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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

China to Come to Standstill for Late Leader Jiang Zemin’s Funeral

With sirens ringing, a three-minute silence will be observed nationwide

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CHINA: In preparation for a public memorial service for former president Jiang Zemin, who passed away last week at 96, sirens will blare throughout China on Tuesday.

State broadcaster CCTV announced that a public memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. local time at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People and would be televised live.

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The majority of party members, cadres, and the general public must be organized throughout all areas and departments to attend and observe, according to CCTV.

Flags will be flown at half-mast nationwide and at Chinese diplomatic missions abroad.

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With sirens ringing, a three-minute silence will be observed nationwide.

After assuming power in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, Jiang presided over a transformative period from the late 1980s to the new millennium. He guided China toward its emergence as a worldwide force.

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According to official media, he passed away on Wednesday of last week in Shanghai from leukemia and multiple organ failure following the failure of medical procedures.

According to state news agency Xinhua, his remains were burned on Monday in Beijing at a ceremony attended by President Xi Jinping and other prominent figures, including his predecessor Hu Jintao.

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.

No official reason was provided, and theories about the incident ranged from a health issue to thwarting the 79-year-old former leader’s attempt to protest against Xi.

Jiang’s body was sent to the Babaoshan cemetery, where many prominent officials are buried, for cremation after the ceremony at a military hospital.

The Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange in Hong Kong, as well as the stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, will halt trading on Tuesday.

For three minutes, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will keep its offices silent while senior executives observe the moment of silence.

On Tuesday, all forms of public entertainment will be halted. Popular online games like League of Legends have already announced a one-day break.

In his retirement, Jiang had developed a jovial meme following among Chinese millennial and Gen Z admirers who dubbed themselves “toad worshippers” enamored with his goofy demeanor and mannerisms.

Within an hour, more than 500,000 people commented on CCTV’s article on the Weibo social media site, which is similar to Twitter, and referred to him frequently as “Grandpa Jiang.”

Following the announcement, websites for state-run media outlets and corporations, as well as apps like Alipay, Taobao, and even McDonald’s China, went wholly black and white.

Also Read: Indian PM Narendra Modi Visits Tokyo to Attend Shinzo Abe’s Funeral

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