Jiang Zemin Photoshopped out of photo with Hu Jintao

Stalin was famous for “vanishing” purged comrades (i.e., people he murdered) out of official photographs — and I don’t even think they had Photoshop back then. Now it seems someone’s doing the same to Jiang Zemin, and I doubt he’ll be happy about it.

The original image, published in the state-run Oriental Outlook magazine in the last week of August, shows Hu shaking hands with Deng in 1992 while Jiang stands behind them, as if giving introductions. But in the other two photos, which appeared in Shanghai’s Wen Hui Bao newspaper on Aug. 13 and in a set of pictures celebrating Deng’s centenary, Jiang has vanished. At least one of the doctored photos was released by the Xinhua news agency—which implies either official complicity or a massive goof. Either way, “it can only be embarrassing for Jiang,” says an editor from a Party-run newspaper, because “someone very publicly wants him to disappear.”

I wouldn’t mind him disappearing, either.

Update: Much more on this, plus the before and after photos, here.

The Discussion: 14 Comments

Seconded, Richard.

September 6, 2004 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

Here’s a Chinese article with the original and doctored photos.


(Note: the site is blocked in China)

September 6, 2004 @ 10:45 pm | Comment

It’s all part of the power-struggle.

There will, in the end, probably be some cloak-and-dagger stuff going on, leading to the death, or at least political death, of one or the other. Oho. It’s just like the good old days of court intrigue.

It’s all good so long as they do not do anything drastic enough to harm national interests. Well, not too much, anyway.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses a nuke.

September 7, 2004 @ 12:06 am | Comment

It seems that everything will be settled peacefully, after all:


There goes our fun, peeps.

September 7, 2004 @ 3:25 am | Comment

Just in case you were curious, but it appears that Jiang Zemin has announced his intentions to resign his post as the chairman of the CMC. (yeah I know 403200 already mentioned it, but I gotta hog some of the glory :D)

“China Ex-President May Be Set to Yield Last Powerful Post
Published: September 7, 2004

EIJING, Sept. 6 – Jiang Zemin, China’s military chief and senior leader, has told Communist Party officials that he plans to resign, prompting an intense and so far inconclusive struggle for control of the armed forces, two people with leadership connections say.

Mr. Jiang’s offer to relinquish authority as chairman of the Central Military Commission potentially gives Hu Jintao – who succeeded Mr. Jiang as head of the Communist Party and president of China in 2002 and is now vice chairman of the military commission – a chance to become the country’s undisputed top leader, commanding the state, the army and the ruling party…”

More over at the NYT.

Amusingly enough, I’ve heard the discussion bandied about by some Chinese amateur political observers that throw the entire western Hu-Jiang paradigm in for a loop.

“jiang was the party secretary of shanghai at the time of 6/4. zhao ziyang was the party secretary of the central government, and li peng was the premier. the decision to clear the changan boulevard by force was made mainly among yang shangkun, li peng, and deng xiaoping.
jiang was later promoted to above both li peng and zhao ziyang (zhao was then arrested) was precisely because he dealt with the situation deftly at shanghai by heading off the crowd early on and peacefully.

jiang was never ‘ruthless’ or ‘brutal’, in fact he’s best known for his brand of ‘soft’ politics. he sang, he spoke, he hugged, he caligraphed, but he never ‘seemed’ to play hard ball.

in contrast, hu has shown his willingness to be soft and patient at times but tough and decisive at others. he was the one annointed by deng to take over when ready, jiang was picked by deng more as a transitional care-taker. that is in part the reason why hu has such a solid power base even as jiang seemed to have packed the house in his own favor.

i’d bet the emergence of one of the most powerful leader in china’s modern history in hu jintao, if not THE most powerful. after all, the china he’s to preside over is not the same during either mao or deng’s era. with or without the ‘three represents’, jiang will be forgotten quickly.

this jiang-hu split has been greatly exaggerated by the western media. hu’s legitimacy is simply overwhelming and beyond any question. jiang will have nothing to gain but everything to lose by holding out much longer.”

Another person writes that.

“They have no idea so they merely assume that since Jiang is older, he must represent an older (less progressive) point of view. And since Hu is younger, he must represent something more modern. The concept that Hu could be more progressive on domestic political matters and more hardline on foreign policy is completely alien to Westerners who can not comprehend a multi-axis political construct in China. They can barely pronounce the names of the politicans. How can you expect them to understand any degree of complexity on their policies?”

I think both raise some valid points. Anyways it appears that the coming months of 2004 is the time to watch for possible political changes in both the PRC and the U.S.

September 7, 2004 @ 4:36 am | Comment

Indeed. Chinese politics is a complex and scary thing.

Man, I’m Chinese. How come I don’t understand any of that stuff?

September 7, 2004 @ 5:26 am | Comment

You guys are being simplistic … perhaps the message is that although you soon won’t be able to see him, everyone still knows he’s there in the background …

September 7, 2004 @ 9:00 am | Comment

Hu will ascend come the end of September?

Probably, but just in case you think you know the answer, check out this graph from the NYTimes article that discusses the prospect of Jiang giving up his post as head of the PLA: In recent days, numerous outlets, including People’s Daily, the leading …

September 7, 2004 @ 9:25 am | Comment

Jing, good stuff. Thanks

September 7, 2004 @ 5:52 pm | Comment

Of course Jiang isn’t going to ride into the sunset, even if he gives up the post. He’ll pull strings from the back. It’s a matter of tradition. All retired senior politicians in the CCP does it.

Usually, it takes a while for power to solidify around a new government. You have to wait for the old men to die.

September 7, 2004 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

I bet they had to draw lots to see who would have to do the air brushing. If Jiang pulls more Strings than his replacement then somebody is going to be found face down in at his keyboard.

I wouldn’t like to be sitting next to that man if Jiang came around.

September 8, 2004 @ 3:21 am | Comment

Dude. Nobody kills anyone up the top, unless it’s to do with national security.

Usually they just get fired (without strings).

The party scapegoat for Tiananmen only got house arrest.

September 8, 2004 @ 3:36 am | Comment

i just read an apple daily article saying that Jiang Zemin’s nephew (who keeps a close eye on Jiang’s political power for the benefit of his real estate ventures in Jiangsu) has strongly denied the rumors that he would resign his military post. so, who knows if he will resign or not?
here are some bits of the article, for those who can pick up trad. ch. on their computer:
“þ‚÷½­?ÉÃñ±íʾŒ¢ÕˆÞoÖй²ÖÐÑë܊ίÖ÷ϯš„Õ£¬½­?ÉÃñµÄÍâÉûÛ¢Õ¹×òÌì·ñÕJß@í—‚÷ÑÔ£¬ËûÕf£º¡¸›]ÓÐß@»ØÊ¡¹¡£Û¢Õ¹Êǽ­?ÉÃñµÄÃÃÃý­?ÉÁáµÄƒº×Ó£¬Ä¿Ç°ÔÚ½­ÌKÊ¡?ÄÊ·¿µØ®aé_°l˜I£¬ÓÉì¶ËûÔھ˾˽­?ÉÃñÖ÷ÕþÆÚég£¬½› I·¿µØ®a˜IÙ?Á˲»ÉÙåX£¬Û¢Õ¹„ݱؕþÃÜÇÐÁôÒâÓÐêP½­?ÉÃñ„ÓÏòµÄÕþÖÎʼþ£¬ÒÔ±£ÕÏÆäͶÙYºÍ¾S³ÖÉ̽çÈËÃ}¡£

September 8, 2004 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Asia by Blog

The very latest from the very finest of Asian blogging… Hong Kong, Taiwan and China Andres presents an incredible must-read on the life of China’s prostitutes. It is a real shame he doesn’t write more often. The power play between Jiang Zemin and Hu …

September 9, 2004 @ 12:21 am | Comment

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