Chinese people continue to mourn Jiang, pooling strength for striving forward
BEIJING -- People from across China continued to mourn Jiang Zemin, who died on Nov. 30 in Shanghai at the age of 96.
The mourners recalled the former Chinese leader's words and deeds and how the policies and measures during his time in office improved their lives. The mourners also said they will turn the grief into actions contributing to the efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance national rejuvenation on all fronts.
"At the initial stage of developing Pudong, we were so motivated by Jiang's encouragement and so inspired by his great foresight," recalled Zhu Xiaoming, previously a manager of an export processing zone developer of Pudong in Shanghai.
Jiang put great emphasis on the development of the private sector, said Nan Cunhui, chairman of CHINT Group, a Chinese smart energy solution provider.
"The private businesses were the witnesses, practitioners, and beneficiaries of the establishment of a socialist market economy," Nan said, adding that they will persist with the undertaking and break new ground in the real economy.
Wei Jizhong, the 86-year-old former secretary-general of the Chinese Olympic Committee, still remembers the night of July 13, 2001, when Jiang and the entire country celebrated China's successful bid for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"The process of the bidding had motivated all Chinese people to strive for the better," said Wei. "Now, the Chinese nation has demonstrated more self-reliance and more confidence with an ever-stronger country."
In east China's Anhui Province, Wu Lifang, a research fellow with the Hefei Institute of Physical Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recalled her meeting with Jiang during his visit in 1998.
"Attaching great importance to the role of science and technology in boosting social productivity, Jiang encouraged us to contribute to China's food security with continuous scientific research efforts," said Wu.
To Yu Guogang, one of the founders of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Jiang's support for the establishment and development of Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets led to significant progress in the financial system reform.
The fast growth of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange over the last 30 and more years is an epitome of the booming future of China's stock market, said Yu.
The news of Jiang's passing brought sorrow to Liu Qiyun, a village Party chief in southwest China's Guizhou Province. In October 1996, Jiang visited the ethnic Miao community that had been relocated to Liu's village from inhospitable mountainous areas.
"Comrade Jiang Zemin cared about the ethnic minority groups in the mountains and people who live in the impoverished areas," Liu said. Before moving to the new village, the 23 Miao households lived at an altitude of over 1,500 meters with no running water, electricity and proper roads.
"We will continue to advance the rural vitalization drive in a tribute to Comrade Jiang Zemin," he said.
Lobsang, a former national lawmaker hailing from the Tibet Autonomous Region, met Jiang when attending the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in 1998. The next year, Jiang put forth the idea of large-scale development of western China.
The strategy opened new horizons for rapid development in Tibet. "Like Comrade Jiang Zemin envisioned, today's Tibet enjoys social harmony and stability, and people here live and work in peace and contentment. We miss him forever," said Lobsang.
In grieving over the passing of Jiang, Chinese people expressed determination to rally around the Communist Party of China Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance national rejuvenation on all fronts.
In Hong Kong, residents spontaneously went to lay flowers outside the office building of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) to pay their respects over the weekend. On condolence websites set up by some residents, many people laid virtual flowers and left messages to express their condolences.
Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said Jiang's contribution to the country and his support for Hong Kong will always be remembered.
In Macao, hundreds of people came to mourn Jiang each day at the mourning hall set up at the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR. President Jiang opened up new prospects of all-round reform and opening up, improved people's lives, realized the smooth transition and return of Hong Kong and Macao, and promoted the continuous development of the "one country, two systems" cause, said Chan Wai Chi, chairman of the Zhuhai-Macao Cross Border Industrial Zone Chamber of Commerce.
People in Taiwan also continued their mourning for Jiang. Huang Chih-Hsien, a media professional, said that during his time in office, President Jiang adhered to the policies of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems" and resolutely contained the plots to seek "Taiwan independence."
Facing the current complex and grave situation across the Taiwan Strait, both sides should work hard for closer communication to promote reunification and national rejuvenation, Huang said.