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Li Ruihuan rumored to leave post under pressure

[Beijing, PRC] Zeng Qinghong, the closest associate of Jiang Zemin, is now working closely with Hu Jingtao, the expected successor to Jiang at the 16th Party Congress in November, to force Liu Ruihuan to retire at the upcoming Party Congress, sources say.

Li, seen as a longtime critic of Jiang's effort to rank himself among the revolutionary gods such as Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Deng Xiaoping, has been expected to become the Chairman of the People's Congress at the 16th Party Congress in November. Li has also been critical of Jiang's crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement and endored a more open approach to political reform and democracy within the Party. At age of 68, Li is still two years short of the retirement age of 70 at the politburo level.

Zeng Qinghong will likely leap into the standing committee of the politburo and become the vice director of the Taiwan Affairs Office. Normally, the director position is reserved for the Party Secretary General Jiang or Hu if he succeeds Jiang. Zeng recently left his post of CCP's Minister of Organization Department so that he could be promoted to the politburo. He Guoqiang, the former Party Secretary General of Zhongqing City, has now succeeded Zeng in the Organization Department.

According to insiders in Beijing, Jiang went to the US and APEC Summit in Mexico after making all these arrangements.

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