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Jiang will keep his chairmanship of military committee for at least three years

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[Beijing] The Asian Wall Street Journal reported today that Jiang Zemin who just stepped down from the position of Secretary General of the Communist Party will not let go of his Chairmanship of the Military Committee next March, as the public has speculated......

This information was confirmed when Jiang and his close associates recently disclosed such intention to foreign visitors in Beijing. One of Jiang’s assistants expressed that Jiang might return that position for at least another three years. The reasons provided were that Jiang’s quiet but undeniable presence could ensure that Hu Jintao, the new leader, would follow him in terms of respecting private enterprises and continuing the open-door policy. Furthermore, Jiang could help facilitate China’s current soft policy toward the U.S. and Taiwan, claimed this assistant. But public opinion and the press have found such explanations a stretch at best, and believe that Hu will have a difficult time establishing his authority so long as Jiang holds any position and dictates from behind the Bamboo Curtain. "The old Jiang is obsessed with power and has stuffed the new Polibureau with his buddies from Shanghai. Everyone knows that," said a young man dining in a McDonald's Restaurant in Beijing.

One China analyst told AFAR that Jiang would have two huge burdens on his mind after his retirement. One is his involvement in the suppression of the student movement on Tiananmen Square in 1989; the other is his persecution campaign against the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Both events are unpopular with the public and could backfire and haunt Jiang if he chooses to retire.

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