Ever since his adolescent years, Jiang had been a diligent learner and seeker of truth enlightened by patriotism and the ideas of the democratic revolution. Through active participation in patriotic anti-Japanese movements during his college years, he developed a Marxist worldview, made his life choice and established his lifelong ideal and belief of working for national liberation and the people's well-being. After graduation from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1947, Jiang worked at a local factory, and engaged in revolutionary publicity-related work among workers and young professionals at night schools under youth associations. In 1949, he mobilized workers to protect their factories in preparation for the liberation of Shanghai.
Shortly after the founding of the PRC, Jiang served as first deputy director of Shanghai Yimin Food No. 1 Factory, first deputy director of Shanghai Soap Factory, and chief of the electrical machinery section of Shanghai No. 2 Design Division of the First Ministry of Machine-Building Industry.
In 1954, China was in need of a large number of technical and management cadres for the construction of the First Automotive Works in Changchun. Jiang was assigned to the plant. In 1955, he went to the Stalin Automobile Works in Moscow, where he worked as a trainee. After returning to China in 1956, he served as deputy chief of the dynamic mechanics division, deputy chief engineer for dynamic mechanics, and director of the power factory of the First Automotive Works. In 1962, he worked as deputy director of the Shanghai Electrical Apparatus Research Institute under the First Ministry of Machine-Building Industry, in charge of the organization's research work. In 1966, he worked as director and acting Party secretary of the Wuhan Heat-Power Machinery Institute, where he later became the Party secretary and organized the work for the design of atomic power generation equipment. After the Cultural Revolution began, he was impacted.
In 1970, he started to work in the First Ministry of Machine-Building Industry and served as head of the expert team sent by the ministry to Romania in 1971. After returning to China in 1973, he successively served as deputy director and director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the First Ministry of Machine-Building Industry. In 1980, he served as vice-chairman and concurrently secretary-general of the State Administration Commission on Import and Export Affairs and the State Administration Commission on Foreign Investment and a member of the Leading Party Members Groups of the two commissions. He was in charge of pioneering work including implementing special policies and flexible measures in Guangdong and Fujian provinces, and piloting special economic zones. In 1982, he served as first vice-minister and deputy secretary of the Leading Party Members Group of the Ministry of Electronics Industry, and then minister and secretary of the Leading Party Members Group of the ministry in 1983, making significant contributions to China's electronics industry. In September 1982, he was elected member of the CPC Central Committee at the 12th CPC National Congress.
In 1985, he served as mayor of Shanghai and deputy secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC. In 1987, he was elected member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee and appointed secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC. When serving in the posts of mayor and Party secretary of Shanghai, he led the cadres and masses in Shanghai in making brave explorations and boosted their morale, and worked to achieve significant breakthroughs in the reform, opening-up and socialist modernization construction of the metropolis, made planning for Pudong's development and opening-up, and pushed for key progress in Party building, cultural-ethical advancement and social development. In the late spring and early summer of 1989, a severe political disturbance took place in China. He upheld and implemented the CPC Central Committee's correct decision on taking a clear stand against the turmoil, defending China's socialist state power and safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people, and effectively maintained the stability of Shanghai by relying on the solid support of Party members, cadres and the masses.
In 1989, Jiang was elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the fourth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee. In the same year, the fifth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee decided on Jiang serving as chairman of the CMC of the CPC. In 1990, Jiang was elected chairman of the CMC of the PRC at the third session of the 7th National People's Congress.
The letter says that Jiang was the core of the CPC's third generation of central collective leadership. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, severe political disturbances erupted in the international arena and in China. World socialism experienced serious twists and turns. The development of China's socialist cause faced unprecedented difficulties and pressures.
At this critical historical juncture that determined the future and destiny of the Party and the state, Jiang led the central collective leadership of the CPC and firmly relied on the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to unequivocally uphold the Four Cardinal Principles, and safeguard national independence, dignity, security and stability. He also unswervingly took economic development as the central task, adhered to reform and opening-up, defended the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and broke new ground in China's reform and opening-up as well as socialist modernization.
During the 13 years between the fourth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee and the 16th National Congress of the CPC, China's reform, opening-up and socialist modernization drive unfolded with great momentum in a highly volatile international situation.
In a complex environment both abroad and at home, the central collective leadership led by Jiang held high the great banners of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, unswervingly adhered to the Party's basic line and united the Party and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to seize opportunities, deepen reform, expand opening-up, boost development and maintain stability. They defined building a socialist market economy as an objective of reform and set a basic framework in this regard, and established a basic economic system for the primary stage of socialism under which public ownership is the mainstay and diverse forms of ownership develop together, as well as an income distribution system under which distribution according to work is the mainstay while multiple forms of distribution exist alongside it.
They formulated and implemented a raft of principles, policies and major strategies, forged ahead with reforms in the economic, political and cultural systems and in other fields, and broke new ground in reform and opening-up in all respects. They implemented the basic strategy of law-based governance, upheld the policies of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems," achieved the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao, followed an independent foreign policy of peace, broke new ground on China's diplomatic front, advanced the great new project of Party building, promoted socialist material, political and cultural-ethical advancements to impressive new heights, and successfully advanced the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the 21st century, according to the letter.
Under the Party's third generation of central collective leadership with Jiang at the core, we calmly dealt with a series of breaking international events that concerned China's sovereignty and security, overcame difficulties and risks cropping up in the political and economic spheres and those brought by natural disasters, and always kept China's reform, opening-up and socialist modernization drive in the right direction. The great achievements of our Party and country in the 13 years since the fourth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee were inseparable from Jiang's great talent, key role, and exceptional art of political leadership as a Marxist statesman.
While serving as chairman of the CMC, Comrade Jiang Zemin, with a deep understanding of the major changes in the domestic and international situations and development trend of the world's new military transformation, put forward a series of new judgments and new measures in advancing the modernization of the national defense and the armed forces, enriched and developed Mao Zedong's military thinking and Deng Xiaoping's thinking on military work in the new historical period, created Jiang Zemin's thinking on strengthening the national defense and armed forces, and led the modernization of the national defense and the armed forces in scoring great achievements.
He stressed that it is imperative to stick to the principle of coordinating the development of national defense and the economy, and work to make the people's armed forces more revolutionary, modern and standardized.
He underscored comprehensively promoting the development of the people's armed forces by following the overall requirements of building politically and militarily competent armed forces with fine conduct, strict discipline, and strong logistical support, and focusing on the historic issue of ensuring that the armed forces could fight to win while never degrading in character.
He stressed unwaveringly upholding absolute Party leadership over the people's armed forces, always putting ideological and political integrity as a priority among all improvement efforts, and preserving the nature and the character of the military as the people's armed forces.
He underscored the need to implement the military strategy of active defense and advance military transformation with Chinese characteristics. He stressed unswervingly following a distinctive Chinese approach of having fewer but better troops and achieving leapfrog development in the modernization of the armed forces, with the goal of developing informatized armed forces and winning informatized warfare.
He underscored the need to implement the strategy of strengthening the armed forces through science and technology, govern the military with strict discipline and in accordance with the law, build the armed forces through diligence and thrift, explore the characteristics and laws for running the army under new historical conditions, and advance with the times to promote the overall work of the armed forces.
Jiang stressed deepening structural reform of defense-related science, technology and industries, enhancing capacity for independent innovation, speeding up the development of weapons and equipment and national defense-related science and technology, and exploring a path of achieving relatively high returns with relatively low investments for military modernization.
He underscored the policies that suit both peacetime and wartime needs, integrate military with civilian purposes and combine military efforts with civilian support to improve the capacity for national defense mobilization, develop strategies and tactics for the people's war under high-tech conditions, and consolidate unity between the government and the military and between the people and the military.
All these are of far-reaching guiding significance to modernizing national defense and the armed forces, according to the letter.
Steadfast to the Marxist ideological line, respecting the practice and the people, accurately grasping the features of the times and making judicious assessment of the Party's historic juncture, Jiang put forward a series of new ideas, viewpoints and judgments on building socialism with Chinese characteristics in the fields of promoting reform, development, and stability, handling domestic affairs, foreign affairs, and national defense, and governing the Party, the state, and the armed forces. He made outstanding contributions to upholding and developing the Party's basic theory, line, platforms and experience.
In particular, by pooling the wisdom of the whole Party, Jiang formulated the Theory of Three Represents, advancing the Party's guiding principles in line with the times once more. It embodied the great political and theoretical courage of a real Marxist.
The Theory of Three Represents highlights that the Party always represents the developmental demands of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation for China's advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people.
The theory follows the universal laws of development and progress in human history, and complies with the development trends of the times and the demand for social development and progress in China. It reflects the interests and aspirations of Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and holds the key to enhancing the Party's governance capacity, consolidating its governing status and accomplishing its governing mission under new circumstances.
The most distinctive feature and outstanding contribution of the Theory of Three Represents are that it further answers the questions of what socialism is and how to build it, and creatively addresses what kind of Party to build and how to build it, through a series of closely related and interconnected new ideas, viewpoints and judgments. The Theory of Three Represents, which is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory, has deepened the understanding of rules to advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strengthen Party building in the new conditions.
Jiang attached great importance to the major strategic issues that were vital to the cause of the Party and the people. When preparing for the 16th CPC National Congress, Jiang proposed that he would no longer serve in the leading posts of the Party and that he would retire from the CPC Central Committee to facilitate the leadership transition of the Party and the state. This was for the long-term development of the cause of the Party and the state, as well as the enduring stability and prosperity of the Party and the state. The CPC Central Committee accepted his proposal.
Taking into account the complicated and fast-changing international situation, and the heavy tasks facing national defense and military development, it was decided at the first plenary session of the 16th CPC Central Committee that Jiang would remain chairman of the CMC of the CPC.
After the first plenary session of the 16th CPC Central Committee, Jiang offered full support for the new central collective leadership with Comrade Hu Jintao as general secretary, and made the greatest possible effort to carry out the duties entrusted to him by the CPC Central Committee.
In 2004, acting in the larger interests of the long-term development of the cause of the Party and the state, he offered to retire from his posts as chairman of the CMC of the CPC and chairman of the CMC of the PRC, fully displaying his great foresight for the development of the cause of the Party and the state.
After he retired from his leading posts, Jiang firmly upheld the work of the CPC Central Committee, showed care for the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and resolutely supported the efforts to improve Party conduct and combat corruption.
In 2006, Jiang was personally in charge of compiling the first, second and third volumes of "Selected Works of Jiang Zemin." These works include the representative and creative works of Comrade Jiang from the late 1980s to the beginning of the 21st century. The publication is a major textbook that people can use to learn and understand the Theory of Three Represents and advance the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the great new project of Party building.
The letter says that Comrade Jiang Zemin was far-sighted, and could make correct assessments of different situations. He always observed and reflected on issues taking into consideration the general trends of China and the world, as well as the overall work of the Party and the state, continuously advancing theoretical innovation and innovation in other fields.
Jiang was firm in his convictions and decisive in actions. He always put the Party and the people first, and unswervingly adhered to the ideals and beliefs of communists. At critical moments, Jiang had the great courage to make resolute decisions and theoretical innovation.
Jiang valued practice and kept pace with the times. He always grasped the trends and opportunities of the times, summing up experience and seeking new ways based on the vibrant practice of the Party and the people, thus advancing the work of the Party and the state in a down-to-earth yet enterprising manner.
Jiang respected and cared for the people, always paying attention to their security and well-being, and assessing and advancing work based on the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people.
His fine character and noble manner will always educate and motivate us on the way forward, according to the letter.
Jiang's death is an inestimable loss to our Party, our military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. The CPC Central Committee calls on the whole Party, the entire military and the people of all ethnic groups to turn grief into strength, carry forward Jiang's legacy and express our grief with concrete actions.
We must rally around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core with greater resolve and purpose, and adhere to the Party's basic theory, basic line, and basic policy, the letter says.
We must develop a deep understanding of the decisive significance of establishing Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and establishing the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
We must strengthen the consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership. We must stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must uphold Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership.
We must persevere with full and rigorous self-governance, continue to advance the great new project of Party building in the new era, and use our own transformation to steer social transformation. This will enable our Party to stay true to its original aspiration and founding mission and remain the strong leadership core in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
We must stay committed to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
We must integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China's specific realities and fine traditional Chinese culture. We must continue to free our minds, seek truth from facts, move with the times, and take a realistic and pragmatic approach.
We must have the courage to make theoretical explorations and innovations, constantly break new frontiers in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times in the great practice of the new era, and enable contemporary Chinese Marxism to shine even more brightly with the light of truth.
We must unswervingly uphold the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and maintain a firm grasp on the future of China's development and progress.
We must strive in unity to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, build a community with a shared future for humanity, and create a new form of human advancement.
We must stay true to our fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, maintain a people-centered mindset, and carry out the mass line. We must respect the pioneering spirit of our people and ensure that we are acting for the people and relying on the people in everything we do. We must follow the principle of "from the people, to the people," and maintain a close bond with the people. We must breathe the same air as the people, share the same future, and stay truly connected to them.
We must conscientiously study the Theory of Three Represents, learn from Jiang's revolutionary spirit and demeanor, as well as his scientific attitude and creative spirit in applying Marxist stand, viewpoints and methods to studying new circumstances and solving new problems. We must strive in unity to build our country into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful, according to the letter.
The cause of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the crystallization of the painstaking efforts and endeavor of generations of communists including Comrade Jiang Zemin. On the journey ahead, the whole Party, the entire military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups must follow the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carry forward the great founding spirit of the Party, maintain firm confidence, unite as one, forge ahead with resolve, and strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance national rejuvenation on all fronts.
Eternal glory to Comrade Jiang Zemin!