ChineA national tribute and three minutes of silence for Jiang Zemin
A ceremony is organized to pay a last tribute to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, this Tuesday from Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
China will observe three minutes of silence on Tuesday to pay tribute to former President Jiang Zemin, who died last week at the age of 96, a moment of national unity after a wave of protests against health restrictions.
While the authorities were confronted at the end of November with a protest movement on an unprecedented scale since the pro-democracy mobilizations of Tiananmen in 1989, the figure of Jiang Zemin seems to federate: craftsman of the arrival of China on the world scene , he is also the one who was able to restore calm in Shanghai in 1989.
He seized power following this episode, accompanying the transformation of the most populous nation on the planet into a world power, which he led until 2003. He died last Wednesday in Shanghai from leukemia and the failure of several organs, according to official media.
His body was cremated in Beijing on Monday, in a ceremony attended by President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. A memorial ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. (3 a.m. Swiss time) at the People’s Palace in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Tuesday and will be broadcast live, state television CCTV said.
“Regions and departments must ensure that the majority of party members and cadres, as well as the population, listen and watch,” she said. Three minutes of silence will be observed as sirens sound across the country, flags fly at half mast and recreational activities are suspended, along with some online games like the popular League of Legends, which has announced a day off. .
The Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges will suspend trading for these three minutes. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange will continue its trading but will suspend their display on screens for three minutes.
Popular with younger generations of Chinese, Jiang Zemin divides the population as to his heritage. He is accused of failing to address the problems generated by China’s economic leap, such as corruption, inequality, environmental impact and layoffs due to state industry reforms.
Under his mandate, the repression of political activists has also become more ferocious. State media mostly hail him as a great communist revolutionary. “Jiang Zemin was an exceptional leader enjoying great prestige,” writes New China in its obituary dedicated to him, called “The great and glorious life of Jiang Zemin”.
“During his more than 70-year revolutionary career, he has remained steadfast and unwavering in communist ideals, staunchly loyal to the Party and the people, and resolutely committed to the cause of the Party and the people,” adds she.
Last Thursday, his remains were flown to Beijing. Xi Jinping was present when he arrived, according to footage from state broadcaster CCTV. With black armbands and a white flower pinned to their jackets, the Chinese president and other senior leaders bowed in coordination as Jiang Zemin’s remains were lowered from the plane, his thick-rimmed glasses visible through his coffin glass.
Ever since he was retired, Jiang Zemin was looked upon with fondness by his Chinese fans of generations Y (born between the early 1980s and late 1990s) and Z (late 1990s to 2010), who s called themselves the “toad faithful”, fascinated by his countenance reminiscent of the batrachian and his eccentric mannerisms.
Within an hour on Wednesday, more than half a million people had commented on a CCTV post announcing the death on the Weibo platform (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter). Many of them referred to him as “Grandpa Jiang.” Since the announcement of his death, state media and public companies have switched their websites to black and white, as have many mobile applications such as Alipay, Taobao and McDonald’s.