Wandering China

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China’s former President Jiang Zemin makes rare public appearance [Telegraph]


Anniversary at the Great Hall of People: 100 years since the pivotal Xinhai Revolution (辛亥革命) which ended millennia of dynastic rule, third-generation leader 85-year-old Jiang Zemin makes rare public appearance to dispel rumours from Japan and Hong Kong he has passed on.

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China’s former President Jiang Zemin makes rare public appearance
Jiang Zemin, China’s former president attended celebrations commemoration the 100th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the emperor, his first public appearance since rumours emerged that he had died.
Source – Telegraph, published October 9, 2011 

Chinese president Hu Jintao (L) and former president Jiang Zemin attend the Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution Photo: GETTY

Mr Jiang, 85, was seen sitting with other top Communist Party officials at a ceremony hosted by current President Hu Jintao in Beijing and broadcast live on state television. He looked frail and was once shown nodding off.

Rumours of Mr Jiang’s death began circulating in July after he failed to appear at a meeting celebrating the party’s 90th birthday.

They gathered momentum and culminated with Hong Kong and Japanese media saying his death had been confirmed.

The state-run Xinhua news agency was eventually forced to publish a rare denial, quoting “authoritative sources” as saying the reports were “pure rumour”.

Speculation had already surfaced that Jiang, who reportedly still wields a great deal of power in the inner party sanctum, might be seriously ill.

But the health condition of Chinese leaders is extremely sensitive as it is considered a state secret, apparently because of concerns that illness might affect the appearance of stability in the party.

The celebrations on Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China. They took place at the Great Hall of the People.

Mr Hu took the opportunity to call for Taiwan and the Chinese mainland to reunited.

“Achieving reunification through peaceful means is what most suits Chinese people’s fundamental interests, including Taiwan compatriots,” he said.

“We must strengthen our opposition to Taiwanese independence … and promote close exchanges and co-operation between compatriots on both sides.”

The ceremony at the Great Hall of the People marked the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, bringing more than 2,000 years of nearly unbroken imperial history to an abrupt end.

The Republic of China then emerged, but it only lasted until 1949 on the mainland.

That year, the Communists took power and the remnants of the republic moved to Taiwan, which still calls itself the Republic of China although Beijing claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Communist Party 90th Anniversary, Culture, Domestic Growth, History, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, New Leadership, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Telegraph UK, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Xinhai

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