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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

China Pays Its Respects to Late Leader Jiang Zemin

Chinese officials paid their respects Monday to former leader Jiang Zemin - AP

Sirens wailed out across China at the beginning of a public memorial service for former leader Jiang Zemin on Tuesday, who died last week at the age of 96.

A nationwide three-minute silence was held as part of the formal memorial service.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other current and previous top officials paid their respects earlier Monday.

State broadcaster CCTV showed Xi, his predecessor Hu Jintao and others bowing to Jiang’s body at a military hospital in Beijing.

Jiang's body was then sent for cremation at Babaoshan cemetery, where many top leaders are interred. He died of leukemia and multiple organ failure Nov. 30 in Shanghai.

Jiang led China out of isolation after the army crushed student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989 and supported economic reforms that led to a decade of explosive growth.

He was president for a decade until 2003 and led the ruling Communist Party for 13 years until 2002.

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