Late Chinese leader Jiang Zemin hailed in memorial service

Late Chinese Leader Jiang  Zemin Hailed In Memorial Service Late Chinese Leader Jiang  Zemin Hailed In Memorial Service
President Xi Jinping gave an hour-long eulogy at the event in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Photo: PA Images
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China’s leaders have eulogised the late Jiang Zemin as a loyal Marxist-Leninist who oversaw their country’s rapid economic rise while maintaining rigid Communist Party control over society.

Chinese president and current party leader Xi Jinping praised Mr Jiang in an hour-long address at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People as senior officials, military brass and rank-and-file soldiers stood at attention.

Mr Xi emphasised Mr Jiang’s role in maintaining political stability, in reference to his sudden elevation to top leader just ahead of the army’s bloody suppression of the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement centred on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The president said: “Comrade Jiang Zemin emphasised that our party is leading the people in a great struggle to build socialist modernization, and inevitably will encounter many complex situations.


People watch a live broadcast of the memorial service in Beijing (AP)

“The severe situation at home and abroad and the confrontation and struggle between different social systems and different ideological systems often test every member of our party.”

Mr Jiang died at the age of 96, just days after China’s largest street protests since 1989, driven by anger over draconian Covid-19 restrictions.

Acting to quell the protests, authorities flooded the streets with security personnel, and an unknown number of people have been detained.

Those attending Tuesday’s memorial observed three minutes of silence and trading was paused on the country’s stock exchanges.

On Monday, state broadcaster CCTV showed Mr Xi, his predecessor Hu Jintao and others bowing before Mr Jiang’s body laid out in a bed of flowers and evergreens and covered in a party flag at a military hospital in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping makes a speech on screen (AP)

Mr Jiang’s body was sent for cremation at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, where many Chinese leaders are interred.

Crowds stood silently as Jiang’s glass-topped coffin was driven slowly to the cemetery amid high security, possibly as a safeguard against a recurrence of recent protests.

Jiang led China out of diplomatic isolation over the 1989 crackdown and supported economic reforms that spurred a decade of explosive growth.

The economy has slowed as it matures and confronts an aging population, trade sanctions, high unemployment and the fallout from lockdowns and other anti-Cocid-19 restrictions imposed by Mr Xi.


A trained engineer and former head of China’s largest city, Shanghai, Mr Jiang was president for a decade, and led the ruling Communist Party for 13 years until 2002.

After taking over from reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, he oversaw the handover of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997 and Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

Mr Jiang died of leukaemia and multiple organ failure on November 30th in Shanghai, state media reported.

The party declared him a “great proletarian revolutionary” and “long-tested Communist fighter”.

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