BEIJING: A day after retiring from the top military post, China's former paramount leader Jiang Zemin told army chiefs yesterday to accept the leadership of the Communist Party and of their new commander Hu Jintao.
Jiang was shown on state television telling an expanded meeting of the Central Military Commission (CMC) that party leadership of the military was a matter of “life and death”.
Jiang also reiterated China's longstanding refusal to renounce the use of force in any eventual reunification of Taiwan.
“I hope the military will forever and resolutely listen to the views of the party, go with the party and listen to the party's orders,” Jiang was quoted as saying.
“To accept the absolute leadership of the party is the basis of our military ... and is a matter of life and death of our military, the existence of our party and the future of socialism.
“We must uphold the party's absolute leadership ... the military is the party's military.”
Jiang, 78, stepped down on Sunday as chairman of the CMC, his last official post. He handed over control of the 2.5 million-strong nuclear-armed military to Hu during a high-level party meeting.
The move completed a leadership transition that began in 2002, when Hu replaced Jiang as party boss. – AFP