Chinese people mourn Jiang Zemin, gain inspiration from his legacy
BEIJING -- Over recent days, people from across China have continued to mourn Jiang Zemin, who passed away on Wednesday in Shanghai at the age of 96.
They said Jiang will always inspire them on the way forward.
"Comrade Jiang Zemin always stressed that reform and opening-up constitute the path to a stronger China, and he unswervingly promoted reform in all aspects," said Shen Chuanliang, a researcher at the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Shen said Jiang led the efforts to formulate and implement a raft of principles, policies and major strategies, and forge ahead with reforms in various fields.
As a national leader, Jiang actively promoted China's exchanges with other countries in various fields, at various levels and through various forms, breaking new ground on China's diplomatic front, said Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University.
People should carry forward his legacy and further enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people of other countries, Wu added.
Recalling Jiang's remarks on the Theory of Three Represents during an inspection tour in Guangdong Province in 2000, Zou Jihai, then Party chief of Gaozhou City, said the Theory of Three Represents further answers the questions of what socialism is and how to build it, and creatively addresses issues of what kind of Party to build and how to build it.
Chen Hongyu, former vice president of the Party School of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the CPC, said the Theory of Three Represents formulated by Jiang is a precious treasure of the Party and the people.
Many people also recalled that in the summer of 1998, when parts of China were hit by massive flooding, Jiang arrived at the frontline to command disaster relief.
Liu Keyi, then Party secretary of Jingzhou in Hubei Province, said he remembered the scene when Jiang braved the danger and mounted the dike to direct anti-flood efforts in person.
Liu said this battle against natural disasters helped the Chinese form "the great spirit of combating floods," which has become an invaluable intellectual treasure of the nation.
In the 1990s, Jiang made a major strategic decision to join the World Trade Organization, which secured a better international environment for China and promoted the economic structural reform.
At the turn of the century, Jiang proposed a strategy of developing China's vast western region, bringing new opportunities to the western region that accounts for 71 percent of China's landmass.
"The strategy has brought great opportunities for the city of Bazhong to catch up and develop," said Lyu Aiguo, an official in Bazhong of Sichuan Province.
As far as Yao Meili, a Shanghai resident, can remember, her life has been constantly improving since the late 1980s. "Our lives are getting better and better, and we are always grateful for the great dedication of Comrade Jiang Zemin to the people of Shanghai," said the 73-year-old.
Tang Kaiquan, a primary school principal in Yangzhou City, said that on the new journey ahead, Chinese people should follow the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core and forge ahead with enterprise and fortitude to seek greater achievements.
In Hong Kong, people from all walks of life went to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to express their condolences at the mourning hall.
He had always cared about the Hong Kong compatriots and done a lot to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, including helping the HKSAR government successfully cope with the impact of the Asian financial crisis, said Luk Hoi-ho, a local resident, adding that the Hong Kong people will always miss him.
In front of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, where a mourning hall was set up, people queued up to express their grief.
Macao compatriots cherish the memories of his outstanding contributions to the "one country, two systems" cause and his care for the development of Macao, said Lok Wai Kin, director of the Centre for Constitutional Law and Basic Law Studies at the University of Macao, adding local people from various sectors will actively contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
People in Taiwan have also expressed condolences in various ways. Chang Pen-Tsao, chairman of the Taiwan Federation of Commerce, said in a message of condolence that Jiang had made a far-reaching contribution to reform and opening-up and the promotion of cross-Strait exchanges, and people grieve over his passing.