BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Over the past few days, many foreign leaders, as well as those from academic and business circles worldwide have expressed deep condolences over the passing of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, once served as ambassador of Thailand to China, presented his letter of credence to then Chinese President Jiang Zemin in 2001.
Don said the former Chinese president will be long remembered for his legacy in boosting China's economic development and the country's global prestige.
The Thai people will cherish his positive role in strengthening Thai-China relations, he said.
Jiang devoted considerable efforts to developing China's friendship, solidarity and unity with other socialist countries, said British author and political commentator Carlos Martinez.
Noting that the former Chinese leader visited Cuba in 1993 at a time when the island country was experiencing terrible difficulties, Martinez said Jiang's trip made a significant contribution to developing the warm relations that exist today between these two socialist countries.
In a letter addressed to the Consulate General of China in Lyon, France, Alain Merieux, a recipient of the China Reform Friendship Medal and president of Merieux Foundation, expressed his condolences to the Chinese people over Jiang's passing.
"I have not forgotten that in 1986 when I was the first vice president, Mr. (Charles) Beraudier, president of the Regional Council of the (former) Rhone-Alpes region, signed with Mr. Jiang Zemin, then mayor of Shanghai, a remarkable partnership agreement which is still in force," Merieux said.
Jiang is one of the greatest statesmen, significant not only for China but also for the whole world, said former Croatian President Ivo Josipovic. "The reform and opening-up policy he promoted opened China to the world, but also brought China closer to the world."
Jiang was a great friend of Croatia, as well as of all the countries in Southeast Europe, he noted.
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went to the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines to mourn Jiang. She paid a silent tribute to his portrait, and left a message on the book of condolence to extend her deepest condolences.
Arroyo recalled the good working relationship and personal friendship she had established with Jiang over the years.
During her presidency in 2001, Arroyo attended the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Shanghai and paid a state visit to China, where she was warmly received by Jiang.
Ahmed Majdalani, secretary general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front and minister of social development of Palestine, expressed his condolences for the passing of Jiang.
He said in a statement that Jiang is an outstanding leader of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
"The Palestinian people highly appreciate Comrade Jiang Zemin's just position on the Palestinian issue, and we will remember this great leader," said Majdalani.
On behalf of the Iranian government, people and himself, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Reza Najafi offered his condolences to Jiang's family, the Chinese people and government over the former Chinese leader's passing.
Jiang's visit to Iran in 2002 opened a new chapter in Iran-China ties, he said. "I hope that the relations between Iran and China will continue to expand, and we will see more progress in bilateral relations and international cooperation between the two countries."