So is Jiang staying or going?

A commenter tells me Jiang Zemin has resigned and Hu is about to take over China’s military. I looked for confirmation on the news sites and haven’t seen anything yet. Anybody have any new information? If true, we’ll soon know what direction Hu really plans to take the country. No more saying he’s being forced to go slow on reforms because of Jiang. IF the rumor’s true.

Update: China Post says just the opposite, though I always take their stories with a big grain of salt.

Update II: Here’s the latest.

The Discussion: 12 Comments

its on the SCMP, that bastion of reliable reporting

September 17, 2004 @ 7:18 pm | Comment

The results aren’t supposed to be announced until after the conference is over. Until then it’s all rumor really.

Anyway, if Jiang does leave, but Zeng replaces him, then it’ll mean that Hu will still have pretty serious competition in the “political opponent” category.

September 17, 2004 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

I think you’re confusing the China Post (a slightly pro-KMT English paper in Taiwan with no real overt agenda but the editing skills of a sub-par college newspaper) with the China Daily (the CCP’s English rag).

September 17, 2004 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

No, it’s the China Post from Taiwan. Did you check the link? I find they are very opinionated against China, so I rarely link to them (just like eTaiwanNews and all the overseas Tibet and Falun Gong rags).

September 17, 2004 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

He’s officially gone. Want to bet it makes no substantive difference whatsoever?

September 17, 2004 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

Don’t be silly, Conrad. They’re reforming, or haven’t you heard?

September 17, 2004 @ 10:25 pm | Comment

I’ve never read the China Post often, but I’ve never saw any over anti-China agenda. If anything, the China Post is as wayne mentioned, slightly pro-KMT and doesn’t constantly resort to the puerile “China sucks, Taiwan is FREE” cliche that Taidu/Typo/Taipei Times does. The Etaiwannews is much the same as the TT.

Well anyways here the entire article since the SCMP(A hong kong paper) requires paid subscription.

Jiang quits last post, giving Hu full power
He waited until he was sure his legacy was safe before giving up military role


Jiang Zemin is to step down tomorrow as chairman of the Central Military Commission to make way for President Hu Jintao to become the mainland’s undisputed leader. The switch will complete the mainland’s first peaceful transfer of power since 1949.

Mr Jiang, 78, handed in his resignation at the plenum of the Communist Party’s Central Committee which began on Thursday, according to party sources. Committee members are expected to approve his resignation and elect Mr Hu as chairman tomorrow – the last day of the meeting – after which a formal announcement will be made.

Mr Jiang’s resignation and Mr Hu’s elevation bring to a successful conclusion a transfer of power that began in November 2002 when Mr Jiang stood down as the party’s secretary-general in favour of Mr Hu, who then took over the presidency from Mr Jiang in March last year.

Mr Hu, 61, will now have command over the party, the state and the armed forces.

Mr Jiang’s resignation, the subject of intense speculation in recent days, will come as a genuine surprise to the many senior mainland officials and analysts who had predicted he would hold on to the post for at least two more years to ensure political and social stability.

Party sources said his decision could put him on a par with late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping . Deng resigned as Central Military Commission chairman in November 1989 in favour of Mr Jiang, five months after making him the party’s secretary-general.

Mr Jiang’s decision signalled he was convinced his legacy would be protected under the leadership of Mr Hu, sources said.

Despite his retirement, they said, Mr Jiang would probably continue to wield considerable influence behind the scenes, just as Deng did after his retirement. At least five of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee – the mainland’s highest decision-making body – are considered close allies of Mr Jiang. They include the vice-president, vice-premier Huang Ju and the party’s propaganda chief.

One source said: “Hu will not become a paramount leader like Deng. Leadership under him is a collective one and whoever has the majority of votes will have the upper hand.”

The sources said it remained unclear whether Vice-President Zeng Qinghong would be made a deputy chairman of the commission at the plenum. Some reports suggest Mr Jiang made Mr Zeng’s appointment a condition of stepping down.

The commission, which until now had eight members, looks certain to be enlarged with the addition of three members – probably the commanders of the navy, air force and the PLA’s missile forces.

Mr Jiang’s retirement is unlikely to produce any major changes in domestic or foreign policies. But as Mr Hu continues to consolidate his power and make his mark, subtle changes can be expected.

“Mr Hu and other leaders are expected to be more practical and more flexible, particularly on the mainland’s foreign policy as well as its policies towards Hong Kong and Taiwan,” one source said.

September 17, 2004 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

Don’t be silly, Conrad. They’re reforming, or haven’t you heard?

Ahem. Subtly reforming. Remember?


September 17, 2004 @ 11:44 pm | Comment

Jiang has a “bad heart.”

Reuters backs up an earlier NYT report that Jiang has offered to step down as PLA head due to poor health. It comes from an anonymous source. Also it looks like they are going to beef up positions in the PLA, making room for Jiang to plug in his lackie…

September 17, 2004 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

“He’s officially gone. Want to bet it makes no substantive difference whatsoever?”

What would count as a substantive change? Reform depends solely on whether or not Hu is smart enough to realize that it’s necessary…corruption is steadily delegitimizing the CCP throughout the country. Maybe he could just go the other route and whip up a war so that the population forgets about it’s internal problems….

However, all that I really want is the illegalization of honking and spitting and that they prohibit people from acting like a foreigner is a big hairless talking monkey. So long as those three things occur, I really think the country will be heading in the right direction.

September 17, 2004 @ 11:59 pm | Comment


oohhh…to think I almost ended up working on that bastion of reliable reporting!!!!

Morning Post is owned by robert kuok, a malaysian chinese businessman who got super-rich on the mainland with things like the Coke franchise…

So u might no how reliable the reporting is…

September 18, 2004 @ 2:51 am | Comment

ah, by bastion of reporting prowess I ment run in the interests of selling classified ads and furthering the kuok’s fish oil business, sorry for being obtuse

September 19, 2004 @ 11:26 pm | Comment

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