PEOPLE of Pakistan share grief and sorrow with their Chinese friends on the sad demise of their great leader Jiang Zemin, who breathed his last on Wednesday at the age of 96.
The former chief of the ruling Communist Party and State President, who paved the way for the country’s emergence as a global superpower, died of leukaemia and associated multiple organ failure in Shanghai.
Jiang Zemin was, no doubt, a visionary leader with countless achievements to his credit and put the country on a firm path of economic progress and development.
With him as top leader, China regained sovereignty over Hong Kong, won the bid to host the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and more importantly joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), which intertwined the country with the global economy.
He was instrumental in implementing policies aimed at economic liberalization and globalization which led to improve the standard of living.
It was Jiang’s political life and career that made it possible for the Chinese economy to grow more than ten-fold over three decades to become the second-largest in the world.
Apart from the unprecedented economic boom, Jiang Zemin is also credited with the policy of mending fences with the United States and taking diplomatic initiatives to counter propaganda against China on the issue of human rights.
Analysts point out that Jiang’s stewardship of the capitalist transformation that had begun under Deng Xiaoping was one of his signal accomplishments.
He also amassed political influence that endured long past his formal retirement, giving him a big say behind the scenes in picking the current president, Xi Jinping.
It was because of his valuable contribution to national development and improvement in living conditions of Chinese people that he is being remembered as a true leader.
People of Pakistan are also grieved over his sad demise as, like other Chinese leaders, he too was a genuine friend of the country.