Jiang Zemin (China)
Jiang Zemin was appointed party leader (General Secretary) in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. In April 1993 he also became president. Jiang has overseen a period of economic liberalization but has maintained a conservative approach to social and political reform. China’s human rights record under Jiang remains a source of international unease.
Jiang Zemin was born on 17 Aug. 1926 in Gansu province. His family placed much importance on literature, both Chinese and foreign, but Jiang chose a career in technology. He was educated at Jiaoting University (an engineering institution) in Shanghai, where he took part in anti-Nationalist Party movements and, in 1946, joined the Chinese Communist Party. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1947. Jiang began work as an engineer in Shanghai and in 1955 was sent to the Soviet Union for training. On his return he received the first of several, increasingly prestigious,...