician, Jiang Zemin had an immense impact on communist politics. His theory of the “Three Represents” radically altered the way the Communist Party operated. His doctrine encouraged the party to represent the “new social strata” of the Chinese people, which included private entrepreneurs and foreign employees. This was a radical innovation that helped keep the party relevant.
Jiang Zemin also oversaw the country’s return to the World Trade Organization and the 2008 Summer Olympics. After years of contentious negotiations, China finally joined the WTO in 2001. Its economy grew sevenfold during this time. The country’s urban incomes grew almost as much.
Jiang’s economic reforms widened the gap between the rich and the poor, creating a culture of cronyism and official corruption. The government arrested and jailed pro-democracy activists. He also targeted the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
Jiang’s financial reforms accelerated environmental degradation. Moreover, his government closed down millions of state-owned enterprises, leaving millions of workers without guaranteed jobs.
Relationship with United States and other countries
During a nine-day visit to the United States, China’s President Jiang Zemin demonstrated that he is willing to engage in trade with the United States. It was a significant milestone in Sino-US relations.
The visit was a first by a Chinese head of state in more than a decade. President Jiang held talks with other US leaders and addressed business groups. This visit aimed to build cooperation and strengthen the relationship. The Clinton Administration worked to bring China back to the negotiating table.
The visit also prompted a number of demonstrations against Chinese policies on human rights. It also helped illustrate significant differences in policy areas.
President Jiang’s state visit was the first time a Chinese head of state has visited the United States since 1985. His nine-day visit helped demonstrate that he is willing to engage in trade and he is willing to engage in trade with other countries. He also provided a clear signal that China is interested in joining the WTO.
During his time in power, Jiang Zemin, a former Chinese leader, was a colorful figure. As general secretary of the Communist Party, he led a series of critical historical moments, including the reform and opening of China and the return of Hong Kong to Chinese control. However, his longevity was limited by his own age. He died of multiple organ failure at the age of 96.
Jiang’s main innovation was the Three Represents theory, which made the Communist Party relevant by allowing capitalists and entrepreneurs to join the party. He also improved China’s weapons technology and management. He also pushed China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. However, after Jiang’s retirement, his influence waned. His successor, Xi Jinping, has rebuilt absolute party control over China’s society.
Although a colorful figure, Jiang Zemin’s political longevity was limited by his own age. He was 96 when he died of leukemia and multiple organ failure. His death also marked the end of his rule as China’s leader.