Chinas Ex-Präsident Jiang Zemin will sich ganz aus der Politik zurückziehen, vermeldet die New York Times: Jiang Zemin, China's military chief and senior leader, has told Communist Party officials that he plans to resign, prompting an intense and so far inconclusive struggle for control of the armed forces, two people with leadership connections say. Mr. Jiang's offer to relinquish authority as chairman of the Central Military Commission potentially gives Hu Jintao - who succeeded Mr. Jiang as head of the Communist Party and president of China in 2002 and is now vice chairman of the military commission - a chance to become the country's undisputed top leader, commanding the state, the army and the ruling party. But people here who were informed about a bargaining session under way at a government compound in western Beijing said it remained unclear whether Mr. Jiang genuinely intended to step aside, or if he would do so on terms acceptable to Mr. Hu. Chinese political battles are often waged by indirection, with senior officials rarely stating their bottom line and often relying on supporters to represent their interests. Thus, one official said, it is possible that Mr. Jiang, 78, has calculated that he will be called on to remain military chief or to hold another position of influence. Still, Mr. Jiang's planned resignation, which he announced to a meeting of senior party officials late last week, is an indication that the horse-trading under way before the convening of a national party meeting this month is the most contentious since a partial transfer of power to younger leaders took place in 2002, the people who were told about the proceedings said. If Mr. Hu, who is 62, were to gain control of the armed forces, he could potentially carry out an agenda that some analysts say is more open to change at home and possibly less truculent in managing local hot spots like Hong Kong and Taiwan. China's party-controlled news media have not reported on the secretive meetings. People who described the proceedings on condition of anonymity probably have only a partial understanding of what happened and have received their information from other individuals who have a vested interest in the outcome. Ob sich Hu damit wirklich durchgesetzt hat, bleibt abzuwarten.


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