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Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin dies aged 96 in Shanghai

Jiang Zemin - who steered the country through a transformational era from the late 1980s and into the new millennium

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin died aged 96 on Wednesday in his home city, Shanghai.

Jiang Zemin led China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and oversaw a decade of meteoric growth.

According to the Chinese state media report Jiang Zemin died on Wednesday at the age of 96 of leukaemia and multiple organ failure.

Jiang died at 12:13 pm (0413 GMT) in his home city of Shanghai, the official Xinhua news agency said, publishing a letter to the Chinese people by the ruling Communist Party, parliament, Cabinet and the military announcing the death.

“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, saying the announcement was made with “profound grief”.

He was last seen in public in October 2019 among other former leaders watching a military parade at Tiananmen Square marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin steered the country through a transformational era from the late 1980s and into the new millennium.

Under Jiang, China weathered the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and also won the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

His most proudest achievement was the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule, even if the territory’s return had been brokered by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1984.

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