China / Society

The artistic talents of Chinese leaders

By Wu Yan ( Updated: 2015-09-16 17:08

The artistic talents of Chinese leaders

An undated file photo shows Jiang Zemin playing a flute. [File photo]

Jiang Zemin, a versatile musician

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin is also musically talented.

He learned Chinese traditional instruments erhu (a two-stringed fiddle) and flute since childhood, and can play classical Chinese music such as "High Mountains and Running Rivers" and "Spring River and Flowers at the Moonlit Night".

According to The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, he also loves Peking opera, Yue opera (originated in Zhejiang province) and Kun Opera (originated in Suzhou, Jiangsu province) and often sang Chinese opera pieces like "The Capture and Release of General Cao" and "Yang Silang Visits His Mother".

When he worked at a food factory in Shanghai, he often taught other young workers inspiring popular songs such as "South Mire Gulf" and "Unity Is Power".

As a self taught musician, Jiang also plays the piano, the ukelele, the organ and the Hawaiian guitar.

In 1982, he waltzed and sang "One Day When We Were Young" in May with Dianne Feinstein, then mayor of San Francisco. He gave former US President Bill Clinton a Shanghai-made saxophone in 1993 and played church organs on trips to Finland and Holland.

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