Former Chinese President Jian Zemin, who led the country through a decade of fast-paced economic growth following the Tianamen Square crackdown of 1989, has passed away at the age of 96, Chinese state media confirmed on Wednesday.
Zemin passed away in his home city of Shanghai around noon on Wednesday. The cause of death is said to be leukemia and multiple organ failure, according to Xinhua news agency. “Jiang Zemin passed away due to leukaemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai at 12:13pm on November 30, 2022, at the age of 96, it was announced on Wednesday,” the agency said.
It was reported that the announcement was made in the form of a letter expressing ‘profound grief’, addressed to the Chinese people by the ruling Communist Party, parliament, Cabinet and the military. “Comrade Jiang Zemin’s death is an incalculable loss to our Party and our military and our people of all ethnic groups,” the letter read.
“Comrade Jiang Zemin was an outstanding leader […] a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, a long-tested communist fighter, and an outstanding leader of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” it further said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his condolences over the death of the Chinese leader and said that he had been a great friend to Pakistan.
“In Pakistan, we fondly remember him as a great friend who made valuable contributions in strengthening Pakistan-China relations,” he said in a tweet.