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Hu Jintao Takes over Diplomatic Power from Jiang Zemin

Posted June. 18, 2003 21:50,   


60 year-old China`s President Hu Jintao, the fourth generation of China`s leader elected in March this year, who is also the General Secretary has taken greater control. So political reform initiatives that Mr. Hu has been insisting on are now under consideration in the Communist party.

MR. Hu has assumed executive control over from Mr Jiang on Taiwan affairs which 73 year-old Jiang Zemin who is now the head of the Communist Party and Central Military Commission, used to assume, the paper reported.

Mr. Hu has assumed as head of the twp Communist party`s leading groups on Taiwan affairs and it is expected that this will make him more influential on foreign policies and Taiwan issues, a source who requested anonymity was quoted as saying in the paper.

“The power shift made from old leadership to young leadership fits well with the spirit of the 16th party convention,” an official from the Taiwan Policy Institute was quoted in the paper.

“The right to speak on diplomatic or Taiwanese issues of the president should be strengthened,” said director Ju Pyung-jin of the academy of international relations in Beijing University.

Meanwhile, high attention is being paid to a political reform thesis that has a similar view to political reform initiatives of Mr. Hu as it was printed on the yesterday issue of ‘Chusue’, a communist party’s ideology magazine.

The thesis insists that the function of the Communist party`s party convention should be strengthened and the head of the party should be chosen through the direct election, the partly government controlled China News and Tao Electronic Daily of Hong Kong and Taiwan Daily reported yesterday.

The thesis urges a full-scale reform, such as the way of ruling the party, leadership and working systems, based on the western concept of democracy, ‘sovereign power resides with the people.’ The thesis was co-written by Jyun Shyaoing, the vice-director of the sociology academy of the central party and Lee Ching-hwa, Ph D. student in the Central Chinese Communist Party School.

The thesis proposed 5 principles in a concrete way; guaranteeing democratic rights between party members and party groups and securing routes for communication within the party; permanent positions for the party representative convention; reform on the electoral system in the party; improvement on the notifying system of decided matters and information in the party. Mr. Hu has been leading the Central Chinese Communist Party School, and the thesis was printed on the central party’s ideology magazine 10 days prior to Mr. Hu`s reform announcement. So some suggest that you can see the details of Mr. Hu`s reform plan.

Mr. Hu has been emphasizing the possibility of being a ruling party for a long term through a democratic process. On July 1, the 82nd annivary of the party, Mr. Hu is expected to announce a constitution revised bill which fully guarantee introduction of democracy in the party and the property right of private companies.

Yoo-Sung Hwang Rae-Jeong Park yshwang@donga.com ecopark@donga.com