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Hu Jintao Takes Steps to Grasp Military

Posted December. 22, 2004 22:49,   


Communist Party Chief and Chinese President Hu Jintao for the first time took decisive action on military personnel after three months of holding the military power.

According to Wen Wei Po Daily released Wednesday, President Hu appointed political member Liu Yongzhi (60) of the Lanzhou military district as the vice chief of the General Political Department of the Chinese Liberation Army. Staff officer Chang Wanquan (55) of the Beijing military district was appointed as the commander of the Shenyang military district.

President Hu was elected chairman of the Central Military Commission on September at the fourth plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, following Jiang Zemin.

This personnel appointment can be interpreted as a signal of seismic shift in the military next year, though for now it only seems to replace the seats of the discharged officers. Considering the fact that there are many officers leaving next year from the General Logistics Department, Navy, Air Force, armed policemen, and Guangzhou military district, observers say that President Hu will use this opportunity to consolidate his power in the military.

Deputy Chief Jiang Shutian of the General Political Department and Commander Qian Heliang of the Shenyang military district retired under the age limit of 65. In the Chinese military, the age limits of commander and vice commander of large military district are 65 and 63 respectively. The age limit of the deputy chief of the General Political Department is the same as that of the commander of the large military district.

The Central Military Commission, a week after the end of the fourth plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee on September, appointed Commander Chen Bingde of the Jinan military district as chief of the General Logistics Department and member of the Central Military Commission, replacing Lieutenant General Fan Changlong, the assistant to the chief of the Organizations of the Central Military Commission (CMC). However, this appointment, because it was intended by former President Jiang Zemin, could not be considered the intension of President Hu.

Previously, President Hu discharged Secretary Wang Taihua of Anhui Province, and appointed Secretary Guo Jinlong of the Tibet Autonomous Region there. And Deputy Secretary Yang Chuantang of Qinghai Province took the seat. All of them are considered close staff members of President Hu.

Yoo-Seong Hwang yshwang@donga.com