Xi thanks late leader Jiang Zemin for Party survival in troubled times

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday paid public tribute to the recently deceased former leader Jiang Zemin for ensuring the survival of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the “political storms” that marked his rule and his actions to modernize the national economy.

Jiang passed away last Wednesday in Shanghai at the age of 96 due to health problems. Among his achievements at the helm of the country in the 1990s are bringing China out of the diplomatic isolation to which it was subjected after the Tiananmen massacre, mending its relations with the United States or supervising unprecedented economic growth that laid the foundations to convert China. China in the world power that it is today.


Jiang Zemin passed away last Wednesday in Shanghai at the age of 96 due to health problems

The last goodbye, which took place in the Great Hall of the People, in Tiananmen Square, was preceded by three minutes of silence, followed by another 180 seconds in which sirens and horns sounded from Beijing and other Chinese cities.

In taking the floor, Xi described the deceased as “a prestigious leader and a great Marxist, diplomat and communist warrior” who led the country through an era of “unprecedented challenges”, in partial reference to the 1989 Tiananmen protests, after which Jiang came to power.HorizontalChinese citizens lay flowers in honor of the late leader 

“In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were serious political storms at home and abroad, and world socialism experienced serious complications,” he told the country’s political elite gathered in the room, dressed in rigorous black and with mask.

The current president also stressed Jiang’s persistence in continuing the process of “opening up and reform” promoted by his predecessor, Deng Xiaoping, and praised him for overseeing the return of the former British and Chinese colonies to Chinese sovereignty during his tenure. Hong Kong (1997) and Macao (1999) Portuguese. Likewise, he pointed out the “vision” that the deceased had to “achieve a prosperous country” and his leadership when it came to getting China to join the World Trade Organization (2001).


Xi praised Jiang’s leadership in getting China into the World Trade Organization

Xi delivered his speech next to a large portrait of Jiang installed on the rostrum, where the former president’s ashes were placed draped by a hammer and sickle flag. Banners around the hall read slogans such as “The beloved by the Party, the Army and all ethnic Chinese people, Comrade Jinag Zemin, will live forever.”

Jiang’s body was cremated Monday at a ceremony held in the capital’s Babaoshan Cemetery, where the remains of many revolutionary and CCP leaders rest. Present there was his successor in office and Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, whose unexpected forced departure during the 20th October Communist Party Congress sparked rumors of a possible public purge.HorizontalThe Great Palace of the People, where the event was held, woke up this Tuesday surrounded by strong security measures 

During the day today, the web pages of state media and other institutions were dyed black and white, the flags flew at half mast and the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets closed for three minutes as a sign of tribute.

With memories still fresh of last week’s recent protests against anti-covid policies, security forces also stepped up their presence on the streets to ensure that unauthorized public gatherings did not take place. Not surprisingly, Jiang’s death has caused a certain wave of nostalgia among part of the population, which perceives his time at the helm as an era of relative liberality compared to the current one.HorizontalChinese citizens follow President Xi Jinping’s speech live during the farewell ceremony for the late Jiang Zemin 

Still, there are also many shadows hanging over Jiang’s legacy. His tenure revealed the serious imbalances of the growth at all costs model, with an explosive rise in social inequalities, environmental damage or high levels of corruption. Campaigns against Tibetan activists or members of the Falun Gong religious organization also weigh heavily on their backs.

During his era, Jiang managed to weave a powerful network of influences based in his fiefdom, Shanghai, that reached all segments of the country, from the economy to the military. However, its last remnants were eradicated during the last 20th CPC Congress at the hands of Xi, who during his decade at the helm has cornered all rival factions, concentrated power in his person and ended the same government model as in his day lifted up Jiang.