Born In: Yangzhou, Jiangsu
Jiang Zemin was a former Chinese politician, best known for his key role in the success of the ‘Communist Party of China’ (CPC). He was the general secretary of the party from 1989 to 2002 and has also served as the chairman of the ‘Central Military Commission.’ In addition, he was also the president of the ‘People’s Republic of China’ from 1993 to 2003. Jiang’s political ascent was unexpected, as he climbed up the ladder as a “compromise candidate.” He rose to fame following the ‘Tiananmen Square’ protests that took place in 1989. The then-general secretary, Zhao Ziyang, was thrown out because of his support to the student movement. Soon, Jiang Zemin took his place, and in the following few years, he proved his strength as a political leader and turned into a “paramount leader.” The country grew rapidly on both the social and the economic fronts under his strong leadership. Although he stepped down from the post of the general secretary of the ‘CPC’ in 2002, he continued to influence the workings of the party till much later.
Also Known As: Jiang Ze Min, Jiangzemin
Died At Age: 96
Spouse/Ex-: Wang Yeping (m. 1949)
father: Jiang Shijun
mother: Wang Zhelan
siblings: Jiang Zehui
children: Jiang Mianheng, Jiang Miankang
Born Country: China
place of death: Shanghai
education: Yangzhou High School of Jiangxi Province, Zhongyang University, Chiao Tung University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Jiang Zemin’s foray into national politics happened in 1987, when he acquired a seat in the ‘Politburo’ of the ‘CPC Central Committee.’ However, his place was not earned, as it was a custom to have a seat reserved for the ‘Party Secretary’ of Shanghai. Soon, intense protests broke out in in Tiananmen Square, and the central government did not know the right way to handle the protestors.
The general secretary of the party, Zhao Ziyang, had liberal tendencies. He was not in tune with the principles of the ‘CPC.’ He was sympathetic toward the protestors. This made the party supreme Deng Xiaoping search for a replacement. Jiang had shut down the newspaper ‘World Economic Herald,’ which was a significantly brave step. Deng noticed this, and Jiang, who was serving as the ‘Shanghai Party Secretary’ at that time, was given the position of the general secretary of the ‘CPC.’
Although Jiang was now given the top position in the party’s leadership, he was not given enough power. Over time, he earned the respect of the party’s elders and propagated against the liberalization. He stated that in order for the ‘CPC’ to maintain its hold over the country, modernization and economic reforms needed to be put in place.
1993 was the year of economic reforms in China, as Jiang brought introduced a “socialist market economy,” which was step forward from the existing socialist economy toward a government-regulated capitalist market economy. With his effective policies, he earned the confidence of Deng and diminished the ‘Central Advisory Committee.’ In 1993, he contested the ‘Presidency’ elections.
In March 1993, he was named the fifth president of the ‘Republic of China.’ In the 90s, following the economic reforms, the country faced many issues related to corruption and unequal distribution of wealth. It further gave rise to a growing rate of unemployment in the country. The migration of people from rural areas to urban areas was taking place in great numbers, and the entire country was on the verge of collapsing.
Determined to turn the course of the events around, Jiang introduced reforms to bring stability to China, in 1996. He used the media, which was mostly state-controlled, to his benefit. He gave interviews to foreign media houses too and further halted the activities of almost all his political rivals. This helped him take complete control of the country, and the death of Deng Xiaoping further elevated his position.
Well aware of the requirement of a strong economic wave in the country, he handed over the economic governance of the country to his close ally Zhu Rongji, and they went through the Asian financial crisis of 1997. However, with time, China turned into a strong economic nation and maintained an annual GDP growth of 8%, eventually becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
China ended up becoming the fastest-growing nation in terms of per-capita income, and this rapid development further raised eyebrows around the world. The remarkable growth of China helped it become a superpower within two decades. What further strengthened China’s hold in the international arena was its membership of the ‘World Trade Organization’ and subsequently, China’s win of the bid to host the 2008 ‘Olympic Games’ in Beijing.
In 2002, Jiang finally vacated the post of the general secretary of ‘CPC,’ but retained his position as the chairman of the ‘Central Military Commission.’ In September 2004, he resigned from that post too, thereby losing all of his official power in the party. However, he remained a key figure and an advisor to the party’s new leadership.
Jiang Zemin was a controversial figure in Chinese politics. He faced several charges of corruption and inefficiency during his tenure as the president and the general secretary of his party. Jiang’s term also saw a lot of instability due to the introduction of economic reforms, which took place at a rapid pace.
Jiang Zemin married Wang Yeping in 1949. The couple has two sons: Jiang Mianheng and Jiang Miankang.
Jiang Zemin died of lukemia and multiple organ failure on 30 November 2022, at the age of 96.
How To Cite
People Also Viewed