Wednesday 6 July 2011

Jiang Zemin Is Dead

And if the News of the World phone-hacking story weren't enough, Hong Kong news is reporting that Jiang Zemin has died of illness, something unreported up to now. Here's a screen grab:

Here's a link to the above picture.

Although there have been false announcments that Jiang Zemin has died before, this one has the look of truth. Jiang has cut a rather pathetic figure in recent years, with his Shanghai-based coterie losing out in the contest with the Hu/Wen and their supporters, and his previously lauded leadership becoming the object of veiled criticism from many angles, but this still does come as a little bit of a shock.

As for the effect this will have on the upcoming change in leadership, my answer is: none. Jiang was already fairly marginalised and had little influence on the outcome.

I'll post more thoughts latter if and when this is properly confirmed.

[EDIT: Question - Assuming that this news is confirmed, has release of this news been delayed so as not to cast a pall over the CCP's 90th anniversary celebrations, at which Jiang was a notable no-show?]

[UPDATE: Xinhua has released an official denial. Whilst I was originally inclined to believe the initial ATV report, I now don't know what to believe. Jiang is most likely gravely ill at the very least, but besides that, nothing is known.

For anyone wondering when the last time Jiang was seen in public was, the Guardian has the answer: October 2009 at the PRC's 60th anniversary parade, and then again last year in Sichuan closely followed by medical professionals.


justrecently said...

I seem to remember that I've seen him on television footage of Admiral Liu Huaqing's funeral, too. That would have been in January this year.

Besides, Xi Jinping has been promoting chairman Jiang's works in October 2009, and had Angela Merkel "study" them along with him in Berlin.

It seems Jiang mattered to some - or to quite an - extent in Xi's appointment as next CCP chairman. He may still matter.

Gilman Grundy said...

. . . which, of course, would be a good reason to keep him around. However, all today, I've been wavering between innocent and guilty. I hope guilty didn't win.

Anonymous said...

This untrue rumour that Jiang lives in the netherworld as a zombie can be attributed on the need to amend that history of the CCP (which took 16 years of editing).

Whatever their snake like-reasoning (love that word surpentine), they are a seriously disengaged from pressing economic issues.

The numbers coming out about debt, food inflation and housing/empty malls are not looking good.

So much quality analysis about the above being written at the moment.


justrecently said...

You could say that Li Keqiang (reportedly or rumorously Hu Jintao's "nominee" for the party and state chairmanship) would be much more into the "livelihood of the people" than Xi Jinping. Li is now set to become another "Uncle Wen", to wade through flooded areas and to say nice things.

justrecently said...

As Jiang once told HK reporters: they are too shimple, sometimes nayifu...

Gilman Grundy said...

Wasn't it J-Zm who said that HK journalists weren't patriotic enough? Proof as if proof were needed!