China will pay tribute to former president Jiang Zemin today with a funeral at the Great Hall of the People.
The service for Jiang, who died of multiple organ failure in Shanghai last week aged 96, will be the biggest event of its kind since the funeral for paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1997.
As the first major state event since October’s Communist Party national congress, all eyes will be on how President Xi Jinping will honour Jiang.
Observers will also be watching to see whether Hu Jintao, Xi’s predecessor, will appear in person.
In October, Hu was escorted from the Great Hall on the final day of the congress, raising much discussion about his health and relations with Xi. Hu was at Xi’s side yesterday as top leaders bade farewell to Jiang before his cremation.