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Slimmed down Jiang 'works' hit bookstores
Willy Wo-Lap Lam, CNN Senior China Analyst
9/5/2002 9:31:00 AM
BEIJING, China -- President Jiang Zemin has at least temporarily given up the idea of publishing a multi-volume "Selected Works of Jiang Zemin."
And it is unlikely that the designation "Jiang Zemin Theory" or "Jiang Zemin Discourse" will appear in the revised Communist party constitution to be endorsed at the upcoming 16th party Congress.
Party sources in Beijing said until the spring, Jiang's aides had wanted to put out the president's "Selected Works," which would consist of at least ten volumes.
The "Works" would lay the basis of Jiang Theory or Jiang Discourse, which would be prominently cited in the revised party charter.
The sources said editing work had been completed late last year, and that printing was supposed to have started in the spring.
However, in an apparent concession to his critics, Jiang decided instead to publish a slimmed-down, one-volume "Jiang Zemin on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics," which hit Beijing bookstores earlier this week.
The 560,000-character book consists of 370 speeches, articles and instructions written by Jiang from 1989 to June of this year.
Topics range from economic and political reform to national defense and "party construction."
"Jiang is aware of criticisms that he is building a personality cult around himself," said a source close to the president's think tanks.
"Since the selected works of Chairman Mao and [late patriarch] Deng Xiaoping only came in several volumes, some of his advisers persuaded him to make do with a less elaborate version of his book."
The source said Jiang had apparently also agreed to take out references to Jiang Theory or Jiang Discourse in the revised party constitution.
This was despite the fact that the president's handlers were still trying to revise the charter in such a way as to highlight the "equal status" of Mao Thought, Deng Theory and Jiang Discourse.
Moreover, the source added, while Jiang's pet "Theory of the Three Represents" would be enshrined in the new constitution, the president would not be cited as the theory's author.
For example, an early draft of the revised charter said the party would "hoist high the flag of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Theory of the Three Represents."
It is understood that many cadres feel that since Jiang is still alive, it is inappropriate to accord him a Mao-like status in the party constitution.
Meanwhile, the party's General Office issued a circular on Thursday asking all party members to closely study "Jiang Zemin on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics."
The circular said the book was "a compilation of Jiang's new thinking, new views and new theses based on his analysis of major domestic and international trends and events."
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