Singapore leaders send condolence letters on death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin

Mr Jiang Zemin died of leukaemia and multiple organ failure on Nov 30, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE – President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote to China’s leaders on Wednesday to convey their condolences on the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin.

Mr Jiang died on Wednesday afternoon in Shanghai. He was 96. According to state news agency Xinhua, he died of leukaemia and multiple organ failure. Mr Jiang was the Communist Party’s general secretary from 1989 to 2002 and head of state from 1993 to 2003.

In a letter to President Xi Jinping, Madam Halimah said: “President Jiang was a distinguished statesman who, through sustained economic reforms, led China on a period of rapid growth and development, and significantly raised the standard of living in China.”

Mr Jiang built on the strong foundations of Singapore-China relations laid by the previous generation of leaders and continued to deepen the friendship and people-to-people ties between Singapore and China, said Madam Halimah.

“The close and enduring partnership between Singapore and China today bears testament to the key role he had played and the efforts of successive generations of leaders to strengthen bilateral ties,” she added.

“President Jiang will be remembered for his service and dedication to his country. Our thoughts are with the people of China during this period of bereavement,” said Madam Halimah.

In a letter to Premier Li Keqiang, PM Lee said: “President Jiang led China during a crucial phase of its development. His steady leadership and resolute implementation of reform and opening up were crucial in guiding China’s integration into the global economy and its emergence on the world stage.”

He added that Mr Jiang’s move for China to join the World Trade Organisation allowed the country to overcome difficult domestic reforms and fostered its rapid growth and modernisation to the immense benefit of China and its economic partners, including Singapore.

He noted that Mr Jiang had met Singapore’s former prime ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong on many occasions, and extended warm hospitality to them during their visits to China. PM Lee added that he had the privilege of being Mr Jiang’s minister-in-attendance when he made a state visit to Singapore in 1994.

PM Lee said that Mr Jiang contributed greatly to expanding bilateral relations, particularly in Singapore’s first government-to-government project, the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP).

“His personal support for the project at the highest level enabled the SIP to overcome initial challenges to become a successful and enduring symbol of the friendship and cooperation between our two countries,” said PM Lee.

“Singapore’s relations with China have continued to prosper under President Jiang’s successors. His was a lasting contribution which we have consolidated and built upon. President Jiang will long be warmly remembered as an honoured friend of Singapore.”

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