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November 15, 2002: Hu becomes head of Chinese Communist Party

But retiring President Jiang Zemin kept a grip on power as up to seven associates were named in the nine-man Politburo Standing Committee

Image Credit: REUTERS
Hu Jintao claps his hands after China unveiled new members of the standing Committee of the elite Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party.
Gulf News

2002 - Longtime heir in waiting Hu Jintao became the head of China’s ruling Communist Party, but retiring President Jiang Zemin was set to keep a grip on power after packing the new leadership with allies and remaining as armed forces chief. Up to seven Jiang associates were named in the nine-man Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top ruling body, installed after the country’s first smooth transition of power in half a century of communist rule. And crucially Jiang, 76, who stepped down as party head is due to retire as state president next spring, hung on to the vital post as head of the Central Military Commission. The stage is set for Jiang to wield enormous influence over Hu, a shadowy 59-year-old career engineer who is currently vice-president.

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