The nation was in deep sorrow as it said a final farewell to Jiang Zemin, with top leaders, family members and thousands of people paying tribute in Beijing to the former Chinese leader, who passed away in Shanghai on Wednesday at the age of 96.
President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders bade farewell to Jiang and escorted his remains to Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing for cremation on Monday, as people in the capital lined the streets along the route of the cortege in honor of the late Chinese leader.
Xi and other leaders paid their solemn tribute to Jiang at the Chinese PLA General Hospital, where a black banner reading “Eternal glory to Comrade Jiang Zemin “and a large portrait of Jiang were displayed.
A flag of the Communist Party of China was draped over Jiang’s body, which rested among flowers and cypresses, with a four-member honor guard standing solemnly beside him.
In front of the body lay a basket of flowers presented by Wang Yeping, Jiang’s wife, on behalf of the whole family. A ribbon on the basket read: “You will live in our hearts forever”.
Flower baskets presented by Xi and other senior leaders, the CPC Central Committee, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Council, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Central Military Commission, non-CPC political parties, mass organizations and people from all walks of life in Beijing were also displayed in the room.
Wearing black armbands and with white flowers pinned to their chests, Xi, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Han Zheng, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi, Wang Qishan and former Chinese leader Hu Jintao stood in silent tribute and bowed three times in front of Jiang’s body to pay their respects and honor the memory of the late Chinese leader.
They expressed deep condolences to Jiang’s wife and other family members.
At 10:15 am, Jiang’s casket was carried out to a hearse by an honor guard of eight, accompanied by Xi and other senior leaders.
The hearse, escorted by the leaders, members of the office of Comrade Jiang Zemin’s Funeral Committee and Jiang’s family, then proceeded to Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery.
As it made its slow, somber journey, it passed through streets lined with crowds of people from all walks of life in deep grief as they stood in silence in honor of the late leader.
At 10:45 am, the hearse arrived at the cemetery, where the leaders and Jiang’s family bade their final farewell to the late Chinese leader.
Xi and other Chinese leaders had either visited Jiang when he was in the hospital or offered their condolences to his family after he passed away.
An official letter addressed to the nation praised Jiang as an outstanding leader whose high prestige is acknowledged by all members of the Party, the entire military and the Chinese people.
The core of the CPC’s third generation of central collective leadership, Jiang served as the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee from 1989 to 2002.