Past leader Jiang Zemin, who passed away last week at 96, was remembered on Monday by Chinese President Xi Jinping and other current and former top leaders.
Xi, Hu Jintao, and other officials were shown kneeling before Jiang’s body at a military hospital in Beijing in a clip from the state-run CCTV. Then, Jiang’s body was transported to Babaoshan cemetery, where many prominent leaders are buried, for cremation.
The Great Hall of the People, the location of the ceremonial legislature in the heart of Beijing, will hold an official memorial service on Tuesday.
After the army put down student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, Jiang helped China emerge from isolation by supporting economic reforms that sparked a decade of spectacular growth.
Jiang, a professional engineer and former mayor of Shanghai, the largest city in China, served as president from 2003 until 2010 and the head of the ruling Communist Party from 1981 until 2002.
After succeeding reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, he supervised Beijing’s admission into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and the liberation of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997.
Jiang passed away last Wednesday in Shanghai from leukemia and multiple organ failure, according to official media.
The party referred to him as “a long-tested Communist fighter” and “a renowned proletarian revolutionary.”
Hu made his first public appearance since being unceremoniously led off the stage during the Communist Party’s national congress’ closing ceremony on October 22.
There has been no official explanation for the occurrence, and theories range from a health issue to preventing the 79-year-old former leader from trying to protest against Xi, who has removed term limits from his office and recruited loyalists to all significant positions.