The damage has already been done. Whether Jiang Zemin will give up all his positions at the 16th Communist Party Congress aside, his efforts at recycling dynastic politics over the past several months have turned the clock back on reform.
Many of the questions surrounding the succession issue–the supposed leitmotif of the congress that is set to open November 8–have remained unresolved. What is certain is that Jiang, who is concurrently party general secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), will for the foreseeable future remain the party’s–and the country’s–de facto No. 1. Chinese sources said by early September that the Politburo had come to a basic understanding concerning the future role of Jiang, the long-standing “core” of the Third Generation leadership.
THE THREE NO CHANGES