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‘The end of an era’: Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin dies at 96.

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Former President Jiang Zemin, who led China’s rapid economic growth in the decade after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, has died at the age of 96, according to Chinese state media. Jiang died of leukemia and multiple organ failure in his hometown of Shanghai shortly after noon on Wednesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported, releasing a letter to the Chinese people from the ruling Communist Party, parliament, cabinet, and military.

“Comrade Jiang Zemin’s death is an immeasurable loss to our party, our army, and all ethnic groups,” the letter said, adding that the announcement was made “with great sorrow.”Mr. Jiang’s death comes as authorities react to rare widespread street protests among residents tired of his stubborn COVID-19 control in China, nearly three years after the pandemic began. It happened during a turbulent period of work.

Zero His COVID policies have been a hallmark of President Xi Jinping, who recently cemented his position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, and is pushing China to replace Jiang’s immediate successor, Hu. turned more and more authoritarian. . One user from Henan wrote, “I’m so sad that not only is he gone, but it feels like the end of an era.” “As if what happened wasn’t enough, 2022 is telling people in a more brutal way that an era is over,” wrote a Beijing Weibo user.

Wednesday’s letter described “our beloved comrade Jiang Zemin” as a high-ranking and outstanding leader, a marvelous Marxist, a politician, a military strategist and diplomat, and a veteran communist. But after Jiang resigned from his last post as chairman of the military commission in 2004, Hu consolidated his influence, neutralized the Shanghai gang, and named Xi his successor. succeeded in.

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