Former CCP Leader Jiang Zemin, Responsible for Persecution of Falun Gong, Dies at Age 96

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Former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin, who single-handedly launched one of the most brutal persecutions against a faith group in modern times, died at the age of 96, according to China’s state-run media.

Jiang, who was the communist regime’s top leader from 1989 to 2002, passed away owing to leukemia and multiple organ failure. He died at 12:13 p.m. local time in Shanghai on Nov. 30, where he was once the city’s mayor.

His legacy stands as one of the worst human-rights abusers in history, responsible for countless deaths over his lead role in launching the persecution against Falun Gong in 1999.

Political Rise

Jiang was born on Aug. 17, 1926, in Yangzhou in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, a region northwest of the financial hub of Shanghai.

According to Jiang, he was adopted at the age of 13 by his uncle, a communist icon who was killed while fighting the Japanese army during World War II. While historians remain skeptical of Jiang’s claim, it’s clear he sought to distance himself from his father, Jiang Shijun. The elder Jiang was once a minister in the puppet government under Japanese occupation in the 1940s, a position that was regarded as traitorous.

According to his biography in People’s Daily, the CCP’s mouthpiece, Jiang joined the Party in 1946 while he was studying at Shanghai’s Jiaotong University.

In 1956, Jiang lived in Russia, working as a trainee at the Stalin Automobile Works, according to People’s Daily. However, there had been speculation that Jiang joined the KGB’s Far East Bureau while receiving training in Moscow.

He became the Shanghai mayor and deputy secretary of the Shanghai Communist Party Committee in 1985, and joined the Political Bureau of the Central Committee in 1987.

Jiang rose to power in 1989, shortly after the then-paramount leader Deng Xiaoping sent tanks and troops to crush pro-democracy student protesters gathering at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Only weeks after the mass murder, Jiang was promoted to general secretary of the Party, the regime’s leader, replacing Zhao Ziyang, who was sympathetic to the student demonstrators.

By Frank Fang

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