Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who came to power after bloody protests in 1989, dies
Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who came to power after the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, has died aged 96.
State media said he died shortly after noon in Shanghai on Wednesday.
One of the key figures in Chinese history in recent decades, he presided over a time when China opened up on a large scale and saw high-speed growth.
His death comes as China is engulfed in its biggest protests since Tiananmen against Covid restrictions.
A statement from the Chinese Communist Party said he died of leukemia: "He was known as an outstanding leader of high prestige and a long-seasoned communist fighter."
Jiang rose to power after a bloody 1989 crackdown on protesters around Beijing's Tiananmen Square led to China's international isolation.
The event sparked a fierce power struggle at the top of the Communist Party between hard-line reactionaries and reformers.
This allowed Jiang, who had initially been seen as a slacker bureaucrat, to rise to high positions. He was elected as a compromise leader, hoping to unite more liberal elements.
Under his leadership, a formidable economy was created. The Communists tightened their grip on power and China took its place at the high table of world powers.
Ai mbikëqyri dorëzimin paqësor të Hong Kongut në 1997 dhe hyrjen e Kinës në Organizatën Botërore të Tregtisë në 2001, e cila ndërthuri vendin me ekonominë globale.
Por reformat politike u vunë gjithashtu në një anë dhe ai shtypi mospajtimin e brendshëm ndërsa ndoqi një qëndrim të ashpër ndaj Tajvanit. Ai u kritikua për shtypjen e ashpër të sektit fetar Falun Gong në 1999, i cili u pa si një kërcënim për Partinë Komuniste.
Ai ishte gjithashtu i prirur të siguronte që pozicioni i tij brenda Partisë Komuniste të ishte i sigurt dhe doli me ideologjinë e tij politike, teorinë e Tre Përfaqësuesve, në një përpjekje për të modernizuar partinë.
During his time in power, Jiang tried to strengthen ties with the US, visiting the country several times and offering then-President George W Bush cooperation in Washington's war on terror after the 9/11 attacks.
In his later years he withdrew from government and was rarely seen in public.