Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin died at the age of 96 in Shanghai on Wednesday, suffering from leukemia and multiple organ failure, according to state news Xinhua. In response to Jiang’s death, the CCP issued a letter to the Chinese people expressing collective grief at the loss.
With an announcement of “profound grief,” the letter read that “Comrade Jiang Zemin’s death is an incalculable loss to our Party and our military and our people of all ethnic groups,” Reuters reports. Jiang was President Xi Jinping’s largest rival within the CCP.
“Xi Jinping’s biggest rival within the CCP has passed,” Posobiec noted. “This has the potential for further protests in China. In 1989 the death of fmr party leader Hu Yaobang led to public memorials that turned into the Tiananmen protests.”
Jiang’s death poses a question for CCP leadership as to whether or not they will allow public displays of mourning. China has experienced mass protests over since a fire in Urumqi took the lives of 10 people, including a 3-year-old child. It is widely believed that the CCP’s intensive lockdown policies, in favor of their “zero Covid” strategy, are to blame for the firefighters’ inability to subdue the flames in time to save lives.
Sympathy protests have sprung up across the globe, with many Chinese students on American campuses expressing their support for those in China seeking liberty and freedom from a Covid-inspired tyranny that is going into 4th year.
“The death of Jiang Zemin amid the White Paper protests creates a perilous situation for Xi Jinping,” Jack Posobiec said. “If he allows public memorials for Jiang, they have the potential to be used as protesters as cover to organize large-scale demonstrations in key cities. This is how Tiananmen began.”
It was after Hu’s death in 1989 that more than 100,000 students gathered in Beijing, both in mourning and to demand an end to corruption. Students hung a banner in Tiananmen Square calling Hu “China’s spirit,” and protested from April 15 to June 4, when the government declared martial law.
State media claimed the students were trying to overthrow the government, which resulted in more protestors gathering in the Square, along with hunger strikes and sit-ins in May 1989. This led to a massacre of protestors by the CCP on June 4. Hu had undertaken social reforms in the post-Mao era.
It was Deng Xiaoping that lowered the ax on the Tiananmen Square protestors, and also Deng who helped Jiang rise to party leadership in 1989 after Jiang won praise for his efforts to shut down newspapers that covered the student uprising.
The CCP has been aggressive in their attempts to stop the White Paper Revolution protestors, who hold up white sheets of paper to oppose censorship. Apple has appeared to help the CCP, restricting the use of their AirDrop feature, which iPhone users can use to bypass the internet and internet censors and communicate phone to phone. Protests at the Foxconn Apple factory were squashed last week as the CCP instituted Covid restrictions to keep people locked down.
When Mao Zedong died in 1976, an estimated 1 million people came out to mourn him while he lay in state. Should Jiang be honored with the same treatment, the CCP could risk having protestors gather under cover of grief to continue to express their demands for freedom from lockdowns and restrictions.
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