At the age of 91, Jiang Yanyong, a former military surgeon and a whistleblower to Chinese authorities passed away. Reports from the family and some small media outlets from Beijing confirmed Pneumonia as the reason for his death on Saturday. Despite his constant efforts in sounding the alarms against lies and treachery in the state, there was no coverage of Dr Yanyong’s death in the mainstream media of China.
A brave heart right from the start, he was known for calling out the Chinese authorities for their objectionable actions on multiple instances. His revelations on the Sars outbreak led the Chinese Government to admit giving false information regarding the subject. It furthermore helped the World Health Organization in releasing required guidelines to contain the virus. Stringent measures were implemented immediately, which aided in curbing the virus’s spread. His actions also resulted in the removal of China’s health minister and Beijing’s mayor at the time. When asked what gave him the courage to speak the truth, he said, “I felt I had to reveal what was happening, not just to save China, but to save the world”.
His contribution towards Chinese society wasn’t restricted to this event. He went on to write an open letter to the Communist Party leaders, expressing his opinion on the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square. He fearlessly wrote about his experience as a surgeon on the night when soldiers fired openly at the protesters, injuring and killing hundreds or possibly thousands at the sight. Dr Jiang Yanyong was detained on multiple instances for debunking facts that brought the Chinese authorities under question. He was also put under house arrest after he wrote a letter to President XI Jinping in 2019 regarding the Tiananmen Square incident.
Born into an affluent banking family in the city of Hangzhou, on October 4, 1931. Deeply hurt by the death of his aunt due to tuberculosis, he decided to pursue a career in medicine at a very young age. He was presented with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in the year 2004. His legacy leaves the Chinese citizens with the responsibility to keep fighting for the truth.