–PLA GENERAL POLITICAL DEPARTMENT CALLS FOR THE STUDY OF “SELECTED WORKS OF JIANG ZEMIN”
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Political Department (GPD) issued a circular that called for the entire PLA and People’s Armed Police (PAP) to study the “Selected Works of Jiang Zemin,” including the theory of the “Three Represents” (Jiefangjun Bao, August 16). The circular praised the “Selected Works of Jiang Zemin” for recording the historical process of how “the third-generation central leadership with Jiang Zemin as the core led the entire party and the people of all ethnic groups throughout the country to press forward the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics” (Xinhua, August 16). Furthermore, the circular called for greater significance to be placed on the “Selected Works of Jiang Zemin” and recommended that it should be assigned an important position in the PLA’s ideological foundation. Given that Jiang’s (Shanghai) faction in the Politburo, led by Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong, is expected to jockey for power with the Hu faction during the 17th Party Congress in October 2007, the circular may be an early attempt by sympathetic elements within the GPD to position Jiang’s legacy in a positive light.
–VIETNAM CALLS FOR CLOSER MILITARY TIES WITH CHINA
At a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hu Qianwen, Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Phang Quang Thanh praised relations between China and Vietnam and called for an even closer military-to-military relationship between the two countries (Xinhua, August 10). Phung spoke highly of Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan’s visit to Vietnam in April and stated his hopes for an increase in Track-I, II and III relations as well as additional cooperation between the defense industries of the two states (China Brief, April 26). In spite of the bloody border war that the two countries fought with one another in 1979, Sino-Vietnamese relations have been improving since the late-1990s when China adopted its “new security concept” of cooperation with its neighbors, particularly with Vietnam. China is now Vietnam’s largest trading partner, and during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit in 2005, the two countries agreed to peacefully resolve its border disputes.