ANALYSIS: Jiang Zemin Seen as Setting Back Japan-China Ties with Hard-line Stance


Beijing, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The late former Chinese President Jiang Zemin is widely held responsible for having set back future-oriented Japan-China relations with his promotion of patriotic education.

Jiang kept a hard-line stance against Japan, questioning several Japanese prime ministers about their recognition of history issues. His view of history influenced his successors' stances toward their East Asian neighbor. Jiang's position also fostered anti-Japanese sentiment among Chinese citizens, laying the groundwork for major anti-Japanese protests that erupted in many parts of China in 2005 and 2012.

Jiang died of leukemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai on Wednesday at the age of 96, China's state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing announcements by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and others.

The late former leader's hometown of Yangzhou in the eastern province of Jiangsu was an area controlled by the former Japanese military in the early 20th century. Jiang became an adopted son of his uncle, Jiang Shangqing, known as a revolutionary martyr who fought against Japan as an underground activist for the CPC and died in the battle in 1939. It is widely believed that this background influenced Jiang Zemin's view of history.

As general secretary of the CPC, Jiang politically exploited then Japanese Emperor Akihito's visit to China in 1992 to help Beijing escape the international isolation that followed the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. The visit was the key breakthrough for the easing of sanctions related to the incident, former Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen wrote in his memoir.

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