China mourns former leader Jiang Zemin as funeral preparations begin

2/12/2022 2:00:00 PM

WATCH: In this rare footage that has gone viral in the wake of his death, former Chinese president Jiang Zemin criticises Hong Kong journalists at a press conference in 2000 after he heard a question that he did not like.

WATCH: In this rare footage that has gone viral in the wake of his death, former Chinese president Jiang Zemin criticises Hong Kong journalists at a press conference in 2000 after he heard a question that he did not like.

SHANGHAI — Mobile apps and state media websites turned black-and-white, flags on some government buildings in Beijing were at half-mast, and flowers were laid as China on Thursday (Dec 1) mourned the death of former leader Jiang Zemin.

State media said Jiang had died of leukaemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai on Wednesday at the age of 96 after all medical treatments failed, and that funeral preparations had begun.State news agency Xinhua reported that Mr Jiang died of “leukaemia and multiple organ failure”.Jiang took power in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in which the military used deadly force to end the uprising, and led China towards its emergence as a global economic powerhouse.the death of former leader Jiang Zemin.

Floral tributes were laid in Jiang's hometown of Yangzhou and nearby Shanghai, where police were deployed in force on Thursday morning around the intersections near the hospital where he was rumoured to have died, AFP reporters saw.At around 12.Mr Jiang, who was the general secretary of CPC from 1989 to 2002 and head of state from 1993 to 2003, shepherded China through a transformational time.45pm (local time), they saw a convoy of vehicles coming from the direction of the hospital, headed by a car bearing what appeared to be a wreath of yellow flowers on its bonnet.13pm on Nov 30, 2022, at the age of 96, it was announced on Wednesday," Xinhua reported.The convoy then headed toward Hongqiao airport.Mr Jiang came to power in 1989, picked to lead the party and the country by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping following Mr Zhao Ziyang’s ouster after the Tiananmen incident.An hour earlier, police ordered pedestrians to leave the intersection as bussed-in bystanders gathered around the crossroads wearing drab-coloured clothing and face masks.“It’s the end of an era,” one Weibo user wrote.

Pictures sent to AFP by someone living along one of the major roads nearby showed people lining the pavement holding white chrysanthemums, a traditional Chinese funeral flower.Mr Jiang, then Shanghai’s party secretary, had caught Mr Deng’s eye for quelling similar protests in Shanghai without bloodshed..Some held a banner saying"May you have safe travels, old classmate".Officials in yellow vests lined the road, with some perched on high buildings overlooking the highway.Chinese social media was awash in grief, with netizens sharing video clips and past speeches made by the former leader.A local resident told AFP he received a sudden notice on Wednesday night that his child's school would close the following day for"traffic reasons".Jiang's death comes as China sees a flare-up of anti-Covid lockdown protests that have morphed into calls for wider political freedoms — the most widespread since the 1989 pro-democracy rallies.He added that he was barred from leaving his housing compound before 5pm on Thursday and told to close the windows of his apartment, with no reason given.One widely shared clip showed Mr Jiang giving an impromptu lecture to Hong Kong journalists during a photo opportunity, at times lapsing into English.

Jiang's funeral committee is headed by President Xi Jinping, state media said.No date was given for the event, but it is expected that it will be held in Beijing.One netizen wrote: “This was a leader who understood technology, who had a genuine nature.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.‘GRANDPA JIANG’ Jiang's legacy is mixed — many welcomed his humorous public persona as a breath of fresh air after decades of staid communist leadership, while critics accused him of allowing rampant corruption, inequality and the repression of political activists.In retirement, he became the subject of light-hearted memes among millennial and Gen Z Chinese fans, who called themselves"toad worshippers" in thrall to his frog-like countenance and quirky mannerisms.More On This Topic Memes, nostalgia as Chinese on social media mourn Jiang Zemin Like many other officials, Mr Jiang had his career interrupted by the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, during which he spent part of the time working on a farm “I have a deep impression of what he said when people asked him for his thoughts on those tough times.Within an hour of his death being announced, more than half a million commenters flooded state broadcaster CCTV's post on the Twitter-like platform Weibo, with many referring to him as"Grandpa Jiang".State broadcaster CCTV said flags would be flown at half-mast at Chinese government buildings until the funeral, the date of which was not announced.

On Thursday, pictures on social media showed the walls of Jiang's old residence in Yangzhou lined with bouquets of flowers, with some people bowing as they placed them there.Professor Fan Hongda of the Shanghai International Studies University was a middle school student when Mr Jiang took over.The owner of a nearby flower shop told AFP she received more than 100 orders from people who wished to pay tribute, with some coming from people outside Yangzhou using delivery apps."We are not the one with the most orders, some shops nearer got several hundred delivery orders," she said.Back then, as students, we were quite optimistic about the future,” said Prof Fan.In recent years, Jiang became an unlikely viral meme among millennial and Gen Z Chinese fans, who called themselves"toad worshippers" in thrall to his frog-like countenance and quirky mannerisms.CCTV said Wednesday that flags would be flown at half-mast at some government buildings until the funeral.The websites of state media and government-owned businesses turned black-and-white, as did apps such as Alipay, Taobao and even McDonald's China.It was a time when China’s economy developed rapidly, when the country saw its international status and image improve, said Prof Fan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders to pay tribute, saying Jiang had been"a dear friend of our country"."There were a lot of corruption problems at the time, but he was a lively and jovial person."The bright memory of such an authoritative politician and a wonderful person will forever remain in my heart," he said.Mr Jiang leaves behind a Communist Party firmly in the grip of Mr Xi Jinping.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Jiang a"steadfast advocate for international engagement", and that the former Chinese leader exuded"personal warmth and openness".AFP Related topics.Mr Jiang Zemin (left) will be remembered for handing over power peacefully to his successor Hu Jintao in 2002.Maybe that's the image people will keep of him," Beijing resident Wang Yi told AFP.

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Jiang Zemin dies: A charismatic, larger-than-life leader of ChinaBEIJING - China’s former president Jiang Zemin, who transformed the country into a manufacturing powerhouse after the Tiananmen crackdown, died on Wednesday afternoon in Shanghai. He was 96. Read more at 江老先生真的是一位非常有魅力的领导人!哪怕我并不生活在他执政的年代,我的童年也受其余荫。那时中国的文化领域相当地多元开放,我能看日本动漫,妈妈能看泰国剧,电影院还有未删减的电影,所以还挺赞同图片里的话😭伟大的老先生,一路走好🕯️🕯️🕯️

Former China leader Jiang Zemin dies, aged 96BEIJING — Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin died Wednesday (Nov 30) at the age of 96, state media reported, hailing him as a great communist revolutionary who helped quell the 1989 pro-democracy protests.

Memes, nostalgia as Chinese mourn Jiang ZeminBEIJING - Irreverent memes, tributes to the late “toad king” and nostalgia for a time seen as more liberal – Chinese took to social media on Wednesday to mourn

Memes, nostalgia as Chinese on social media mourn Jiang ZeminOver half a million commenters flooded a post by CCTV announcing the death of 'Grandpa Jiang' on Weibo within an hour. Read more at

Singapore leaders send condolence letters on death of former Chinese president Jiang ZeminSINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote to China’s leaders on Wednesday (Nov 30) to convey their condolences on the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Read more at

Chinese leadership mourns 'insurmountable loss' as Jiang Zemin dies aged 96Former president Jiang Zemin, one of China's most influential leaders who spearheaded the country's accelerated opening up and growth into a global powerhouse, died on Wednesday (Nov 30) in Shanghai. He was 96. Jiang, who oversaw China's accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001 and cultivated warm ties with the United States, died of leukaemia and multiple organ failure...