Wen Jiabao

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Posted by motoman 03/26/2009 @ 15:14

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China-Nepal relation example of friendly coexistence: Jiabao - Press Trust of India
In a congratulatory message to the newly-elected Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China and Nepal are friendly neighbours since ancient times and their friendship has a long history. Since the establishment of...
Do we need a new gold standard? - BusinessWorld Online
Premier Wen Jiabao recently raised his concern regarding the rapidly rising US debts. Almost at the same time, the Chinese central banker Zhou Xiaochuan branded the US dollar as an unstable world reserve currency. These are small tremors of a large...
Chinese premier calls for closer relations with Czech Republic - Xinhua
PRAGUE, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for closer relations between China and the Czech Republic at meetings with Czech leaders on Wednesday. The Chinese government attaches great importance to its relationship with the Czech...
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Halts Construction of Power Plant on Nu ... - China Digital Times
Premier Wen Jiabao has again suspended construction on the Liuku power station on the Nu River until after a thorough study of the hydroelectric dam's potential environmental impact. Work on damming the Nu River has proceeded in fits and starts since...
• “Market economy” status not yet granted to China by EU - Institute of International Trade
However, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao hoped that very soon the market status of China will be realized by EU. Zhang Junsheng, Director of the WTO Research Institute at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing was frank enough to...
China extends congratulations to Nepal's new Prime Minister - Xinhua
Ma said Premier Wen Jiabao had sent a congratulatory message to Nepal. China attached great importance to the Sino-Nepali relationship and would work with Nepal to advance the friendly partnership, which had passed from generation to generation,...
Wen greets Manmohan - Hindu
BEIJING: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Friday congratulated Manmohan Singh on being re-elected Prime Minister. In a statement, Mr. Wen said that during the past five years the China-India Strategic and Cooperative Partnership achieved all-around...
It's Not About North Korea - Huffington Post
And for their part, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are loyal guardians of this controversial legacy, which has received international obloquy, especially in cases like Darfur. China sees a nuke-armed Kim Jong-Il not as a geopolitical time...
The Sinking Dollar (Wallerstein) - Dollars & Sense
When Premier Wen Jiabao of China said in March of 2009 that he was "a little bit worried" about the state of the US dollar, he echoed the feelings of states, enterprises, and individuals across the world. He called upon the United States "to maintain...
Malaysian PM to visit China - Xinhua
BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will pay an official visit to China from June 2 to 5 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Tuesday. Najib's tour will be the first...

Wen Jiabao

Wen Jiabao

Wen Jiabao (simplified Chinese: 温家宝; traditional Chinese: 溫家寶; pinyin: Wēn Jiābǎo; Wade-Giles: Wen Chia-pao) (born 15 September 1942) is the current Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as the head of government and leading the cabinet of the world's most populous nation. He also holds membership in the 16th and 17th Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, the country's de facto top power organ, where he is ranked third out of nine members. Prior to his elevation, Wen served as Vice-Premier under then-Premier Zhu Rongji between 1998 and 2003, where he was primarily responsible for economic policy.

Since taking office as Premier in 2003, Wen has been a key part of the fourth generation of leadership in the Communist Party of China, along with President Hu Jintao. A geologist by profession, Wen has been one of the most visible members of the current Chinese administration, and has been dubbed "the people's premier" by both domestic and foreign media. His populist approach to policy and his commoner image with the public separates him from the rest of China's power elite.

A native of Tianjin, Wen Jiabao went to the famous Nankai High School from which his predecessor premier Zhou Enlai graduated. According to his official biography, he joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in April 1965 and entered the work force in September 1967.

A postgraduate and engineer, Wen graduated in the major of geological structure at Beijing Institute of Geology. Having studied geomechanics in Beijing, he began his career in the geology bureau of Gansu province; from 1968-1978, he presided over the Geomechanics Survey Team under the Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and head of its political section. Rising as chief of the Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and later as Vice-minister of Geology and Mineral Resources, Wen would rise through the ranks of the Central Committee and Politburo in the 1980s and 1990s. Wen's move from Gansu to Beijing occurred while the party, then under the leadership of General Secretary Hu Yaobang, was conducting a talent search; Wen was quickly appointed to serve as the deputy in the Party General Office, an organ that oversaw day-to-day operations of the party's leaders. He remained in the post for eight years.

Wen Jiabao is the only Director of the Party's General Office to have served under three General Secretaries: Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang, and Jiang Zemin. A political survivor, his most significant recovery was after 1989, when Wen was the chief assistant to General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. He accompanied Zhao to see demonstrating students in Tiananmen Square. His political fate was markedly more fortunate than his boss; Zhao was purged from the party days later for "grave insubordination" and lived under house arrest in Beijing until his death in January 2005. Wen was able to survive the political aftermath of the demonstrations.

During a political career dating back to 1965, Wen has built a network of patrons. Throughout this period Wen, a strong administrator and technocrat, has earned a reputation for meticulousness, competence, and a focus on tangible results. Outgoing Premier Zhu Rongji showed his esteem for Wen by entrusting him, from 1998, with the task of overseeing agricultural, financial and environmental policies in the office of Vice-Premier, considered crucial as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization. Wen served as Secretary of the Central Financial Work Commission from 1998 to 2002.

Wen has been the third-ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest ruling council, since November 2002. During the transition of power as Hu Jintao assumed the presidency in March 2003, Wen Jiabao's nomination as premier was confirmed by the National People's Congress with over 99% of the delegates' vote. As premier, Wen has overseen the continuation of China's economic reforms and has been involved in shifting national goals from economic growth at all costs to growth which also emphasizes more egalitarian wealth, along with other social goals, such as public health and education. In addition, the Chinese government under Wen has begun to focus on the social costs of economic development, which include damage to the environment and to workers' health. This more comprehensive definition of development has been encapsulated into the idea of a xiaokang society.

Wen's broad range of experience and expertise, especially cultivated while presiding over agricultural policies under Zhu Rongji has been important as the "fourth generation" seeks to revitalize the rural economy in regions left out by the past two decades of reform.

Initially regarded as quiet and unassuming, he is said to be a good communicator and is known as a "man of the people." Wen has appeared to make great efforts to reach out those who seem left out by two decades of stunning economic growth in rural and especially western China. Unlike Jiang Zemin and his protégés on the Politburo Standing Committee, who form the so-called "Shanghai clique", both Wen and Hu hail from, and have cultivated their political bases, in the vast Chinese interior. Many have noted the contrasts between Wen and Hu, "men of the people" and Jiang Zemin, the flamboyant, multilingual, and urbane former mayor of the country's most cosmopolitan city. Jiang, unlike the more reserved Hu and Wen, is known to quote maxims from Chinese and Western philosophy and recite poetry in many languages.

Mild-tempered and conciliatory, especially compared to his predecessor, the tough, straight-talking Zhu Rongji, his consensual management style has enabled him to generate a great deal of good will, but has also created some opponents who are in support of tougher policy decisions. Notably, Wen was widely known to have clashed with then-Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu, who disagreed with the central government's policies.

Wen has been involved in a two major episodes involving public health. In early 2003, he was involved in ending the official inaction over the SARS crisis. In November 2003, he became the first major Chinese official to publicly address the problem of AIDS, which has devastated parts of the provinces of Yunnan and Henan and threatens to be a major burden on Chinese development. Since May 2004, Wen made various visits to communities devastated by AIDS, trips shown prominently on national media. By showing these actions, Wen displayed an effort to reverse years of what many activists have described as a policy of denial and inaction. Furthermore, Wen is concerned about the health and safety of previous drug addicts; since March 2004, Wen had visited several drug addict treatment facilities in southern China and addressed the issue to the patients in person, recognizing that AIDS in the region is more likely being spread by drug abuse and the reuse of hypodermic syringes than by sexual contact.

Wen was known to conduct visits to relatively poor areas of China's countryside randomly -- to avoid elaborate preparations to appease officials and hide the real situation, which is done often in China. At committee meetings of the State Council, Wen made it clear that the rural wealth disparity problem must be addressed. Along with President Hu Jintao, the government focused on the "Three Rural Issues", namely, agriculture, the countryside, and farmers, and emphasized these core areas as requiring further work and development. The Hu-Wen administration abolished the thousand-year-old agricultural tax entirely in 2005, a bold move that significantly changed the rural economic model. Like his predecessor, Zhu Rongji, Wen is generally seen as a popular communist official with the Chinese public. His attitude is seemingly sincere and warm, triggering comparisons with former premier Zhou Enlai. Wen spent Chinese New Year in 2005 with a group of coal miners in a Shanxi coal mine. To many, Wen has gained the image of being the "people's premier", a populist, and an ordinary Chinese citizen who knows and understands ordinary people's needs. In an annual meeting of the Chinese Authors Association, Wen spoke for over two hours to the delegates without looking at script. To foreign media, Wen also remains the highest government figure in China to give free press conferences, often facing politically sensitive and difficult questions regarding subjects such as Taiwan Independence, Tibet and human rights.

Wen is also seen by many as an able diplomat. In December 2003, Wen visited the United States of America for the first time. During the trip, Wen was able to get President George W. Bush to issue what many saw as a mild rebuke to the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Chen Shui-bian. Wen has also been on visits to Canada and Australia, mostly on economic issues. Wen also visited Japan in April 2007 in what was termed the "de-thawing journey", where he characterized the relationship between the Asian powers as for "mutual benefit". He also met with Emperor Akihito and played baseball.

On 15 March 2005, after the anti-secession law was passed, by a majority of 2,896 to nil, with two abstentions by the National People's Congress, Wen famously said: "We don't wish for foreign intervention, but we are not afraid of it." as an allusion to the United States' stance on Taiwan. That earned him a long round of applause that was rare even by Chinese standards.

On 5 March 2007, Wen announced plans to increase the military budget. By the end of 2007 the military budget rose 17.8 percent compared to the previous year's 45 billion dollars. These actions have created tension with the United States.

There were rumours about Wen's retirement and reputed clashes with former Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu before the party's 17th Party Congress. Some sources suggested that Wen would ask to retire due to fatigue. Ultimately, Wen stayed on the Premier job, and was responsible for the drafting of the important speech delivered by President Hu Jintao outlining China's direction in the next five years.

In January 2008, while China was undergoing severe snowstorms, Premier Wen made his way south and visited train stations in Changsha and Guangzhou, addressing the public while calming their mood for long train delays.

Premier Wen Jiabao was appointed to a second five-year term as China's premier on March 16, 2008, leading efforts to cool soaring inflation and showcase the country to the world at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He received fewer votes in favour than he did in 2003, a sign that the premiership can create enemies, even in the communist political system. Wen faces grave economic challenges as the world becomes increasingly affected by the U.S. economic crisis. Social stability and regional activism such as violence in Tibet are also require major concentration in policy. On 18 March 2008, during the press conference after the 2008 National People's Congress, Premier Wen blamed supporters of the Dalai Lama for violence in Tibet, and said Chinese forces exercised restraint in confronting unrest there. Wen was the spokesman of the Chinese government during the 2008 unrest in Tibet and refused to negotiate with the Dalai Lama and his followers, unless they chose to give up all separatist activities.

Wen also has a Facebook profile, whose authorship is unknown, that has gathered more popular support than any other non-American leader on the social networking site. Wen was the only non-American among the top five most popular politicians on Facebook before his profile was deleted by Facebook sometime around 16 June 2008 (it has since been restored, with no major changes). Despite Wen's constant presence on the national media that seems to overshadow that of his superior, Hu Jintao, there are no clear divisions between the leaders. A group of intellectuals have warned against Wen's populist approach, claiming it will affect China's economic development.

Premier Wen Jiabao's popularity increased even more when he went to the disaster area of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake a mere few hours after the disaster occurred, where he declared on national television that survivors are to be rescued as long as there is "a glimmer of hope". He was named the Executive Director of the Earthquake Relief Efforts Committee immediately following the disaster. Following his visits to the area and images of the Premier displayed on national media, numerous videos popped up on Chinese blogs making comparisons with former Premier Zhou Enlai, who also had the title "People's Premier", Wen's popularity was noticeably boosted. When China's leaders are often shown on state television looking rather stiff and sitting motionlessly, Wen's on-site image and candid nature has attracted a large popular following of Chinese citizens.

In addition, there was speculation on internet forums as well as foreign media about the availability of the scientific prediction of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and Wen was quoted as the only high-ranking Chinese leader to try to announce the scientific prediction and made it public, but was somehow prevented by other members of the all powerful Politburo Standing Committee, China's top power organ.

Wen went on a series of official visits to Europe in February, 2009, while also attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On February 2, Wen traveled to the University of Cambridge to give the Rede Lecture at West Road Concert Hall. The lecture was entitled: "See China in the Light of Her Development". Pro-Tibet-democracy and Pro-Chinese-government protesters gathered outside the lecture hall but were kept a good distance from the entrance by police.

As Wen came to the end of his lecture, a young man, later identified as a 27-year-old German national Martin Jahnke, stood from the audience, blew a whistle and shouted, "how can the university prostitute itself with this dictator here? How can you listen to these lies he's telling?" The surrounding audience resorted him with "Shame on you, shame on you" and "Get out". Jahnke then threw his shoe at Wen, missing the premier by a few feet.

Jahnke was promptly removed from the lecture by University Proctors and has subsequently been arrested by Police on suspicion of breach of the peace and attempted assault.

Before the 2009 National People's Congress convened, on February 28, Premier Wen Jiabao went online on video chat to answer moderated questions hosted by China's official government website gov.cn and Chinese news agency website Xinhuanet. During the session Wen openly advocated for transparency of the government and remarked that he was somewhat nervous about the occasion. He received a wide range of questions from large numbers of online Chinese netizens, but chose to answer selected questions about prominent economic issues, such as global financial breakdown, and avoiding sensitive political questions such as China's human rights record, the Weiquan movement, and one-man-one-vote.

At the Congress Wen also passed on a message of reassurance that China's growth will not dip below 8% in 2009. Wen did not introduce a new stimulus package, and played down speculation that part of the 1.18 trillion RMB central government spending was not going directly into the economy. He also expressed concern about the security of China's holdings in U.S. treasury debt. In a more unusual gesture, Wen also expressed interest to visit Taiwan, stating he would "crawl there if could not walk".

There is some dispute inside China, as well as in the Hong Kong and Taiwan journalistic circles regarding the political views of Wen Jiabao. Because he appears more often than President Hu Jintao in front of the press, Wen's viewpoints, although difficult to gauge in their entirety, are easier to discern than those of Hu. Generally media both inside and outside China credit Wen as "populist" and in touch with the needs of ordinary people. On most social issues Wen seems to be moderate, with his brand of policies based around societal harmony as prescribed by the Scientific Development Concept, the leading ideology of the administration.

It is also not clear what are Wen's views on the subject of political reform. He has remarked that "the socialist system will continue in China for the next 100 years", although later in a Press Conference at the 2007 National People's Congress, he stated that "democracy is one of the basic goals of the socialist system". In an interview in September 2008, Wen acknowledged that the democractic system in China needs to be improved, where the power "truly belongs to the people" through the construction of an independent judicial system and for the government to accept criticism from the people. Wen, a former ally of disgraced Premier Zhao Ziyang, is likely supportive of the latter's political rehabilitation. However, thus far Wen has rarely mentioned Zhao. When asked by CNN whether or not China will liberalize for free elections in the next 25 years, Wen stated that it would be "hard to predict".

On the subject of Taiwan, Wen reputedly believes in gradual negotiations. Xinhua has published articles in early 2007 with Wen's name separately attributed in several articles on the direction of national development. This was suspected as a sign that Wen has some differing viewpoints to the official party line. In September 2007 Wen composed a poem on a national newspaper, subtly introducing his romantic perception about China's future development, a move lauded by overseas media.

Wen leads the current State Council, China's cabinet.

Wen is married to Zhang Peili, a jewelery expert and investor, who has never appeared with Wen in public. They have a son, Wen Yunsong, who is CEO of Unihub, a Chinese networking company, and a daughter, Wen Ruchun.

I can also tell you on the Internet in China, you can have access to a lot of postings that are quite critical about the government. It is exactly through reading these critical opinions on the Internet that we try to locate problems and further improve our work. I don't think a system or a government should fear critical opinions or views. Only by heeding those critical views would it be possible for us to further improve our work and make further progress. I frequently browse the Internet to learn about a situation.

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Zhu Rongji

Zhu Rongji

Zhū Róngjī (born 1 October 1928, simplified Chinese: 朱镕基; traditional Chinese: 朱鎔基; Wade-Giles: Chu Jung-chi) is a prominent Chinese politician who served as the Mayor and Party chief in Shanghai between 1987 and 1991, before serving as Vice-Premier and then Premier of the People's Republic of China from March 1998 to March 2003.

A tough administrator, his time in office saw the continued double-digit growth of the Chinese economy and China's increased assertiveness in international affairs. Known to be engaged in a testy relationship with President Jiang Zemin, under whom he served, Zhu provided a novel pragmatism and hard work ethic in the government and party leadership increasingly infested by corruption, and as a result gained great popularity with the Chinese public. His opponents, however, charge that Zhu's tough and pragmatic stance on policy was unrealistic and unnecessary, and many of his promises were left unfulfilled. Zhu retired in 2003, and has not been a public figure since. Premier Zhu was also widely known for his tasteful humour.

Zhu joined the Communist Party of China in October, 1949. He graduated from the prestigious Tsinghua University in 1951 where he majored in electrical engineering. Afterwards, he worked for the Northeast China Department of Industries as deputy head of its production planning office.

From 1952-1958, he worked in the State Planning Commission as group head and deputy division chief. Having criticized Mao Zedong's "irrational high growth" policies during the Great Leap Forward, Zhu was labeled a "Rightist" in 1958 and sent to work as a teacher at a cadre school. Pardoned (but not rehabilitated) in 1962, he worked as an engineer for the National Economy Bureau of the State Planning Commission until 1969.

During the Cultural Revolution, Zhu was purged again, and from 1970 to 1975 he was transferred to work at a "May Seventh Cadre School," a type of farm used for re-education during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

From 1975 to 1979, he served as the deputy chief engineer of a company run by the Pipeline Bureau of the Ministry of Petroleum Industry and as the director of Industrial Economics Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Zhu went to work for the State Economic Commission (SEC) as the division chief of the Bureau of Fuel and Power Industry and as the deputy director of the Comprehensive Bureau from 1979 to 1982. He was appointed as a member of the State Economic Commission in 1982 and as the vice-minister in charge of the commission in 1983, where he held the post until 1987, before being appointed as the mayor of Shanghai.

As the mayor of Shanghai from 1989 to 1991, Zhu won popular respect and acclaim for overseeing the development of Pudong, a Singapore-sized Special Economic Zone (SEZ) wedged between Shanghai proper and the East China Sea, as well the modernization of the city's telecommunications, urban construction, and transport sectors.

In 1991, Zhu became the vice-premier of the State Council, transferring to Beijing from Shanghai. Also holding the post of director of the State Council Production Office, Zhu focused on industry, agriculture and finance, launching the drive to disentangle the "debt chains" of state enterprises. For the sake of the peasantry, he took the lead in eliminating the use of credit notes in state grain purchasing.

Between 1993 and 1995, Zhu served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee while retaining his posts as the vice-premier of the State Council and as the governor of the People's Bank of China. From 1995 to 1998, he retained the positions of Standing Committee member and vice-premier.

Concurrently serving as governor of the Central Bank, Zhu tackled the problems of an excessive money supply, rising prices, and a chaotic financial market stemming, in large measure, from runaway investments in fixed assets. After four years of successful macro-economic controls with curbing inflation as the primary task, an overheated Chinese economy cooled down to a "soft landing". With these achievements, Zhu, acknowledged as an able economic administrator, became premier of the State Council.

Zhu has a reputation for being a strong, strict administrator, intolerant of flunkeyism, nepotism, and a dilatory style of work. For his hard work ethic and general truthful and transparent attitude, he is generally considered one of the most popular Communist officials in mainland China..

With support from Jiang Zemin and Li Peng, then president and premier respectively, Zhu enacted tough macroeconomic control measures. Favoring healthy, sustainable development, Zhu expunged low-tech, duplicated projects and sectors that would result in "a bubble economy" and projects in transport, energy and agricultural sectors, averting violent market fluctuations. He focused on strengthening agriculture, still the economic base of the developing country and on continuing a moderately tight monetary policy.

President Jiang Zemin nominated Zhu for the position of the Premier of the State Council at the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), who confirmed the nomination on 17 March 1998 at the NPC First Session. Zhu was re-elected as a member of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto central decision-making group, at the 15th CPC Central Committee in September 1997.

The 1990's were a difficult time for economic management, as unemployment soared in the cities, and the bureaucracy became increasingly tainted with corruption scandals. Zhu kept things on track in the difficult years of the late 1990s, so that China averaged growth of 9.7% a year over the two decades to 2000. Against the backdrop of the Asian financial crisis (and catastrophic domestic floods) mainland China's GDP still grew by 7.9% in the first nine months of 2002, beating the government's 7% target despite a global economic slowdown. This was achieved, partly, through active state intervention to stimulate demand through wage increases in the public sector, among other measures. China was one of the few economies in Asia that survived the crisis.

While foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide halved in 2000, the flow of capital into mainland China rose by 10%. As global firms scrambled to avoid missing the China boom, FDI in China rose by 22.6% in 2002. While global trade stagnated, growing by one percent in 2002, mainland China's trade soared by 18% in the first nine months of 2002, with exports outstripping imports.

Despite the glowing growth statistics, Zhu tackled deep-seated structural problems: uneven development; inefficient state firms and a banking system mired in bad loans. Observers think there are few substantial disagreements over economic policy in the CPC; tensions focus on the pace of change. Zhu's economic philosophies had often triumphed over that of his colleagues, but it nevertheless resulted in a testy relationship with then-President Jiang Zemin.

The PRC leadership struggled to modernize State-owned enterprises (SOEs) without inducing massive urban unemployment. As millions lost their jobs as state firms close, Zhu demanded financial safety nets for unemployed workers, an important aim in a country of 1.3 billion. China needs 100 million new urban jobs in the next five years to absorb laid off workers and rural migrants; so far they have been achieving this aim due to high per capita GDP growth. Under the auspices of Zhu and Wen Jiabao (his top deputy and successor), the state tried to alleviate unemployment while promoting efficiency, by pumping tax revenues into the economy and maintaining consumer demand. Zhu has won acclaim domestically and internationally for steering the People's Republic of into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.

Critics have charges that there is an oversupply of manufactured goods, driving down prices and profits while increasing the level of bad debt in the banking system. But so far demand for Chinese goods, domestically and abroad, is high enough to put those concerns to rest in the time being. Consumer spending is growing, boosted, in large part, due to longer workers' holidays.

Zhu's right-hand man, Vice Premier Wen Jiabao, oversaw regulations for the stock market and campaigned to develop poorer inland provinces to stem migration and regional resentment. Zhu and Wen set tax limits for peasants to protect them from high levies by corrupt officials. Well-respected by ordinary Chinese citizens, Zhu also holds the respect of Western political and business leaders, who found him reassuring and credit him with clinching China's market-opening World Trade Organisation (WTO) deal, which has brought foreign capital pouring into the country.

Zhu remained as Premier until the National People's Congress met in March 2003, when it approved his struggle to clinch trusted deputy Wen Jiabao as his successor. Wen was the only Zhu ally to appear on the 9-person Politburo Standing Committee. Like his fourth-generation colleague Hu Jintao, Wen's personal opinions are difficult to discern since he sticks very closely to his script. Unlike the frank, strong-willed Zhu, Wen, who has earned a reputation for being an equally competent manager, is known for his suppleness and discretion.

During the 2000 ROC presidential election in Taiwan, Zhu gave the warning "there will be no good ending for those involved in Taiwan independence". In his farewell speech to the National People's Congress, Zhu unintentionally referred to China and Taiwan as two "countries" before quickly correcting himself. His stance on Taiwan during his time in office was always with the Party line.

Zhu has a good command of English. He is rarely seen speaking from a script. In his free time, Zhu enjoys the Peking Opera. According to some reports, Zhu is a descendent of Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming Dynasty . His wife, Lao An, was once vice-chairman of the board of directors of China International Engineering and Consulting. She and Zhu were in the same schools twice, first the Hunan First Provincial Middle School (湖南第一中学) and then Tsinghua University. They have a son and a daughter.

Zhu is known for his technical intellect. In 1997 at a state banquet in Australia, Zhu left for the bathroom, and was gone quite a while. Concerned security staff finally went off to find him. He was in the bathroom, studying the water-saving dual-flush system which he had just disassembled. As a hydrologist, Zhu grasped the impact such water savings, multiplied by China's huge population, could have on China's infrastructure.

Zhu Rongji was noticeably more popular than his predecessor, Li Peng, and some analysts point out that Zhu's tough administrative style in the Premier's office bore a certain resemblance to Premier Zhou Enlai. Zhu, a competent manager and a skilled politician, ran into various roadblocks during his tenure because of the attitude of President Jiang Zemin. Critics charge that Zhu made too many "big promises" that are unable to be achieved during his term in office. In dealing with the Falun Gong situation, Premier Zhu received international attention for being the first Chinese communist leader to deal with an issue of public outcry through the methods of dialogue.

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Huang Ju

Huang Ju

Huang Ju (Chinese: 黄菊; pinyin: Huáng Jú) (28 September 1938 – 2 June 2007) was the Executive Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China. He joined the Communist Party of China in March 1966. He was ranked 6th out of 9, and was one of the least popular and most partisan members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Party. Huang, considered "one of China's most mysterious politicians", was a powerful member of the Shanghai clique.

Having been both the Mayor of Shanghai and the city's party chief in the 1990s, Huang enjoyed very close relations with his patron Jiang Zemin, he was known to be strongly opposed to President Hu Jintao. During his tenure in Shanghai Huang and his family members were involved in various corruption cases. He died in office on 2 June 2007.

Born in Jiashan, Zhejiang Province (浙江嘉善) as Huang Deyu (黄德钰), Huang was the second of five children. He attended Tsinghua University (清华大学) in 1956-63 where he graduated in Electrical Engineering.

Huang was employed as a Technician in the foundry section of the Shanghai Artificial-board Machinery Factory (上海人造板机器厂) from 1963 to 1967. From 1967 to 1977, Huang worked as Technician in the power section of the Shanghai Zhonghua Metallurgical Factory (上海中华冶金厂), where he was also Assistant Deputy Secretary Workshop Party Branch. He became Assistant Director of the Revolutionary Committee, Deputy Plant Manager, Engineer from 1977 to 1980. He was Assistant Manager of the Shanghai Petrochemical General Machinery Company (上海市石化通用机械制造公司) from 1980 to 1982. From 1982 to 1983 he was Deputy Commissioner of the Shanghai First Mechanical and Electrical Industry Bureau (上海市第一机电工业局).

From 1983 to 1984, he was Shanghai Municipal Party Committee member and City Industry Work Party Secretary; Shanghai Municipal Party Committee member, its Secretary General from 1984 to 1985 and its Assistant Deputy Secretary from 1985 to 1986.

In 1987, Huang became one of the chosen candidates for the Mayor of Shanghai, and therefore a CCP Central Committee member, but he was embarrassed by the low number of votes supporting his candidacy in Shanghai's Municipal Congress. Huang therefore did not become Mayor and Zhu Rongji was subsequently elected Mayor in his place. When Zhu became Premier after his transfer to the Central Government in Beijing, Huang became mayor of Shanghai in 1991 and then city's Party chief in 1994, which he served until October 2002. Although he led the eastern commercial hub in a continuous era of prosperity and development, he is known to have achieved fairly little in Shanghai. Huang was, however, the inventor of a string of themed property developments within Greater Shanghai which were carbon copies of famous European cities. For example, Thames Town in Songjiang, outside Shanghai city proper, built to imitate a British market town.

Huang served in a role to keep the city's party organization in line, and is remembered for by some as having raised the salary levels of Shanghai people. Among recent ex-mayors of Shanghai, Huang was also the least popular, due to his suppression of popular mayor Xu Kuangdi. Huang's reputation in the city is incomparable to that of Zhu Rongji or even Chen Liangyu, and had a very negative image.

Due to his extremely low popularity inside the party and in the public eye, Huang's move to Beijing after Jiang Zemin's retirement in 2002 was subject to great controversy. In May 1994, after Huang's installation as the Shanghai party chief, his wife Yu Huiwen, along with Shanghai official Chen Tiedi opened a charity organization. This charity organization reputedly became the source of illegal money laundering for Huang's wife and close colleagues, who received "donations" from the business elite. Although some of this money did indeed go to charity, there was a large amount of funds whose whereabouts is still unknown. It is unclear what Huang's involvement were in this process, but it is clear that his power in Shanghai gave an operating pass of sorts to his family.

Huang is also widely believed to be implicated in the Shanghai real estate scandals involving Zhou Zhengyi, one of Shanghai's big-name business elites. Huang did little to stop monopolies in Shanghai's booming real estate sector, and there was some discontent and public protests resulted from in residents being evicted from their homes (with little or no compensation) to make way for new construction. Zhou was eventually charged with multiple counts of fraud, but was only sentenced to three years in prison, which analysts speculated was largely due to Huang's exerting his influence on the municipal courts. In addition, Huang's wife, Yu Huiwen, controlled the Shanghai pension fund, and was linked to Zhang Rongkun, who was at the centre of allegations of misappropriation of the fund's money. Huang's brother, who was made a high-ranking executive of a Pudong development firm, also moved funds for personal uses.

Huang was one of the patronage appointments from Jiang's Shanghai clique to China's top decision-making body, becoming one of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee. He received the lowest number of votes among the Politburo members elected in 2002. He received just 1,455 votes in favour, out of 2,074 votes cast, but 300 votes against. This result is unusually low in Chinese national politics, where elections are normally confirmation of selections made by consensus.

His position as First Vice-Premier is considered largely a figurehead role and has very little power, especially when compared to previous First Vice-Premiers Yao Yilin and Li Lanqing. His official portfolios are to oversee finance and banking.

Although the national media stressed his return, Huang is believed to be next in the firing line in the corruption probe after the dismissal of his close colleague Chen Liangyu in September 2006. Huang's involvement with the Shanghai Pension Fund Scandals is unclear, as the Chinese government has thus far kept much of the investigation under wraps.

As one of the China's most partisan politicians, his departure would be seen by analysts as a further shift in the balance of power away from Jiang Zemin in favour of Hu Jintao.

In February 2006, the South China Morning Post reported that Huang was seriously ill, and was expected to step down. Although some government officials said that he had pancreatic cancer, the party never officially disclosed the nature of his condition. In stating that Huang was recovering from an undisclosed illness, official sources inadvertently revealed that he was ill. No reports were confirmed, and state media had no mention of Huang since his last January appearance. He was absent from the 2006 NPC session. On 17 March, sources reported that he was near death. Nevertheless, some sources suggested his sudden disappearance from the public might also have been the result of an internal power struggle, in which Huang was purged to make way for Hu and Wen loyalists.

Huang attended a Science and Technology forum in Beijing on 5 June 2006, which some suggest was for the sole purpose of letting the public know that he was still alive and well.

After giving a keynote speech at the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) executives' conference on 5 January 2007, he was notably absent at the Central Conference on Financial Affairs later on that month. Although his condolences were accounted for, rank-appropriate, during Communist elder Bo Yibo's funeral, his absence prompted speculation that Huang's critical condition was preventing him from carrying out his official duties. Hong Kong media speculated that Huang was undergoing treatment in Shanghai. Huang reappeared, looking very frail, during the National People's Congress in March 2007.

It was widely speculated that Huang had already requested to be allowed to resign by March 2007, and that afterwards his normally powerful position became purely ceremonial. He had reportedly handed over his role of oversight of Financial Affairs portfolio to premier Wen Jiabao in January. It had been expected that Huang would formally retire by the 17th Party Congress in November 2007, where there would be a major reshuffle of posts of party apparatus.

Official sources reported no significant events after he attended a panel discussion with legislators from Shanghai on 7 March 2007.

Huang was reported, at the end of April 2007, to have left Shanghai, and had been admitted to the 301 Military Hospital in Beijing to receive treatment. There were further reports on 8 May that his condition had deteriorated.

Citing sources inside the 301 Military Hospital in Beijing, The Times reported that he had died on the morning of 9 May 2007, and the next day noted the "surprise" of its source in the hospital at the State council's denial. Reports were widely circulated. Phoenix Television was the only Chinese station to broadcast the news, did so on its on-screen ticker from about 19h00. However, at 19h30, the State Council denied reports that Huang Ju died. Phoenix retracted and issued an apology at around 20h00. It was reported that the south-west wing of the 301 Military Hospital had been completely closed off; all media were reminded that official news would be disseminated by Xinhua, and that all websites were to strictly observe editorial guidance from the official news agency.

There is some speculation as to the political motivations of the Phoenix Television disclosure: on one hand, the station is a News Corporation affiliate with strong viewer base in Guangdong province. Phoenix, which sees itself as a pioneer of press freedom in China, continues to push against the reporting controls on media imposed by the state. On the other hand, leaders in the politically rebellious province would likely gain an advantage in the powerplay to preserve the status quo.

Analysts believe that traditional secrecy in China over the health of top officials has always existed so that any possible political instability is avoided. Rumours of Huang's death, which had circulated 3 times before the formal Xinhua announcement, had been used as excuses for venting anger at social and political problems. The timing of the death is particularly sensitive due to the forthcoming anniversary of the Tiananmen protests of 1989.

On 29 May, Huang was elected as one of Shanghai's local party representatives to the Party's 17th Party Congress to be held in November 2007.

On 2 June 2007, Huang's death in Beijing was announced. Unprecedentedly, the English and Chinese versions of his obituary were relayed simultaneously to the country and the world only a few hours after his death, at around 6:30AM Beijing time. His death was the top story on the National News program at 7PM, where news anchors in black suits read off the 155 word dry and sober obituary, and no evaluation of his legacy. The screen simply displayed "Comrade Huang Ju has passed away." Official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Huang had died at 2:03AM, of an unnamed illness, at age 69.

In his concise official obituary, which was the top story on all Chinese news websites, he was hailed as a "long-tested and faithful Communist fighter and an outstanding leader of the party and the state." Many believe this to be contrary to how he is regarded within the party and by the general public, but is rather a political means to "calm the storm" before the 17th Party Congress of the Communist Party is held in November 2007.

Websites reporting Huang Ju's death have disallowed discussions on the issue, and internet forums have censored all negative comments and speculation about Huang Ju's political life. In Shanghai, where Huang is most well known as the city's former Mayor, reception of his death has been very cold . Among the mayors of Shanghai, Huang has received the lowest ratings, while his contemporaries, Zhu Rongji and Xu Kuangdi, were generally liked by the public. As a result Shanghai has not seen any public displays of mourning.

Huang was the first PSC member to die in office since Chairman Mao Zedong in September 1976, some thirty years earlier, and the highest ranking communist leader to die in office since economic reforms began in 1978. He is the only First Vice-Premier ever to die in office.

Huang's funeral was the highest-ranking affair for any Communist leader since Deng Xiaoping's state funeral in 1997. It was the top story on CCTV's National News at 7PM on 5 June 2007, and occupied well over ten minutes of broadcast time in the half-hour program. Despite its priority and importance, however, Huang's funeral was noticeably simpler than that of previous leaders. The official "funeral" (追悼会) designation for deceased leaders was not used; rather, it was termed a "Send-off ceremony" (告别仪式). Analysts suggest that this may become the new trend for Chinese leaders. Huang's legacy was evaluated very highly in the official state media, which called him an "important member of the Central Committee Leadership under General Secretary Hu Jintao who dedicated his heart to the development of the Party and the State, and offered all of his intellectual strength and power for the cause." Noticeably, former President Jiang Zemin, in official footage, was in tears as he shook the hands of Huang's widow Yu Huiwen . Interestingly, the funeral coverage began with Zeng Qinghong standing at the hospital awaiting Huang Ju's funeral procession, and not with Hu Jintao. All Chinese leaders, including former Premier Zhu Rongji, attended the ceremony.

Huang's death also opens a vacancy which preludes the possible installation of a Hu Jintao ally into the positions of Politburo Standing Committee member, as well as First Vice-Premier, making the transition to a consolidated Hu Jintao government more likely later this year in the 17th Party Congress.

According to most observers, Huang's death would have little effect on Chinese politics, largely because Huang had been out of the public scene for over a year prior to his death, and the news was long expected. Huang's departure is nevertheless seen as a major blow to the "Shanghai Clique", loyal to former President Jiang Zemin, who has been involved in a constant power struggle with Hu Jintao. Huang, along with disgraced Shanghai Party Chief Chen Liangyu who is currently undergoing investigation for charges of fraud and corruption, were both staunch opponents of Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Huang was married to Yu Huiwen (余慧文), who was an executive on a Shanghai Pensions board, and believed to be involved in corruption cases in the city. In February 1995, his daughter, Huang Fan (黄凡), married Fang Yiwei (方以伟), the son of Fang Dachuan (方大川), a pro-Taiwan newspaperman in San Francisco, for which Huang was criticized by political rivals.

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Jiang Zemin

Jiang Zemin

Jiang Zemin (simplified Chinese: 江泽民; traditional Chinese: 江澤民; pinyin: Jiāng Zémín; Wade-Giles: Chiang Tse-min; born 17 August 1926) was the "core of the third generation" of Communist Party of China leaders, serving as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2004.

Jiang came to power in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, replacing Zhao Ziyang, who was purged for being too conciliatory towards the protestors, as General Secretary. With the waning influence of Deng Xiaoping due to old age, Jiang effectively became "paramount leader" in the 1990s. Under his leadership, China experienced substantial developmental growth with reforms, saw the peaceful return of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom and Macau from Portugal, and improved its relations with the outside world while the Communist Party maintained its tight control over the government. Known to be one of China's more charismatic political figures, Jiang has been criticized for being too concerned about his personal image at home, and too conciliatory towards Russia and the United States abroad. Critics also point to Jiang's inability to maintain control on various social imbalances and problems that surfaced during his term. Traditionalist communists in China charge Jiang of being a revisionist leader who legitimized outright capitalism. His contribution to the Marxist doctrine, a list of guiding ideologies by which the CCP rules China, is called the theory of the Three Represents, which has been written into the party and state constitutions.

Jiang was born in the city of Yangzhou, Jiangsu. His ancestral home, a notion important in traditional Chinese society, was the Jiang Village (江村), Jingde County (旌德县) of the old Huizhou (徽州) in southern Anhui Province, which was also the hometown of a number of prominent figures in Chinese academic and intellectual establishments. Jiang grew up during the years of Japanese occupation. His uncle, Jiang Shangqing, died fighting the Japanese, and was considered a martyr. Jiang attended the National Central University (Department of Radio Engineering at Southeast University) in the Japanese-occupied Nanjing before being transferred to Shanghai Jiaotong University. He graduated there in 1947 with a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He claimed that he joined the Communist Party of China when he was in college (this has never been verified by any individuals or documents). After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Jiang received his training at the Stalin Automobile Works in Moscow in the 1950s. He worked for Changchun's First Automobile Works. He eventually got transferred to government services, where he began rising in rank, becoming a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Minister of Electronic Industries in 1983. In 1985 he became Mayor of Shanghai, and subsequently the Party Chief of Shanghai.

Jiang received mixed reviews as mayor. Many of his critics dismissed him as a "flower vase", a Chinese term used to describe a decorative but useless person. Many credited Shanghai's growth during the period to Zhu Rongji. Jiang was an ardent believer, during this period, in Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms. In an attempt of curbing student discontent in 1986, Jiang recited the Gettysburg Address in English in front of a group of student protesters.

Jiang was described as having a passable command of several foreign languages, including Romanian, Russian, and English. One of his favorite activities was to engage foreign visitors in small talks on art and literature in their native language, in addition to singing foreign songs in the original language. He became friends with Allen Broussard, the African American judge who visited Shanghai in 1987 and Brazilian actress Lucelia Santos.

Jiang was elevated to national politics in 1987, automatically becoming a member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee because it is customarily dictated that the Party Chief of Shanghai would also have a seat in the Politburo. In 1989, China was in crisis over the Tiananmen Square protest, and the Central Government was in conflict on how to handle the protesters. (The opening policy, brought out by Deng Xiaoping, has been proved as a crucial and brilliant turning point in China's modern history, causing the economy to grow at an astonishing rate during the past decades.) In June, Deng Xiaoping dismissed liberal Zhao Ziyang, who was considered too conciliatory to student protestors. Jiang, at the time, was the Shanghai Party Chief, the top figure in China's new economic center. In an incident with the World Economic Herald, Jiang closed down the newspaper, deeming it harmful. The handling of the crisis in Shanghai was noticed by Beijing, and then paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping. As the protests escalated and then Party-chief Zhao Ziyang was removed from office, Jiang was selected by the Party leaders as a compromise candidate over Tianjin's Li Ruihuan, Premier Li Peng, Chen Yun, and the retired elders to become the new General Secretary. At the time he was considered to be an unlikely candidate. Within three years Deng had transferred most power in the state, party and military to Jiang.

Jiang was elevated to the country's top job in 1989 with a fairly small power base inside the party, and thus, very little actual power. He was believed as simply a transitional figure until a more stable successor government to Deng could be put in place. Other prominent Party and military figures like Yang Shangkun and brother Yang Baibing were believed to be planning a coup. Jiang used Deng Xiaoping as a back-up to his leadership in the first few years. Jiang, who was believed to have a neo-conservative slant, warned against "bourgeois liberalization". Deng's belief, however, stipulated that the only solution to keeping the legitimacy of Communist rule over China was to continue the drive for modernization and economic reform, and therefore placed himself at odds with Jiang.

Deng grew critical of Jiang's leadership in 1992. During Deng's southern tours, he subtly suggested that the pace of reform was not fast enough, and the "central leadership" (i.e. Jiang) had most responsibility. Jiang grew ever more cautious, and rallied behind Deng's reforms completely. In 1993, Jiang coined the new term "Socialist Market Economy" to move China's centrally-planned socialist economy into essentially a government-regulated capitalist market economy. It was a huge step to take in the advancement of Deng's "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". At the same time, Jiang elevated many of his supporters from Shanghai to high government positions, after regaining Deng's confidence. He abolished the outdated Central Advisory Committee, an advisory body composed of revolutionary party elders. He became Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 1989, followed by his election to the Presidency in March 1993.

Deng Xiaoping died in early 1997, and China, emerging gradually out of the Deng-era reforms and the relative stability of the early 1990s, faced a myriad of economic and social problems. At Deng's funeral, Jiang delivered his eulogy. He had inherited a China rampant with government corruption, and regional economies growing too rapidly for the stability of the entire country. Deng's idea that "some areas can get rich before others" gave rise to an opening wealth gap between coastal regions and the hinterlands. The unprecedented economic growth had inevitably led to the closing of many State-owned Entreprises (SOE's), and a staggering unemployment rate that hit 40% in some urban areas. Stock markets fluctuated greatly. The scale of rural migration into urban areas was unprecedented anywhere in the world, and little was being done to address an ever-increasing urban-rural wealth gap. Official reports put the figure on the percentage of China's GDP being moved and abused by corrupt officials at 10%. A chaotic environment of illegal bonds issued from civil and military officials resulted in much of the corrupted wealth to end up in foreign countries. Corruption levels had returned, if not exceeded that of the Republican era in the 1940s. A surge in crime rates and the reemergence of organized crime began to plague cities. A careless stance on the destruction of the environment furthered concerns voiced by intellectuals. Jiang's biggest aim in the economy was stability, and he believed that a stable government with highly centralised power would be a prerequisite, choosing to postpone political reform, which in many facets of governance exacerbated the on-going problems. Jiang continued pouring funds to develop the Special Economic Zones and coastal regions.

Jiang is believed to be the first Chinese leader to truly manipulate the medium of television to enhance his own image, gaining a reputation for charisma. Beginning in 1996, Jiang began a series of reforms in the state-controlled media aimed at promoting the "core of leadership" under himself, and at the same time crushing some of his political opponents. The personality enhancements in the media were largely frowned upon during the Deng era, and had not been seen since Mao and Hua Guofeng's time in office in the late 1970s. The People's Daily and CCTV-1's 7PM National News each had Jiang-related events as the front-page or top stories, a fact that remained until Hu Jintao's media administrative changes in 2006. He appeared casual in front of Western media, and gave an unprecedented interview with Mike Wallace of CBS in 2000 at Beidaihe. He would often use foreign languages in front of the camera, albeit not always comprehensible. In an encounter with a Hong Kong reporter in 2000 regarding the central government's apparent "imperial order" of supporting Tung Chee-hwa to seek a second term as Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Jiang branded the Hong Kong journalists infamously as "too simple, sometimes naive" in English. The event was shown on Hong Kong television that night, an event regarded to be in poor taste outside China.

Since 1999, the media has also played an integral role in the crackdown of Falun Gong, which is believed to be an act under the direction of Jiang himself, and has been heavily criticized by the West. Jiang reputedly came under conflict with then premier Zhu Rongji over how to contain the fast-growing spiritual movement. Following the ban of the group, the police had also began arresting its coordinators and breaking up demonstrations, despite protests by various human rights groups.

Jiang went on a groundbreaking State Visit to the United States in 1997, drawing various crowds in protest from the Tibet Independence Movement to the Falun Gong practitioners. He made a speech at Harvard University, part of it in passable English, but could not escape questions on democracy and freedom. In the official summit meeting with US President Bill Clinton, the tone was relaxed as Jiang and Clinton sought common ground while largely ignoring areas of disagreement. Clinton would visit China in February 1999, and vowed that China and the United States were partners in the world, and not adversaries. When American-led NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999, Jiang seemed to have put up a harsh stance for show at home, but in reality only performed symbolic gestures of protest, and no solid action. Much of Jiang's foreign policy was focused on international trade and economic integration. A personal friend of former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Jiang strengthened China's economic stature abroad, attempting to establish cordial relations with countries whose trade is largely confined to the American economic sphere.

Jiang did not specialize in economics, and in 1997 handed a big chunk of the economic governance of the country to Zhu Rongji, who became Premier, and remained in office through the Asian Financial Crisis. Under their joint leadership, Mainland China has sustained an average of 8% GDP growth annually, achieving the highest rate of per capita economic growth in major world economies, raising eyebrows around the world with its astonishing speed. This was mostly achieved by continuing the process of a transition to a market economy. Economists, however, charge Jiang with creating a bubble economy that could fall apart at any time. Strong Party control over economic affairs, however, remained, as Jiang was unrelenting in the centralization of power. The achievements during Jiang's presidency were cemented by the PRC's successful bid to join the World Trade Organization and Beijing winning the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Before he transferred power to a younger generation of leaders, Jiang had his theory of Three Represents written into the Party's constitution, alongside Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory at the 16th CPC Congress in 2002. Although contradictory to Marxism and Maoism in many facets, it was also written into China's Constitution. Critics believe this is just another piece added to Jiang's cult of personality, others have seen practical applications of the theory as a guiding ideology in the future direction of the CPC. Largely speculated to step down from all positions by international media, rival Li Ruihuan's resignation in 2002 prompted analysts to rethink the man. The theory of Three Represents was believed by many political analysts to be Jiang's effort at extending his vision to Marxist-Leninist Principles, and therefore elevating himself alongside previous Chinese Marxist philosophers Mao and Deng.

In 2002, Jiang stepped down from the powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China to make way for a "fourth generation" of leadership headed by Hu Jintao, marking the beginning of a transition of power that would last several years. Hu assumed Jiang's title as party chief, becoming the new general secretary of the Communist Party. Six out of the nine new members of Standing Committee at the time were considered part of Jiang's so-called "Shanghai Clique", the most prominent being Vice President Zeng Qinghong and Executive Vice Premier Huang Ju.

Although Jiang retained the chairmanship of the powerful Central Military Commission, most members of the commission are professional military men. Liberation Army Daily, a publication thought to represent the views of the CMC majority, printed an article on 11 March 2003 which quotes two army delegates as saying, "Having one center is called 'loyalty', while having two centers will result in 'problems.'" This was widely interpreted as a criticism of Jiang's attempt to exercise dual leadership with Hu on the model of Deng Xiaoping.

Hu succeeded Jiang as president of the People's Republic of China on 15 March 2003. To the surprise of many observers, evidence of Jiang's continuing influence on public policy abruptly disappeared from the official media. Jiang was conspicuously silent during the SARS crisis, especially when compared to the very public profile of Hu and Wen Jiabao. It has been argued that the institutional arrangements created by the 16th Congress have left Jiang in a position where he cannot exercise much influence. Although many of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee are associated with him, the Standing Committee does not have command authority over the civilian bureaucracy.

On 19 September 2004, after a four-day meeting of the 198-member Central Committee, Jiang resigned as chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, his last party post. Six months later he resigned his last significant post, chairman of the State CMC. This followed weeks of speculation that Hu Jintao's supporters in the Communist Party leadership were pressing Jiang to step aside. Jiang's term was supposed to have lasted until 2007. Hu also succeeded Jiang as the CMC chairman, but, in an apparent political defeat for Jiang, Xu Caihou, and not Zeng Qinghong was appointed to succeed Hu as vice chairman. This power transition officially marks the end of Jiang's era in China, which roughly lasted from 1993 to 2004.

Historians and biographers have disputed what can be accounted into "Jiang Zemin's legacy". Jiang himself had wanted his Three Represents theory, called an "important thought" on the Mainland, to become his ideological legacy. Although the theory has been codified into both the State and Party constitutions alongside Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, its actual effect has yet to be assessed, and it seems to be losing ground to Hu Jintao's Scientific Development Concept and Harmonious Society ideologies within the party. Jiang has come under quiet criticism from within the Communist Party of China for focusing on economic growth at all costs while ignoring the resulting environmental damage of the growth, the widening gap between rich and poor in China and the social costs absorbed by those whom economic reform has left behind. By contrast, the policies of his successors, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao have widely been seen as efforts to address these imbalances and move away from a sole focus on economic growth toward a broader view of development which incorporates non-economic factors such as health and the environment.

Domestically, Jiang's legacy and reputation is mixed. While some people attribute the period of relative stability and growth in the 1990s to Jiang's term, others argue that Jiang did little to correct mistakes resulting from Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms, leaving the next administration facing innumerable problems, some of which are too late to adjust. Jiang's obsession with image has also spurred a trend of face projects around the country, with local governments lending enormous funds to large and mostly unnecessary construction projects. Jiang's Theory of Three Represents justified the incorporation of the new capitalist business class into the party, and changed the founding ideology of the CPC from protection of the peasantry and workers to that of the "overwhelming majority of the people", a euphemism aimed at including the growing entrepreneurial class. Conservative critics within the party have quietly denounced this as betrayal of the communist ideology, while reformers have praised Jiang as a visionary. Such a move, however, increasingly justified a newly found correlation between the business and ruling elites, thus significantly linking bureaucracy and financial gain, which critics argue fosters more corruption. Some have suggested that this is the part of Jiang's legacy that will last, at least in name, as long as the communists remain in power.

Many biographers of Jiang have noted that his government resembled an oligarchy as opposed to an autocratic dictatorship. Many of his policies have been attributed to others in government, notably Premier Zhu Rongji, whose tense relationship with Jiang was of widespread speculation, especially following Jiang's decision to suppress the Falun Gong movement. Jiang is often credited with the gains in foreign affairs during his term, but at the same many Chinese criticize him for being too conciliatory towards the United States and Russia. The issue of Chinese reunification between the mainland and Taiwan gained ground during Jiang's term, as Cross-Strait talks led to the eventual Three Links after Jiang stepped down as President. The Qinghai-Tibet railway began construction under Jiang. The state-owned press claimed the railway was welcomed by many Tibetans, although opposed by pro-independence Tibetans as a purely political move. Jiang was also accused of appeasement towards the Japanese and Americans in diplomacy.

Jiang has been criticized by Falun Gong, a vocal spiritual group who allege that Jiang and the CCP under his leadership to have persecuted their members. The newspaper Epoch Times has published a book deeply critical of Jiang titled Anything for Power: The Real Story of China’s Jiang Zemin, documenting various scandals and human rights violations attributed by Jiang and during his presidency, including his family background, his crackdown of Falun Gong, and his alleged relationship with singer Song Zuying.

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Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

Tianasquare.jpg

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre (referred to in Chinese as the June Fourth Incident, to avoid confusion with two other Tiananmen Square protests) were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China (PRC) beginning on April 14. Led mainly by students and intellectuals, the protests occurred in a year that saw the collapse of a number of communist governments around the world.

The protests were sparked by the death of pro-market and pro-democracy official, Hu Yaobang, whom protesters wanted to mourn. By the eve of Hu's funeral, it had reached 100,000 people on the Tiananmen square. While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally against the government's authoritarianism and voiced calls for economic change and democratic reform within the structure of the government. The demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, but large-scale protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai, which stayed peaceful throughout the protests.

The movement lasted seven weeks from Hu's death on 15 April until tanks cleared Tiananmen Square on 4 June. In Beijing, the resulting military response to the protesters by the PRC government left many civilians dead or injured. The official death toll according to the Chinese government was 200 to 300, but Chinese student associations and the Chinese Red Cross reported 2,000 to 3,000 deaths.

Following the violence, the government conducted widespread arrests to suppress protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the PRC press. Members of the Party who had publicly sympathized with the protesters were purged, with several high-ranking members placed under house arrest, such as General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. The violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the PRC government.

In the Chinese language, the incident is most commonly known as the June Fourth Movement (simplified Chinese: 六四运动; traditional Chinese: 六四運動), the June Fourth Incident (Chinese: 六四事件), or colloquially, simply Six-four (June 4) (Chinese: 六四). The nomenclature of the former is consistent with the customary names of the other two great protest actions that occurred in Tiananmen Square: the May Fourth Movement of 1919, and the April Fifth Movement of 1976. Other names which have been used in the Chinese language include June Fourth Massacre (Chinese: 六四屠城; pinyin: Liù-Sì Túchéng or Chinese: 六四屠杀; pinyin: Liù-Sì Túshā). The government of the People's Republic of China has referred to the event as the Political Turmoil between Spring and Summer of 1989 (Chinese: 春夏之交的政治風波).

Since 1978, Deng Xiaoping had led a series of economic and political reforms which had led to the gradual implementation of a market economy and some political liberalization that relaxed the system set up by Mao Zedong.

Some students and intellectuals believed that the reforms had not gone far enough and that China needed to reform its political system. They were also concerned about the social and iron-fist controls that the Communist Party of China still had. This group had also seen the political liberalization that had been undertaken in the name of glasnost by Mikhail Gorbachev, so they had been hoping for comparable reform. Many workers who took part in the protests also wanted democratic reform, but opposed the new economic policies.

The Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 were in large measure sparked by the death of former Secretary General Hu Yaobang: Hu Yaobang's resignation from the position of Secretary General of the CPC had been announced on 16 January 1987. His forthright calls for "rapid reform" and his almost open contempt of "Maoist excesses" had made him a suitable scapegoat in the eyes of Deng Xiaoping and others, after the pro-democracy student protests of 1986–1987. Included in his resignation was also a "humiliating self-criticism", which he was forced to issue by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Hu Yaobang's sudden death, due to heart attack, on 15 April 1989 provided a perfect opportunity for the students to gather once again, not only to mourn the deceased Secretary General, but also to have their voices heard in "demanding a reversal of the verdict against him" and bringing renewed attention to the important issues of the 1986–1987 pro-democracy protests and possibly also to those of the Democracy Wall protests in 1978–1979.

Small voluntary civilian gatherings started on 15 April around Monument to the People's Heroes in the middle of the Tiananmen Square in the form of mourning for Hu Yaobang.

On the same date of 15 April, many students in Peking University and Tsinghua University expressed their sorrow and mourning for Hu Yaobang by posting eulogies inside the campus and erecting shrines, some students joined the civilian mourning in Tiananmen Square in a piecemeal fashion. Organized student gatherings started outside of Beijing on a small scale in Xian and Shanghai on 16 April.

On the afternoon of 17 April, in Beijing, 500 students from China University of Political Science and Law marched to the eastern gate of the Great Hall of the People, which is part of the Tiananmen Square, and commenced the mourning activities for Hu Yaobang. The gathering in front of the Great Hall of the People was soon deemed obstructive to the normal operation of the building, police intervened and attempted to disperse the students by persuasion. But the attempts failed. By nightfall, more students from various universities and more civilians in Beijing had joined the mourning activities. The gathering featured speakers of various background giving public speeches (mostly anonymous) commemorating Hu Yaobang, expressing their concerns of social problems.

Starting midnight on 17 April, 3000 students from Peking University marched from the campus towards Tiananmen Square, and soon nearly a thousand students from Tsinghua University joined the ranks. Upon arrival, they soon joined forces with students and civilians who were in the Square earlier. As its size grew, the gathering of mourning was gradually evolving into a "petition" nature, as students were now drafting a list of pleas and suggestions (list of seven demands) they would like the government to listen to and carry through.

In the morning of 18 April, students remained in the square. Some gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes singing patriotic songs and listening to impromptu speeches by the student organizers. There were another portion of students sitting-in in front of the Great Hall of the People, the office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress; they demanded to see members of the Standing Committee and offered the list of seven demands. Meanwhile, a few thousand students gathered in front of the Zhongnanhai building complex, the residence of the government, demanding to see government leaders and answers to their earlier demands. Students tried to muscle their way through the gate by pushing, but security and police locking arms formed a meat shield that eventually deterred students' attempts to enter through the gate. Students then staged a sit-in. Some government officials did unofficially meet with student representatives. Unable to see an official response, there was a growing frustration amongst students.

On 20 April, police finally dispersed the students in front of the Zhongnanhai with force, ostensibly to ensure proper function of the building complex. The police employed batons and minor clashes were reported. The protests in Tiananmen Square gained momentum after news of the confrontation between students and police spread; the belief by students that the Chinese media was distorting the nature of their activities also led to increased support. One national newspaper, the Science and Technology Daily (simplified Chinese: 科技日报; traditional Chinese: 科技日報), published, in its issue dated 19 April, an account of the 18 April sit-in.

On the night of 21 April, the day before Hu's funeral, some 100,000 students marched on Tiananmen square, gathering there before the square could be closed off for the funeral. On April 22, they requested, in vain, to meet premier Li Peng, widely regarded to be Hu's political rival. On the same day, protests happened in Xi'an and Changsha.

From 21 April to 23 April, students from Beijing called for a strike at universities, which included teachers and students boycotting classes. The government, which was well aware of the political storm caused by the now-legitimized 1976 Tiananmen Incident, was alarmed. On 26 April, following an internal speech made by Deng Xiaoping, the CPC's official newspaper People's Daily issued a front-page editorial titled Uphold the flag to clearly oppose any turmoil, attempting to rally the public behind the government, and accused "extremely small segments of opportunists" of plotting civil unrest. The statement enraged the students, and on 27 April about 50,000 students assembled on the streets of Beijing, disregarding the warning of a crackdown made by authorities, and demanded that the government retract the statement.

In Beijing, a majority of students from the city's numerous colleges and universities participated with support of their instructors and other intellectuals. The students rejected official Communist Party-controlled student associations and set up their own autonomous associations. The students viewed themselves as Chinese patriots, as the heirs of the May Fourth Movement for "science and democracy" of 1919. The protests also evoked memories of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1976 which had eventually led to the ousting of the Gang of Four. From its origins as a memorial to Hu Yaobang, who was seen by the students as an advocate of democracy, the students' activity gradually developed over the course of their demonstration from protests against corruption into demands for freedom of the press and an end to, or the reform of, the rule of the PRC by the Communist Party of China and Deng Xiaoping, the de facto paramount Chinese leader. Partially successful attempts were made to reach out and network with students in other cities and with workers.

While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally against the authoritarianism and voiced calls for democratic reform within the structure of the government. Unlike the Tiananmen protests of 1987, which consisted mainly of students and intellectuals, the protests in 1989 commanded widespread support from the urban workers who were alarmed by the new economic reforms, growing inflation and corruption. In Beijing, they were supported by a large number of people. Similar numbers were found in major cities throughout mainland China such as Urumqi, Shanghai and Chongqing; and later in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Chinese communities in North America and Europe.

On 4 May, approximately 100,000 students and workers marched in Beijing making demands for free media and a formal dialogue between the authorities and student-elected representatives. A declaration demanded the government to accelerate political reform.

The government rejected the proposed dialogue, only agreeing to talk to members of appointed student organizations. On 13 May, two days prior to the highly-publicized state visit by the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, huge groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square and started a hunger strike, insisting the government withdraw the accusation made in the People's Daily editorial and begin talks with the designated student representatives. Hundreds of students went on hunger strikes and were supported by hundreds of thousands of protesting students and part of the population of Beijing, for one week.

Protests and strikes began at colleges in other cities, with many students traveling to Beijing to join the demonstration. Generally, the demonstration at Tiananmen Square was well-ordered, with daily marches of students from various Beijing area colleges displaying their solidarity with the boycott of college classes and with the developing demands of the protest. The students sang The Internationale, the world socialist anthem, on their way to and within the square. The students even showed a surprising gesture of respect to the government by helping police arrest three men from Hunan Province, including Yu Dongyue, who had thrown ink on the large portrait of Mao that hangs from Tiananmen, just north of the square.

The students ultimately decided that in order to sustain their movement and impede any loss of momentum a hunger strike would need to be enacted. The students' decision to undertake the hunger strike was a defining moment in their movement. The hunger strike began in May 1989 and grew to include "more than one thousand persons". The hunger strike brought widespread support for the students and "the ordinary people of Beijing rallied to protect the hunger strikers...because the act of refusing sustenance and courting government reprisals convinced onlookers that the students were not just seeking personal gains but (were) sacrificing themselves for the Chinese people as a whole".

On 19 May at 4:50 am, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang (simplified Chinese: 赵紫阳; traditional Chinese: 趙紫陽) went to the Square and made a speech urging the students to end the hunger strike. Part of his speech was to become a famous quote, when he said, referring to the older generation of people in China "We are already old, it doesn't matter to us any more." In contrast, the students were young and he urged them to stay healthy and not to sacrifice themselves so easily. Zhao's visit to the Square was his last public appearance.

Partially successful attempts were made to negotiate with the PRC government, who were located nearby in Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party headquarters and leadership compound. Because of the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev, foreign media were present in China in large numbers. Their coverage of the protests was extensive and generally favorable towards the protesters, but pessimistic that they would attain their goals. Toward the end of the demonstration, on 30 May, a statue of the Goddess of Democracy was erected in the Square and came to symbolize the protest to television viewers worldwide.

The Standing Committee of the Politburo, along with the party elders (retired but still-influential former officials of the government and Party), were, at first, hopeful that the demonstrations would be short-lived or that cosmetic reforms and investigations would satisfy the protesters. They wished to avoid violence if possible, and relied at first on their far-reaching Party apparatus in attempts to persuade the students to abandon the protest and return to their studies. One barrier to effective action was that the leadership itself supported many of the demands of the students, especially the concern with corruption. However, one large problem was that the protests contained many people with varying agendas, and hence it was unclear with whom the government could negotiate, and what the exact demands of the protesters were. The confusion and indecision among the protesters was also mirrored by confusion and indecision within the government. The official media mirrored this indecision as headlines in the People's Daily alternated between sympathy with the demonstrators and denouncing them.

Among the top leadership, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was strongly in favour of a soft approach to the demonstrations while Li Peng was seen to argue in favour of a crackdown. Ultimately, the decision to forcefully intervene on the demonstrations was made by a group of Party elders who saw abandonment of single-party rule as a return of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Although most of these people had no official position, they were able to control the military. Deng Xiaoping was chairman of the Central Military Commission and was able to declare martial law; Yang Shangkun (simplified Chinese: 杨尚昆) was President of the People's Republic of China, which, although a symbolic position under the 1982 Constitution, was legally the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Party elders believed that lengthy demonstrations were a threat to the stability of the country. The demonstrators were seen as tools of advocates of "bourgeois liberalism" who were pulling the strings behind the scenes, as well as tools of elements within the party who wished to further their personal ambitions.

At the beginning of the movement, the Chinese news media had a rare opportunity to broadcast the news freely and truly. Most of the news media were free to write and report however they wanted due to lack of control from the central and local governments. The news was spread quickly across the land. According to Chinese news media's report, students and workers in over 400 cities, including cities in Inner Mongolia, also organized and started to protest. People also traveled to the capital to join the protest in the Square.

University students in Shanghai also took to the streets to commemorate the death of Hu Yaobang and protest against certain policies of the government. In many cases, these were supported by the universities' Party committees. Jiang Zemin (simplified Chinese: 江泽民; traditional Chinese: 江澤民), then-Municipal Party Secretary, addressed the student protesters in a bandage and expressed his understanding, as he was a former student agitator before 1949. At the same time, he moved swiftly to send in police forces to control the streets and to purge Communist Party leaders who had supported the students.

On 19 April, the editors of the World Economic Herald, a magazine close to reformists, decided to publish, in their 24 April #439 issue, a commemorative section on Hu. Inside was an article by Yan Jiaqi, which commented favourably on the Beijing student protests on 18 April and called for a reassessment of Hu's purge in 1987. On 21 April, a party official of Shanghai asked the editor in chief, Qin Benli, to change some passages. Qin Benli refused, so Chen turned to Jiang Zemin, who demanded that the article be censored. By that time, a first batch of copies of the paper had already been delivered. The remaining copies were published with a blank page. On 26 April, the "People's Daily" published its editorial condemning the student protest. Jiang followed this cue and suspended Qin Benli. His quick rise to power following the 1989 protests has been attributed to his decisive handling of these two events.

In Hong Kong, on 27 May 1989, over 300,000 people gathered at Happy Valley Racecourse for a gathering called "Democratic songs dedicated for China." Many famous Hong Kong and Taiwanese celebrities sang songs and expressed their support for the students in Beijing. The following day, a procession of 1.5 million people, one fourth of Hong Kong's population, led by Martin Lee, Szeto Wah and other organization leaders, paraded through Hong Kong Island.

Across the world, especially where Chinese lived, people gathered and protested. Many governments, such as those of the USA, Japan, etc., also issued warnings advising their own citizens not to go to the PRC.

Although the government declared martial law on the 20 May, the military's entry into Beijing was blocked by throngs of protesters, and the army was eventually ordered to withdraw. Meanwhile, the demonstrations continued. The hunger strike was approaching the end of the third week, and the government resolved to end the matter before deaths occurred. After deliberation among Communist party leaders, the use of military force to resolve the crisis was ordered, and a deep divide in the politburo resulted. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was ousted from political leadership as a result of his support for the demonstrators. The military also lacked unity on the issue, and purportedly did not indicate immediate support for a crackdown, leaving the central leadership scrambling to search for individual divisions willing to comply with their orders.

Soldiers and tanks from the 27th and 28th Armies of the People's Liberation Army were sent to take control of the city. The 27th Army was led by a commander related to Yang Shangkun. In a press conference, US President George H. W. Bush announced sanctions on the People's Republic of China, following calls to action from members of Congress such as US Senator Jesse Helms. The President suggested intelligence he had received indicated some disunity in China's military ranks, and even the possibility of clashes within the military during those days. Intelligence reports also indicated that 27th and 28th units were brought in from outside provinces because the local PLA were considered to be sympathetic to the protest and to the people of the city. Reporters described elements of the 27th as having been most responsible for civilian deaths. After their attack on the square, the 27th reportedly established defensive positions in Beijing - not of the sort designed to counter a civilian uprising, but as if to defend against attacks by other military units. Entry of the troops into the city was actively opposed by many citizens of Beijing. Protesters burned public buses and used them as roadblocks to stop the military's progress. The battle continued on the streets surrounding the Square, with protesters repeatedly advancing toward the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and constructing barricades with vehicles, while the PLA attempted to clear the streets using tear gas, rifles, and tanks. Many injured citizens were saved by rickshaw drivers who ventured into the no-man's-land between the soldiers and crowds and carried the wounded off to hospitals. After the attack on the square, live television coverage showed many people wearing black armbands in protest of the government's action, crowding various boulevards or congregating by burnt out and smoking barricades. Meanwhile, the PLA systematically established checkpoints around the city, chasing after protesters and blocking off the university district.

Within the Square itself, there was a debate between those who wished to withdraw peacefully, including Han Dongfang, and those who wished to stand within the square, such as Chai Ling.

The assault on the square began at 10:30 p.m. on 3 June, as armored personnel carriers (APCs) and armed troops with fixed bayonets approached from various positions. These APCs rolled on up the roads, firing ahead and off to the sides, perhaps killing or wounding their own soldiers in the process. BBC reporter Kate Adie spoke of "indiscriminate fire" within the square. Eyewitness reporter Charlie Cole also saw Chinese soldiers firing AK-47's into the crowd near an APC which had just been torched and its crew killed, killing and wounding many that night. Students who sought refuge in buses were pulled out by groups of soldiers and beaten with heavy sticks. Even students attempting to leave the square were beset by soldiers and beaten. Leaders of the protest inside the square, where some had attempted to erect flimsy barricades ahead of the APCs, were said to have "implored" the students not to use weapons (such as molotov cocktails) against the oncoming soldiers. Meanwhile, many students apparently were shouting, "Why are you killing us?" Around four or five the following morning, June 4, Charlie Cole reports to have seen tanks smashing into the square, crushing vehicles and people with their tank treads. By 5:40 a.m. June 4, the Square had been cleared.

The suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man in a white shirt standing in front of a column of tanks which were attempting to drive out of Tiananmen Square. Taken on 5 June as the column approached an intersection on the Avenue of Eternal Peace, the footage depicted the unarmed man standing in the center of the street, halting the tanks' progress. As the tank driver attempted to go around him, the "Tank Man" moved into the tank's path. He continued to stand defiantly in front of the tanks for some time, then climbed up onto the turret of the lead tank to speak to the soldiers inside. He reportedly said, "Why are you here? You have caused nothing but misery." After returning to his position blocking the tanks, the man was pulled aside by secret police. Eyewitness reporter Charlie Cole believes that "Tank Man" was probably executed after being taken from the tank by secret police, since the Chinese government could not ever produce him to hush the outcry from many countries. Time Magazine dubbed him The Unknown Rebel and later named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. British tabloid the Sunday Express reported that the man was 19-year-old student Wang Weilin; however, the veracity of this claim is dubious. What happened to the 'Tank Man' following the demonstration is not known for certain. In a speech to the President's Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn — former deputy special assistant to President Richard Nixon — reported that he was executed 14 days later. In Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, Jan Wong writes that the man is still alive and hiding in mainland China. In Forbidden City, Canadian children's author William Bell, claims the man was named Wang Ai-min and was killed on 9 June after being taken into custody. The last official statement from the PRC government about the "Tank Man" came from Jiang Zemin in a 1990 interview with Barbara Walters. When asked about the whereabouts of the "Tank Man", Jiang responded that the young man was "I think never killed".

After the crackdown in Beijing on 4 June, protests continued in much of mainland China for several days. There were large protests in Hong Kong, where people again wore black in protest. There were protests in Guangzhou, and large-scale protests in Shanghai with a general strike. There were also protests in other countries, many adopting the use of black arm bands as well. However, the government soon regained control. Although no large-scale loss of life was reported in ending the protests in other cities, a political purge followed in which officials responsible for organizing or condoning the protests were removed, and protest leaders jailed.

The number of dead and wounded remains unclear because of the large discrepancies between the different estimates. According to initial reports from the Chinese Red Cross, there were 2,600 casualties. Following pressure from the Chinese government this number was soon revised. The Chinese government released a casualty count of 241, but did not release a list of the deceased.

According to Nicholas D. Kristof; "The true number of deaths will probably never be known, and it is possible that thousands of people were killed without leaving evidence behind. But based on the evidence that is now available, it seems plausible that about a dozen soldiers and policemen were killed, along with 400 to 800 civilians." One reason the number may never be known is suspicion that Chinese troops may have quickly removed and disposed of bodies.

However, foreign journalists who witnessed the incident have claimed that at least 3,000 people died. Some lists of casualties were created from underground sources with numbers as high as 5,000.

US ambassador James Lilley's account of the massacre notes that US State Department diplomats witnessed Chinese troops opening fire on unarmed people and based on visits to hospitals around Beijing a minimum of hundreds had been killed.

A strict focus on the number of deaths within Tiananmen Square itself does not give an accurate picture of the carnage and overall death count since Chinese civilians were fired on in the streets surrounding Tiananmen Square. And students are reported to have been fired on after they left the Square, especially in the area near the Beijing concert hall.

According to the Chinese government, the "official figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded".

A declassified NSA document indicated early casualty estimates of 180-500.

The events at Tiananmen were the first of its type shown in detail on Western television. International reaction denounced the Chinese government's response, particularly by Western governments and media. Criticism came from both Western and Eastern Europe, North America and some east Asian and Latin American countries. Notably, many African and Asian countries remained silent throughout the protests. North Korea, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Pakistan, among others, supported the Chinese government and denounced the protests.

Chinese authorities summarily tried and executed many of the workers they arrested in Beijing. In contrast, the students - many of whom came from relatively affluent backgrounds and were well-connected - received much lighter sentences. Wang Dan, the student leader who topped the most wanted list, spent seven years in prison. Many of the students and university staff implicated were permanently politically stigmatized, some never to be employed again.

Smaller protest actions continued in other cities for a few days. Some university staff and students who had witnessed the killings in Beijing organised or spurred commemorative events upon their return to school. At Shanghai's prestigious Jiaotong University, for example, the party secretary organised a public commemoration event, with engineering students producing a large, metal wreath. However, these were quickly put down, with those responsible being purged.

During and after the demonstration, the authorities attempted to arrest and prosecute the student leaders of the Chinese democracy movement, notably Wang Dan, Chai Ling, Zhao Changqing and Wuer Kaixi. Wang Dan was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison, then allowed to emigrate to the United States on the grounds of medical parole. As a lesser figure in the demonstrations, Zhao was released after six months in prison. However, he was once again incarcerated for continuing to petition for political reform in China. Wuer Kaixi escaped to Taiwan. He is married and holds a job as a political commentator on Taiwanese national radio. Chai Ling escaped to France, and then to the United States. In a recent public speech given at the University of Michigan, Wang Dan commented on the current status of former student leaders: Chai Ling started a hi-tech company in the US and was permitted to return to China and do business, while Li Lu became an investment banker in Wall Street and started a company. Wang Dan said his plan was to find an academic job in the US after receiving his PhD from Harvard University, although he was eager to return to China if permitted.

The Party leadership expelled Zhao Ziyang from the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (PSC), because he opposed martial law, and Zhao remained under house arrest until his death. Hu Qili, the other member of the PSC who opposed the martial law but abstained from voting, was also removed from the committee. He was, however, able to retain his party membership, and after "changing his opinion", was reassigned as deputy minister of Machine-Building and Electronics Industry. Another reform-minded Chinese leader, Wan Li, was also put under house arrest immediately after he stepped out of an airplane at Beijing Capital International Airport upon returning from his shortened trip abroad, with the official excuse of "health reasons." When Wan Li was released from his house arrest after he finally "changed his opinion" he, like Qiao Shi, was transferred to a different position with equal rank but mostly ceremonial role. Several Chinese ambassadors abroad claimed political asylum.

The event elevated Jiang Zemin - then Mayor of Shanghai - to become the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. Jiang's decisive actions in Shanghai, in closing down reform-leaning publications and preventing deadly violence, won him support from party elders in Beijing. Members of the government prepared a white paper explaining the government's viewpoint on the protests. An anonymous source within the PRC government smuggled the document out of China, and Public Affairs published it in January 2001 as the Tiananmen Papers. The papers include a quote by Communist Party elder Wang Zhen which alludes to the government's response to the demonstrations.

State media mostly gave reports sympathetic to the students in the immediate aftermath. As a result, those responsible were all later removed. Two news anchors who reported this event on 4 June in the daily 1900 hours (7:00 pm) news report on China Central Television were fired because they showed their sad emotions. Wu Xiaoyong, the son of a Communist Party of China Central Committee member, and former PRC foreign minister and vice premier Wu Xueqian were removed from the English Program Department of Chinese Radio International. Editors and other staff at the People's Daily (the newspaper of the Communist Party of China), including its director Qian Liren and Editor-in-Chief Tan Wenrui, were also removed from their posts because of reports in the paper which were sympathetic towards the students. Several editors were arrested, with Wu Xuecan, who organised the publication of an unauthorised Extra edition, sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

Rob Gifford, a National Public Radio journalist, said that much of the political freedoms and debate that occurred post-Mao and pre-Tiananmen ended after Tiananmen. For instance, some of the authors of the film River Elegy (He Shang) were arrested, and some of the authors fled Mainland China. Gifford concluded that "China the concept, China the empire, China the construct of two thousand years of imperial thinking" has forbidden and may always forbid "independent thinking" as that would lead to the questioning of China's political system. Gifford added that people under the age of 37 as of 2007 had "near-complete depoliticization" while older intellectuals no longer focus on political change and instead focus on economic reform.

The Tiananmen Square protests damaged the reputation of the PRC in the West. Western media had been invited to cover the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev in May, and were thus in an excellent position to cover some of the government crackdown live through networks such as the BBC and CNN. Protestors seized this opportunity, creating signs and banners designed for international television audiences. Coverage was further facilitated by the sharp conflicts within the Chinese government about how to handle the protests. Thus, broadcasting was not immediately stopped.

All international networks were eventually ordered to terminate broadcasts from the city during the crackdown, with the government shutting down the satellite transmissions. Broadcasters attempted to defy these orders by reporting via telephone. Footage was quickly smuggled out of the country, including the image of "the unknown rebel." The only network which was able to record some images during the night was TVE.

Images of the protests would strongly shape Western views and policy toward the PRC throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century. There was considerable sympathy for the student protests among Chinese students in the West. Almost immediately, both the United States and the European Economic Community announced an arms embargo, and China's image as a reforming country and a valuable ally against the Soviet Union was replaced by that of a repressive authoritarian regime. The Tiananmen protests were frequently invoked to argue against trade liberalization with mainland China and by the United States' Blue Team as evidence that the PRC government was an aggressive threat to world peace and US interests.

Meanwhile, state media was ordered to focus on dead soldiers, screening images often on television. Among overseas Chinese students, the Tiananmen Square protests triggered the formation of Internet news services such as the China News Digest and the NGO China Support Network. In the aftermath of Tiananmen, organizations such as the China Alliance for Democracy and the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars were formed, although these organizations would have limited political impact beyond the mid-1990s.

The Tiananmen square protests dampened the growing concept of political liberalization in communist countries that was popular in the late 1980s; as a result, many democratic reforms that were proposed during the 1980s were swept under the carpet. Although there has been an increase in personal freedom since then, discussions on structural changes to the PRC government and the role of the Communist Party of China remain largely taboo.

Despite early expectations in the West that PRC government would soon collapse and be replaced by the Chinese democracy movement, by the early 21st century the Communist Party of China remained in firm control of the People's Republic of China, and the student movement which started at Tiananmen was in complete disarray.

In Hong Kong, the Tiananmen square protests led to fears that the PRC would not honour its commitments under one country, two systems in the impending handover in 1997. One consequence of this was that the new governor Chris Patten attempted to expand the franchise for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong which led to friction with the PRC. There have been large candlelight vigils attended by tens of thousands in Hong Kong every year since 1989 and these vigils have continued following the transfer of power to the PRC in 1997.

The protests also marked a shift in the political conventions which governed politics in the People's Republic. Prior to the protests, under the 1982 Constitution, the President was a largely symbolic role. By convention, power was distributed between the positions of President, Premier, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, all of whom were intended to be different people, in order to prevent the excesses of Mao-style dictatorship. However, after Yang Shangkun used his reserve powers as head of state to mobilize the military, the Presidency again became a position imbued with real power. Subsequently, the President became the same person as the General Secretary of the CPC, and wielded paramount power.

In 1989, neither the Chinese military nor the Beijing police had adequate anti-riot gear, such as rubber bullets and tear gas commonly used in Western nations to break up riots. After the Tiananmen Square protests, riot police in Chinese cities were equipped with non-lethal equipment for riot control.

There was a significant impact on the Chinese economy after the incident. Foreign loans to China were suspended by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and governments; tourism revenue decreased from US$2.2 billion to US$1.8 billion; foreign direct investment commitments were cancelled and there was a rise in defence spending from 8.6% in 1986, to 15.5% in 1990, reversing a previous 10 year decline. The Chinese Premier Li Peng visited the United Nations Security Council on January 31, 1992, and argued that the economic and arms embargoes on China were a violation of national sovereignty.

In the immediate aftermath of the protests, some within the Chinese government attempted to curtail free market reforms that had been undertaken as part of Chinese economic reform and reinstitute administrative economic controls. However, these efforts met with stiff resistance from provincial governors and broke down completely in the early 1990s as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Deng Xiaoping's trip to the south. The continuance of economic reform led to economic growth in the 1990s, which allowed the government to regain much of the support that it had lost in 1989. In addition, none of the current PRC leadership played any active role in the decision to move against the demonstrators, and one major leadership figure Premier Wen Jiabao was an aide to Zhao Ziyang and accompanied him to meet the demonstrators.

The protest leaders at Tiananmen were unable to produce a coherent movement or ideology that would last past the mid-1990s. Many of the student leaders came from relatively well-off sectors of society and were seen as out of touch with common people. A number of them were socialists. Many of the organizations which were started in the aftermath of Tiananmen soon fell apart due to personal infighting. Several overseas democracy activists were supportive of limiting trade with mainland China which significantly decreased their popularity both within China and among the overseas Chinese community. A number of NGOs based in the US, which aim to bring democratic reform to China and relentlessly protest human rights violations that occur in China, remain. One of the oldest and most prominent of them, the China Support Network (CSN), was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned US and Chinese activists in response to Tiananmen Square.

Unlike the Cultural Revolution, about which people can still easily find information through government-approved books, magazines, web sites, et cetera, this topic is forbidden by the government and accordingly generally cannot be found in mainland Chinese media or web sites.

The official media in mainland China views the crackdown as a necessary reaction to ensure stability. As the incident is not part of any education curriculum in China, usually Chinese youth born after the crackdown learn of the protests from hearsay, family, and foreign media. Every year there is a large rally in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, where people remember the victims and demand that the CPC's official view be changed. In 2008, this vigil was reported for the first time in the mainstream Chinese press, but was attributed to be in support of the victims of the recent earthquake in south-east China, and no mention of Tiananmen Square was made.

Petition letters over the incident have emerged from time to time, notably from Dr. Jiang Yanyong and Tiananmen Mothers, an organization founded by a mother of one of the victims killed in 1989 where the families seek vindication, compensation for their lost sons, and the right to receive donations, particularly from abroad. Tiananmen Square is tightly patrolled on the anniversary of 4 June to prevent any commemoration on the Square.

After the PRC Central Government reshuffle in 2004, several cabinet members mentioned Tiananmen. In October 2004, during President Hu Jintao's visit to France, he reiterated that "the government took determined action to calm the political storm of 1989, and enabled China to enjoy a stable development." He insisted that the government's view on the incident would not change.

For 2009, the 20 anniversary of the event, there are growing will by Chinese people to talk openly about the event, and to start an inquiry. It seems that government still stay really repressive on this issue. Zhang Shijun, an ex-soldier who was 18 in 1989, have been arrested to have publish an open letter to Hu Jintao, to encourage open talk on this issue.

Following the protests, officials banned controversial films, books and shut down a large number of newspapers. Within one year, 12 percent of all newspapers, 7.6 percent of publishing companies, 13 percent of social science periodicals and more than 150 films were banned or shut down. In addition to this, the government also announced it had seized 32 million contraband books and 2.4 million video and audio cassettes.

Currently, due to strong Chinese government censorship including Internet censorship, the news media is forbidden to report anything related to the protests. Websites related to the protest are blocked on the mainland. A search for Tiananmen Square protest information on the Internet in Mainland China largely returns no results apart from the government-mandated version of the events and the official view, which are mostly found on Websites of People's Daily and other heavily-controlled media.

In January 2006, Google agreed to censor their mainland China site, Google.cn, to remove information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, as well as other topics such as Tibetan independence, the banned spiritual practice Falun Gong and the political status of Taiwan. When people search for those censored topics, it will list the following at the bottom of the page in Chinese, "According to the local laws, regulations and policies, part of the searching result is not shown." The uncensored Wikipedia articles on the 1989 protests, both in English and Chinese Wikipedia, have been attributed as a cause of the blocking of Wikipedia by the government in mainland China. The ban of Wikipedia in mainland China was lifted recently, but the link to this incident in Chinese Wikipedia remained dead.

In 2006, the American PBS program "Frontline" broadcast a segment filmed at Peking University, many of whose students participated in the 1989 protests. Four students were shown a picture of the Tank Man, but none of them could identify what was happening in the photo. Some responded that it was a military parade, or an artwork.

On May 15, 2007, the leader of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, Ma Lik, provoked much criticism when he said that "there was not a massacre" during the protests, as there was "no intentional and indiscriminate shooting." He said Hong Kong was "not mature enough" due to believing foreigners' rash claims that a massacre took place. He said that Hong Kong showed through its lack of patriotism and national identity that it would thus "not be ready for democracy until 2022." His remarks were met with wide condemnation from the public. He later acknowledged he might have been "rash and frivolous" with his comments but insisted a it was not a massacre.

On June 4, 2007, the anniversary of the massacre, a notice reading, "Paying tribute to the strongwilled mothers of June 4 victims" was published in the Chengdu Evening News newspaper. The matter is currently being investigated by the Chinese government, and three editors have since been fired from the paper. The clerk who approved the ad had reportedly never heard of the June 4 crackdown and had been told that the date was a reference to a mining disaster.

The European Union and United States embargo on weapons sales to the PRC, put in place as a result of the violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, still remains in place. The PRC has been calling for a lifting of the ban for many years and has had a varying amount of support from members of the Council of the European Union. In early 2004, France spearheaded a movement within the EU to lift the ban. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder publicly added his voice to that of former French President Jacques Chirac to have the embargo lifted.

The arms embargo was discussed at a PRC-EU summit in the Netherlands between December 7 and 9, 2004. In the run-up to the summit, the PRC had attempted to increase pressure on the EU Council to lift the ban by warning that the ban could hurt PRC-EU relations. PRC Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui had called the ban "outdated", and he told reporters, "If the ban is maintained, bilateral relations will definitely be affected." In the end, the EU Council did not lift the ban. EU spokeswoman Françoise le Bail said there were still concerns about the PRC's commitment to human rights. But at the time, the EU did state a commitment to work towards lifting the ban.

The PRC continued to press for the embargo to be lifted, and some member states began to drop their opposition. Jacques Chirac pledged to have the ban lifted by mid-2005. However, the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China passing in March 2005 increased cross-strait tensions, damaging attempts to lift the ban, and several EU Council members changed their minds. Members of the U.S. Congress had also proposed restrictions on the transfer of military technology to the EU if they lifted the ban. Thus the EU Council failed to reach a consensus, and although France and Germany pushed to have the embargo lifted, the embargo was maintained.

Britain took charge of the EU Presidency in July 2005, making the lifting of the embargo all but impossible for the duration of that period. Britain had always had some reservations on lifting the ban and wished to put it to the side, rather than sour EU-US relations further. Other issues such as the failure of the European Constitution and the ensuing disagreement over the European Budget and Common Agricultural Policy superseded the matter of the embargo in importance. Britain wanted to use its presidency to push for wholesale reform of the EU, so the lifting of the ban became even more unlikely. The election of José Manuel Barroso as European Commission President also made a lifting of the ban more difficult. At a meeting with Chinese leaders in mid-July 2005, he said that China's poor record on human rights would slow any changes to the EU's ban on arms sales to China.

The arms embargo has limited China's options from where it may seek military hardware. Among the sources that were sought included the former Soviet bloc that it had a strained relationship with as a result of the Sino-Soviet split. Other willing suppliers have previously included Israel and South Africa, but American pressure has restricted future co-operation.

Although the Chinese government never officially acknowledged wrongdoing when it came to the incident, in April 2006 a payment was made to the family of one of the victims, the first publicized case of the government offering redress to a Tiananmen-related victim's family. The payment was termed a "hardship assistance", given to Tang Deying (唐德英) whose son, Zhou Guocong (simplified Chinese: 周国聪; traditional Chinese: 周國聰) died at the age of 15 while in police custody in Chengdu on 6 June 1989, two days after the Chinese Army dispersed the Tiananmen protestors. The woman was reportedly paid 70,000 yuan (approximately $10,250 USD). This has been welcomed by various Chinese activists, but was regarded by some as a measure to maintain social stability and not believed to herald a changing of the Party's official position.

On 21 November, 2008, the U.N. Committee against Torture urged China to apologize for the incident, release dissidents still held, and conduct an investigation of the events surrounding the protest.

This event has inspired many references within lyrics and album art - both in political and non-political usages.

The song "Tin Omen" by the Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy is a reference to this uprising and massacre. Also song refers to the tumultuous years around 1968 where there were uprisings around the world and the Kent State uprising and massacre in the United States.

Progressive rock group Marillion wrote a song titled "The King of Sunset Town" that uses imagery from the Tiananmen Square incidents, such as "a puppet king on the Fourth of June" and "before the Twenty-Seventh came". The song was released on their album Seasons End in September 1989.

Shiny Happy People by REM is supposedly an ironic reference to a piece of roughly translated Chinese propaganda regarding the massacre, two years before the song was released. The inference apparently relates to how politics is controlled by those with children in powerful positions, not idealistic revolting unhappy students on the ground in Tiananmen Square. The idea that propaganda is often used to cover up stark weaknesses in political systems. The song is mockingly played to encourage unknown political candidates to be upbeat even under fire.

American thrash metal band Slayer released a song "Blood Red" on their 1990 album titled "Seasons in the Abyss", which was inspired by the Tiananmen Square incident. The song includes the lines: "Peaceful confrontation meets war machine, Seizing all civil liberties... No disguise can deface evil, The massacre of innocent people." The same year, another American thrash metal band Testament released the song "Seven Days in May" protesting the Beijing massacre (though the assault on Tiananmen Square took place on 3 June, not in May) on their "Souls of Black" album, including the words: "In the square they play the game, That's when the tanks and the army came... They called the murders minimal, Described their victims as criminals... Dead souls like you and me, Who only wanted free society".

British anarchist pop band Chumbawamba released a song called "Tiananmen Square" on their 1990 album Slap!. The lyrics are built around the fact the People's Liberation Army murdered the people. The Tank Man is also referenced ("You must've seen it, the boy in the white shirt").

Sinéad O'Connor, on her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, referenced the killings in her song "Black Boys on Mopeds" with the following opening lines: "Margaret Thatcher on TV, Shocked by the deaths that took place in Beijing".

British goth rock outfit Siouxsie and the Banshees recorded the song "The Ghost in You" for their album Superstition in 1991. It is about a person who witnessed the massacre returning to Tiananmen Square and remembering the terrible emotions he/she experienced there.

Roger Waters referred to the massacre on the song "Watching TV" from his 1992 album Amused to Death. In 1996, Nevermore released the track titled "The Tiananmen Man" on their The Politics of Ecstasy album. The song is about the Tank Man who famously stood in front of the tanks in the Square. The song "Hypnotize" on the 2005 album Hypnotize by System Of A Down is based on the event.

In 2006 a Chinese folk singer Li Zhi wrote a song titled "The Square", where the sound of bullets and ambulance and voice of TAM mother Mrs. Ding were sampled. In 2007 Hed PE wrote a song entitled "Tiananmen Squared" on their Insomnia album.

Calogero (French singer) also has a song called Tien An Men.

CNN news anchor Kyra Phillips drew criticism in March 2006 when she compared the 2006 youth protests in France, in which it was later determined that no one was killed, to the Tiananmen Square protests, saying "Sort of brings back memories of Tiananmen Square, when you saw these activists in front of tanks." CNN's Chris Burns told French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy that her comments were "regrettable" and would receive some disciplinary actions In April 2006, the PBS series Frontline produced an episode titled "The Tank Man", which examined his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests and the change that has overtaken the P.R.C. economically and politically since.

In The Simpsons episode Goo Goo Gai Pan when the family visits Beijing, there is a plaque reading, "On this spot in 1989, nothing happened", in Tiananmen Square, a reference to the Chinese Government's denial of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

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Source : Wikipedia