Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun is reporting that Hu Jintao will “step down from all posts he now holds after the 18th National Congress concludes on Nov. 14”. This is contrary to many commentators’ predictions that Hu would stay on as head of the Chinese Military Commission (CMC) in the manner of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin.
According to several party sources, the decision to approve Hu’s retirement as general secretary of the party, national president and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) was made at a Nov. 11 internal meeting of high-ranking party officials.
Another decision made at that meeting was a systematic ban on intervention in the political sector by retired leaders, including the long-retired Jiang Zemin, 86, who preceded Hu, 69, in all three posts.
The decisions were approved at an internal meeting of the National Congress held on Nov. 11.
Hu’s willingness to relinquish all influence on Party matters seems to have been conditioned on Jiang Zemin doing the same. Jiang has maintained a great deal of power since he retired from his final official role in 2005. Party sources previously revealed that Jiang had far more influence on the make-up of the next Politburo Standing Committee than the largely-sidelined Hu.
Hu had called for increased rule by law. Through his complete retirement from all posts, Hu is seeking to systematize personnel matters to prevent Jiang and other retired officials from further intervening in the political sector.
According to a party source, the move will mean that Jiang will have to vacate his office in the Zhongnanhai compound in central Beijing where the offices of major party organs are located.