Who is Jiang Zemin?
· None; retired
Former Key Positions, Most Recent at Top:
· Member of the National People's Congress 1988-2008 (Government position)
· Chairman of the CCP Central Military Commission 1989-2004 (Party position)
· President of the PRC (People's Republic of China) 1993-2003 (Government position)
· General Secretary of the CCP, 1989-2002 (Party position)
Jiang Zemin was the last all-powerful leader of the Chinese Communist Party. As General Secretary of the CCP—his most powerful position—he wielded control over the Politburo Standing Committee, the 7-member group of top leaders.
Upon relinquishing his position as CCP General Secretary to Hu Jintao at the 16th Party Congress in 2002, Jiang implemented two policies that enabled him to retain enormous real power, even after his supposed retirement.
- Jiang issued a decree that after the 16th Party Congress, decisions would have to be made by consensus of the Politburo Standing Committee, rather than by the General Secretary alone; this has had the effect of greatly limiting Hu Jintao’s political power.
- Jiang expanded the Politburo Standing Committee from 7 to 9, installing his supporters Luo Gan and Zeng Qinghong as additional members; this allowed Jiang to maintain power behind the scenes.
Even today (as of May 2012), Jiang Zemin appears to wield considerable influence through his key supporter Zhou Yongkang, who replaced Luo Gan as head of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC) in 2007. Jiang’s power will almost certainly diminish, maybe completely, after Zhou Yongkang is removed from power.
Some unconfirmed reports suggest that Jiang has been in a coma or vegetative state for months, while other reports suggest he made an active public appearance as recently as mid-April, 2012. More info in this video.
Role in Persecuting Falun Gong
In 1999, Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement—despite opposition from the other 6 members of the Politburo Standing Committee. On June 10, 1999, Jiang created the extra-judicial “610 Office” which enabled him to persecute Falun Gong practitioners outside of the law.
Jiang has been sued in either civil or criminal court in 16 countries for charges including torture, genocide, and crimes against humanity.
Jiang Zemin is head of what NTD refers to as simply “Jiang’s faction.” Some Chinese use a more descriptive name, “Blood Debt Faction” (血債派); The Epoch Times calls it the “Bloody Hands Faction.” These names underscore that the members of Jiang’s faction have all played an active role in persecuting Falun Gong, thus binding them together with shared concern that widespread domestic exposure of their deeds would lead to their eventual prosecution.
Jiang’s faction stands in opposition to Hu Jintao’s faction amidst the current bitter power struggle. More info in this video.