Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin dies at 96


Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese president who led his country out of isolation following the crushing of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and supported economic reforms that resulted in a decade of explosive growth, died at the age of 96.

Jiang Zemin

Jiang died in Shanghai at 12.13 p.m. local time from leukemia and multiple organ failure, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Jiang Zemin dies at 96

Jiang, a surprise choice to lead a divided Communist Party following the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, led China through a revival of market-oriented reforms, the return of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997, and Beijing’s admission to the World Trade Organization in 2001.

While China opened to the outside world, Jiang’s government crushed domestic dissent. It imprisoned human rights, labor, and pro-democracy activists and outlawed the media.

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