/ 01 December 2022

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin dies

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

The man who oversaw China as it opened up to the world after the Tiananmen Square protests, Jiang Zemin, has died at 96yo as civil unrest continues across the country. A Chinese Communist Party statement says he died in Shanghai yesterday from leukaemia and multiple organ failure, hailing him as an “outstanding leader with high prestige” and “a long-tested Communist fighter”. Jiang took over in 1989 and helped make China an economic and political powerhouse. He was known for crushing internal dissent, pursuing a hardline stance on Taiwan, and a heavy-handed crackdown on the religious sect Falun Gong in 1999, but also mending fences with the US. His death came as protestors in Guangzhou clashed with police – but their efforts seem to have had an impact as authorities suddenly lifted some restrictions. Demonstrators have been working hard to avoid government censors, and it seems even those wanting to post tributes to Jiang have also had to get creative

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