Jiang Zemin, Leader Who Guided China Into Global Market, Dies at 96

“In a way, it was the beginning of the lax attitude towards corruption that Xi Jinping now finds himself attacking,” he said. Joseph Vaismitha professor at Boston University who studies Chinese leadership politics.

By the time Mr. Giang stepped down from leading the party in 2002 and stepped down as president in 2003, his influence and self-esteem were so great that he did not want to leave the political scene. (His successor, Hu Jintao, was appointed by Mr. Deng.)

Mr. Giang continues to serve as Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission, overseeing the People’s Liberation Army until 2004, and then continue to play a backroom role in promotions. Party insiders say Mr. Jiang used his influence to shape the leadership team Mr. Xi inherited when he became party leader in November 2012.

In August 2015, People’s Daily, the party’s leading newspaper, issued an unusually blunt warning that Retired leaders should stay out of politics and “cool off” like a cup of tea after guests have left. The commentary fueled rumors that Mr. Xi was annoyed by Mr. Jiang’s efforts to project power behind the scenes, but the two soon appeared on the podium alongside former President Hu Jintao. in a parade in Beijing.

But the influence of Mr. Jiang and his group of allies, sometimes called the Shanghai Faction, has waned over the past decade. At a Communist Party congress last month, Mr. Xi established a new Politburo Standing Committee, made up of seven people to run China, entirely composed of his loyalists, with no bureaucrats. closely related to his predecessors, Mr. Jiang and Mr. Xi. .hu.

“Jiang Zemin continued to exert influence even after he resigned, but it damaged his reputation,” said Yang, a historian in Beijing. “He did it because he was comfortable with power, but also because he was surrounded by a bunch of people who relied on and hyped him up to make him think he was indispensable.”


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