Sunday, November 29, 2015   

A firm grip on power

Kelly Ip

Friday, November 16, 2012

Like Chairman Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic, Xi Jinping will be holding the two most powerful positions as leader and military chief simultaneously.

But Hong Kong observers said the influence of party elders, including former president Jiang Zemin will continue, with the rivalry between factions affecting governance.

Mao was chairman of the Central Committee of the Community Party when the People's Republic of China was established in 1949 and the military chief until his death in 1976. Deng Xiaoping still took control of the military power even after stepping down as military chief when his successor Jiang became leader in 1992.


Jiang in turn remained as military chief for two years after his successor Hu Jintao took office in 2003.

City University political scientist James Sung Lap-kung said Hu wished to end gerontocracy - rule by leaders that are older than the adult population of the country - to diminish the power of the elders.

And veteran political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu expects no political reform during Xi's time as long as the political structure in China remains unchanged under centralized power.

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