China: Hu Jintao set to step down as military chief

Hu Jintao

SCMP exclusive report: “Outgoing leader decides to retire and clear way for Xi Jinping, breaking from the unpopular precedent set by his predecessor Jiang Zemin

“Outgoing President Hu Jintao will formally relinquish his position as military chief at the end of the 18th party congress this week, according to sources.

“His decision to opt for complete retirement surprised many analysts, who had expected him to keep the top job at the party’s Central Military Commission.

“Hu, 70 next month, will also step down as party chief at the congress and as president in March, to make way for his designated successor, Xi Jinping, when the congress concludes on Wednesday.

“Marking the first clean transfer of power the Communist Party has seen in two decades, Hu’s move will break with a precedent his predecessor Jiang Zemin set 10 years ago.

“In 2002, Jiang chose to cling to the top military post for two more years after his 13-year reign as party chief ended. Hu did not take over control of the military until September 2004.”

“But I think the implied message behind his move is loud and clear: he will fully retire and so should other party leaders of his generation, and particularly Jiang and other party elders who constantly try to wield their influence long after their retirement,” Chen (Chen Ziming, a Beijing-based political observer) said.”

Living in Beijing, Chen perhaps has not read Zhao Ziyang’s memoirs as it is not allowed to be sold on the Chinese mainland. Zhao says in his memoirs that when Deng Xiaoping told Zhao that Deng wanted to retire from his last position as the CMC chairman to force other powerful elders to retire and refrain form interfering with Zhao’s reform.

Zhao said, “Politics in the East differs from the West; here in the East, your retirement would not stop the interference, nor would the fact that they no longer hold any official positions.” Strange, that Chinese analysts do not know that politics in the East differs from the West!

In China, whether Hu retires now or 2 years later means nothing. What counts is whether Hu has enough skill to remain in control of the troops after retirement.

Deng Xiaoping had such skill. So does Jiang Zeming. So even did Yuan Shikai a century ago. So did Sima Yan about 1,800 years ago…

That has been the reality in China!

Politics in the East differs from the West!

Source: SCMP “Exclusive: Hu Jintao set to step down as military chief”
 


Categories: Politics & Law

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