News ID: 109842
Publish Date : 06 December 2022 - 21:30

Sirens Wail as China Bids Farewell to Ex-Leader Jiang Zemin

BEIJING (AFP) -- Sirens wailed across China as the Communist Party eulogized late leader Jiang Zemin Tuesday, hailing him as a patriot who “dedicated his life” to the country.
China’s rulers orchestrated a day of mourning across the country, with security services ensuring there were no large gatherings on the streets following rare protests in recent weeks.
Jiang died in Shanghai last Wednesday at the age of 96 and left with a legacy of leading China towards its emergence as a powerhouse on the global stage.
A public memorial service attended by China’s political elite began at 10:00 am (0200 GMT) in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, bedecked with a giant portrait of the late leader as well as slogans lauding him and a massive flower display.
“He dedicated his whole life and energy to the Chinese people, dedicated his life to fighting for national independence, people’s liberation, national prosperity, and people’s happiness,” President Xi Jinping told assembled party faithful at the hall.
“The CCP Central Committee calls on the whole Party, the army and the people of all ethnic groups in China to turn grief into strength,” Xi added.
A nationwide “three-minute silence” was held as sirens sounded.
In Jiang’s hometown of Yangzhou, around 100 people gathered in front of his former residence to observe the silence after which they were swiftly dispersed by police.
Flags across the country were at half-mast as were those at Chinese government buildings overseas.
Stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen suspended trading for three minutes, as did the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s bourse suspended the display of data on external screens at its offices while senior executives observed the silence.
And in the semi-autonomous city’s harbor, hundreds of vessels honked for three minutes, while officials and government employees observed three minutes of silence.
At Scientia Secondary School in Hong Kong, hundreds of students and teachers gathered for an hour-long commemoration of Jiang, whose tenure saw Britain hand sovereignty of the southern city to China.