Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed his predecessor Jiang Zemin, who passed away last month, as a leader who led China's boom despite Western pressure and internal turmoil in the country after the Tiananmen crackdown.
What Happened: At Zemin's funeral, Xi's comments were seen as a warning in light of recent rare protests that have sprung up amid growing discontent among the Chinese people about zero-COVID policies and lack of free speech, reported Bloomberg.
Asserting his own agenda, Xi credited Jiang with carrying out the Communist Party's "correct decision" to resolve the "severe political disturbance" as the former president took over the country’s command right after Chinese troops crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
"At this critical historical juncture that determined the future and destiny of the party and state, comrade Jiang relied on the central collective leadership of the CPC and firmly relied on the full party, entire military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to unswervingly take economic development as the central task," Xi said.
"The confrontations and fights – domestic and abroad – between the different social systems and ideologies, is always testing party members. We must be heroic to overcome all the enemies. Men cannot bend our noble heads," Xi added.
Speaking at a somber state memorial service for Jiang in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi said the country must turn grief into strength and use his legacy to write a new chapter in the party’s development. "We are not going to believe in heresies and won't succumb to pressure. We are going to deal with all the difficulties and challenges on the way ahead."
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