Former Chinese Leader Jiang Zemin Dies at 96

    Photo: Reuters [via BBC News]

    The Facts

    • On Wednesday, state media reported that China's former Pres. Jiang Zemin, who took power following the Tiananmen Square protests and presided over a period where the country witnessed high-speed growth, died in his home in Shanghai at 96 from leukemia and multiple organ failure.

    • His death comes amid some of the most serious protests in China since the student protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, with many demonstrating against COVID restrictions. He served as China's president from 1993-2003.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    Jiang was a reformist who oversaw a successful opening and expansion of China’s economy, growing the country into an economic and political powerhouse to rival the US. Even after leaving office, he remained influential in China's success. His achievements should be commemorated.

    Anti-China narrative

    Jiang repeatedly tried to justify the Tiananmen Square massacre, after which his government violently crushed all dissent, and he presided over the mass murder of members of Falun Gong. There’s no way to polish over the evil he oversaw — no matter how many economic and geopolitical accomplishments his government had.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that The Economist will rank China as a democracy in the Democracy Index by December 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

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