Jiang Zemin is a retired Chinese politician who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005. His long career and political prominence have led to him being described as the "core of the third generation" of Communist Party leaders.
Jiang Zemin came to power following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, replacing Zhao Ziyang as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. With the waning influence of Deng Xiaoping and the other members of Eight Elders due to old age — and with the help of old and powerful party and state leaders, former President Li Xiannian and Chen Yun — Jiang effectively became the "Paramount Leader" in the 1990s. Under his leadership, China experienced substantial developmental growth with reforms, saw the peaceful return of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom and Macau from Portugal, and improved its relations with the outside world while the Communist Party maintained its tight control over the government. Jiang has been criticized for being too concerned about his personal image at home, and too conciliatory towards Russia and the United States abroad.