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Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin has died. Today he died in Shanghai at the age of 96. Jiang, who came to power after the Tiananmen Square protests, steered China toward a free-market economy and accelerated the country’s development.

Chinese state media reported that Jiang died at 12:13 pm on Wednesday (November 30). He was suffering from various diseases related to old age including fatal leukemia.

Jiang Zemin is regarded as one of the greatest figures in Chinese history.

In 1989, the then Chinese government carried out a bloody crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. In that incident, China was isolated internationally. Jiang Zemin came to power immediately after that incident.

The Tiananmen Square incident sparked a bitter power struggle between the top hardliners and reformist leaders of China’s ruling Communist Party. Jiang led the transition from that situation.

Jiang’s funeral will be attended by his successor President Hu Jintao and current President Xi Jinping.


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