Wen Jiabao and Zeng Qinghong (2): Perspectives on the 'Two Centers' of China’s Fourth Generation:

May 24, 2004
Civil-Military Change in China: Elites, Institutes and Ideas after the 16th Party Congress



There are also rumors that Jiang himself was criticized by the PLA for allowing the Lee visit to Cornell to take place and for being “softhearted” on the Taiwan issue.142
Zeng apparently used the incident to discredit the foreign ministry bureaucracy and, in a deft move designed to protect foreign minister Qian Qichen from excessive attacks, Zeng coopted Qian into becoming a pliant member of the Jiang camp.143
China responded to the Taiwan president’s visit to Cornell University in June 1995 with a series of missile tests in the Taiwan Strait in late July that closed the Strait to international merchant shipping for nearly 2 weeks and obliged an estimated 14,000 cargo ships to be re-routed around Taiwan’s eastern coast. It is uncertain whether Zeng Qinghong had a hand in the decision to go ahead with the missile tests. One might expect that it would take perhaps two weeks from decision-time to launch for such a symbolic show of force, and if so, Zeng and Jiang Zemin were on an official visit
of Europe during the time the missile threats were being debated. It is possible, therefore, that the PLA hatched the idea, and ran it through the CMC bureaucracy with only minimal involvement from CMC chairman Jiang and his closest advisor. Similarly, in March 1996, after weeks of signaling that Beijing was unhappy with the prospect of 4 more years for incumbent Taiwan President Lee Tenghui, the PLA launched at least three (though some news report say four) missile tests into the Taiwan Strait which hit waters just a few miles off Taiwan’s coast. Again, international maritime traffic was disrupted. But, again, it is not clear that Zeng had anything to do with the missile tests.
Nonetheless, it seems likely that Zeng Qinghong has been intimately involved in all other aspects of Taiwan policy from the time of the “secret envoy” meetings until this day. By September 1996, it was widely assumed that Zeng had been named to the “Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs.” Jiang headed the Group which also included Minister of Foreign Affairs Qian Qichen, Zeng Qinghong (as director of the CCP General Office), Wang Zhaoguo (director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council), Xiong Guangkai (assistant chief of the PLA General Staff), Jia Chunwang (Minister of State Security). When Zeng joined the Taiwan leading group, the Hong Kong press revealed that the leading group decided to “slightly readjust its policy”―primarily with regards to the impact of the PLA on Taiwan policy. Said one Hong Kong paper: after reviewing “both the positive and negative impact of the PLA military exercises during [Taiwan’s] presidential election period, a new framework has thus been established for the policy toward Taiwan.”
Zeng’s appearance on the Taiwan Group was not a surprise. No doubt Zeng identified Taiwan policy as critical to the PLA’s mission and was determined that Jiang Zemin must maintain control of the Taiwan Group in order to enhance his leverage over the generals.144
At a meeting of the Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs in August of 1998, Zeng was appointed to “take charge of the routine work of the group,” and Wang Zhaoguo was reportedly “relieved from his post as the secretary general of the group” when “the Central Committee decided to abolish the post of the secretary general of the group.”145
The Taiwan press was certain that Zeng would take over the day-to-day running of Taiwan work when the Politburo name list for the 16th Party Congress was published.146
And, judging from the names of those on the Taiwan Work Group when a more or less authoritative list was published in December 2003, Zeng certainly was in a position to exert control on the group―because they were mostly Shanghai factionalists.147
Most analysts see Zeng’s fingerprints on Taiwan policy, but it is evident that Zeng hopes to keep his name out of it. As the grassroots movement among Taiwan’s people for ever greater “national identity” spreads, Taiwan policy now has the potential to turn into a major disaster for China. True to form, Zeng is perfectly happy with Hu Jintao as chairman of Taiwan affairs, and hence liable for blame if the policies backfire. But Zeng wants his own people running Taiwan decisionmaking.148
Hong Kong.
Jiang Zemin not only trusted Zeng Qinghong’s instincts in domestic affairs and Taiwan, but from a fairly early stage, Zeng seemed to have Jiang’s ear on Hong Kong’s transition.
Hong Kong, of course, was Deng Xiaoping’s crowning foreign policy achievement and, until Deng’s passing in February 1997, Jiang was reluctant to make any obvious move to bring Hong Kong policy under his direct control by assigning it to Zeng. Nonetheless, as early as January 1994, Zeng, as director of the CCP Central Committee’s General Office, reported to Deng that two opinion polls in major urban areas and cities showed that, while “99 percent of the people supported the Central Government’s policy on the Hong Kong issue,” there were still “some people who thought that the central government was not tough enough toward Britain” and “even criticized the central government for being ‘rightist’ on this issue.”
Deng reacted defensively, and called on the PRC’s “Preliminary Work Committee” on Hong Kong negotiations to “quicken its work and . . . work in a down-to-earth manner.” Britain’s political attempts would not be allowed to succeed, Deng said, “because Hong Kong belongs to China.”149
Deng also acquiesced in Jiang’s selection of Hong Kong tycoon C.H. Tung as the territory’s first post-British leader, a choice that Zeng Qinghong no doubt had a hand in. In the early 1980s, when Tung’s “Orient Overseas Line” ran into financial troubles, the Chinese government bailed it out. Hence, Tung was beholden to Beijing. Tung, who spent his youth working in the Shanghai headquarters of his father’s extensive shipping company, could speak Shanghainese, had impressed Jiang as a loyal Chinese subject, and has since been considered a Jiang man.
After Deng’s death, Zeng ensured that all the “advance” planning of Jiang’s central role in the July 1, 1997, handover ceremonies required his personal attention. Ten days before the reversion, State Council Secretary-General Luo Gan and Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Director Lu Ping were obliged to complete their consultations in Hong Kong and return to Beijing, and three days later, Zeng, in his capacity as director of the General Office of the CCP Central Committee, arrived in Hong Kong to personally manage the details of Jiang’s visit. Zeng Qinghong informed the Hong Kong government that he was the senior Chinese official responsible for the Central Party Security Bureau and proceeded to review Jiang’s motorcade routes, protective coverage, guest lists, speeches, hotel and housing for the delegation, and all information related to foreign participants in the festivities.150
For the next 6 years, Zeng apparently maintained considerable, albeit discreet, influence over Hong Kong policy. Zeng’s prominence in Hong Kong affairs became visible after the Hong Kong government’s attempt to push through harsh sedition laws (known as “Article 23” legislation) prompted a series of gigantic street protests beginning with a march that drew more than 500,000 people on July 1. Within days, the Politburo had convened an “enlarged” meeting to study the situation. By July 6, reports out of Hong Kong indicated that there was a split in the Chinese leadership over how to handle the situation.151
On July 14, Beijing’s official English language newspaper China Daily slammed the demonstrations and the official Xinhua news agency insisted that Hong Kong must go through with legislative consideration of the Sedition Law “as scheduled.”152
All evidence pointed to Beijing’s propaganda arms gearing up for major pressure on Hong Kong’s government to push through the legislation. The Politburo’s Propaganda Chief was Liu Yunshan―a protégé of Jiang Zemin’s and Zeng Qinghong’s.153
Meanwhile, James Tien of Hong Kong’s pro-business (and Pro-Beijing) Liberal Party, and a key legislative ally of the SAR’s Chief Executive C.H. Tung, made an emergency visit to Beijing on July 3 and was immediately seen by Liu Yandong, the head of the Chinese Communist Party United Front Work Department and “a known protégé of President Hu Jintao.”154
There was no question that the CCP Center―under Hu Jintao―found it necessary to open an alternative dialogue channel in Hong Kong instead of relying solely on Tung. In a move that further undermined C. H. Tung (presumably to the delight of the Hu JintaoWen Jiabao faction), James Tien resigned from the Hong Kong SAR Executive Council. Tien indicated he was getting signals from Beijing that the PRC government wanted a “hands-off” stance in an effort to assuage democratic sentiments in the Hong Kong public. The Chinese government, he said, had no particular interest in either the “content or the timing” of the Article 23 legislation.155
The information dissonance coming from Beijing alarmed Tung, who flew to Beijing on July 19 to brief the leadership on the situation in Hong Kong. After meetings with C. H. Tung, President Hu and Premier Wen issued statements of somewhat faint praise for the SAR chief, and Hu Jingtao even directed Tung to “once again seek the advice and consent of the general public” (zaici xunwen gongzhong) on the Article 23 legislation. Hu also warned against “foreign powers or other outside forces interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”
Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to speed up “arrangements to establish even closer economic and trade ties between the interior and Hong Kong” in an effort to improve the SAR’s stagnant markets.156
But Wen Jiabao’s comment to the press, that he “as usual” (yiran) had full faith in Hong Kong, and its government “with C. H. Tung as head” was commented upon as a weak endorsement of the embattled SAR head.157
Tung also met with Jiang Zemin, and interestingly, Vice President Zeng Qinghong, the “influential ally of the former president” (as the Washington Post put it) participated in that meeting, not in Tung’s session with President Hu.158
On July 22, Hong Kong’s Economic Daily reported that Vice President Zeng had taken over the central task force on Hong Kong policy from State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, fearing that Beijing’s handling of the territory’s affairs was being conducted at too low a level.159 Shortly afterwards, a “well-placed source” in Beijing confided to a Singapore reporter that “Vice President Zeng Qinghong, now head of a special task force on Hong Kong, agreed the top priority was to stabilise the situation.”160
By September 16, Zeng had made an emergency inspection tour of South China to explore ways of “deepening” the economic interdependence of Hong Kong and neighboring Guangdong province. He then “summoned” Hong Kong’s beleaguered Chief Executive, C. H. Tung, to an audience in the East China city of Hangzhou where Zeng was “vacationing” and impressed on Tung the “importance of stability” to the situation in the former British Colony.161
As this paper was undergoing its final proof-read, there were indications that Zeng had remained at the center of Beijing’s strategic planning for Hong Kong, but that President Hu Jintao seemed less agitated about local agitation for democratization. It appeared, then, that Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao may have adjudged that there was a good chance Zeng Qinghong’s hardline stance against Hong Kong democratization may backfire and thus discredit Zeng and the Shanghai Gang.
Zeng’s Other Foreign Policy Involvement.
Beginning in 1997, before that autumn’s 15th Party Congress, Zeng had already begun to maneuver his way into foreign policy. His modus operandi was Machiavellian. Basically, Zeng made the foreign ministry look incompetent, and then, rather than punish the fools, he would appear to intercede in their defense. But he also used foreign ministry gaffes to justify the reinvention of the “Central Foreign Affairs Leading Group” as a national security council directly under Jiang Zemin (with, of course, Zeng maintaining control of the agenda on Jiang’s behalf). Through 1997, Zeng accompanied Jiang on his groundbreaking visits to Russia and the United States and was described as Jiang’s “special assistant” with protocolary rank higher than the foreign minister. I recall that during Jiang’s October 1997 trip to the United States, Jiang made a special point of introducing Zeng to President William Clinton in such a way as to lead the American side to assume that Zeng was an especially important influence on Jiang’s thinking. Zeng also made his own trips abroad in 1997 and 1998, covering countries in Europe, North America, and Asia―all greeted with raised-eyebrows from China-watchers who interpreted them as evidence of Zeng’s special interest in foreign policy.162
One example of Zeng’s tactics came during President Clinton’s visit to China in June-July 1998. Unbeknownst to either Beijing’s foreign ministry or the American president’s advance team, Zeng secretly ordered China Central Television to prepare live televised coverage for Clinton’s two scheduled speeches. But the foreign ministry was ordered to refuse the Clinton advance team’s requests for TV time. On both occasions, it was Zeng’s own CCP General Office official who approved the television broadcasts of Clinton’s speeches―and then only on the eve of the events. The effect was to make Jiang look reasonable and moderate to the Clinton people, while humiliating the foreign ministry.163
Zeng’s most remarkable foreign policy maneuver came in November 1998 surrounding Jiang Zemin’s state visit to Japan.
China’s new foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan, a Japan hand, had somehow been led to believe that the Japanese government would make two historical concessions: that Japan would issue a written apology for invading China in World War II, and that Japan would explicitly commit to President Clinton’s so-called “Three No’s” on the issue of Taiwan. Even before President Jiang embarked on his travels to Tokyo, Zeng was “already very much aware” that Japan had no intention of budging on these points. Yet, Zeng kept Beijing’s foreign ministry in the dark, and apparently allowed Minister Tang to brief Jiang that the concessions were achievable. At the conclusion of Jiang’s Japan visit, most observers counted it an utter fiasco and seemed to lay blame for the poor coordination on Minister Tang.164
Which is probably what Zeng Qinghong intended. Wounded by the debacle, Tang the Japan-hand was no doubt grateful that Jiang (and Zeng) kept him on the team. Within two years, Zeng was seen exercising his influence on diplomatic personnel and training, and was generally considered to have established his primacy over the foreign affairs bureaucracy.165
Another way Zeng seems to have gained influence in foreign affairs after 1997 was to serve as the advance man for Jiang Zemin on important visits abroad. In March 2001, for example, Zeng spent two days in Pyongyang conversing with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as well as with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) top military leader, Jo Myong Rok. Zeng’s mission apparently was focused on planning for Jiang Zemin’s September 2001 visit to Pyongyang. But Zeng’s mission was also to encourage the DPRK to move toward economic reforms with offers of “China’s free assistance.” Kim Jong Il had been in Shanghai just two months prior to Zeng’s Korean visit, and the Chinese press was filled with hope that the spectacle of Shanghai’s transformation since Kim’s previous visits of over a decade earlier would convince the DPRK’s god-king that the North had to change. In consideration whereof, Zeng reportedly offered to increase aid supplies of Chinese foodstuffs, crude oil, and coking coal.166
To be sure, a key topic of Zeng’s talks was the incoming Bush administration’s reassessment of America’s permissive stance on North Korean nuclear and missile development “and also reconfirmed their position on firmly opposing the so-called strategy of hegemonism, such as the National Missile Defense (NMD) system, pursued by the Bush administration.”167
As it happened, Jiang’s visit (with Zeng prominently figuring in the entourage) took place the week before the September 11 terror attacks in the United States and repeated the same themes of Chinese aid to the DPRK and Chinese hopes that the North would reform its economy.
During his two-day March visit, Zeng―at the time the 20th ranking member of the CCP Politburo―met five or six times with Pyongyang’s Dear Leader Kim. Dear Leader could no doubt overlook Zeng’s comparatively junior Politburo standing since Jiang himself reportedly had described Zeng as one of China’s “core leaders” of the next generation together with Vice President Hu Jintao.168
That Zeng was still very much in the center of North Korean policy issues on the eve of his ascension into the CCP’s nine-man SC of the Politburo in October 2002 was evident when Zeng took over the infamous “Yang Bin” case. Yang was a big-time tycoon-cum-con man from China who has wormed (or bribed) his way into the favor of Kim Jong Il and with his considerable wealth had managed to become named “governor” of the DPRK’s Potemkin-style “special economic zone” on the Chinese border. Apparently, the Chinese had advised Kim not to have anything to do with Yang Bin, but were ignored. Yang was then arrested on fraud and tax evasion charges and eventually tossed into prison with an 18-year sentence and a $300 million dollar fine.169
According to the Hong Kong press, Zeng coordinated the Yang Bin affair with the foreign minister, the tax bureau, the public security ministry, the Liaoning provincial government, and a host of lesser offices.170
Given Zeng’s central role in China’s relations with North Korea, it was not surprising when Hong Kong analyst Willy Wo-lap Lam reported in March 2003 that China’s new Vice President Zeng Qing Hong was a member of a newly formed Leading Group on the North Korean Crisis headed by President Hu. As recently as August 2003, Zeng was freely expressing himself on the North Korean nuclear crisis. Zeng evinced a sympathy with North Korea’s security concerns that seemed co-equal with any desire he may have had about a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.171
Without knowing the identities of the others on the “North Korean Crisis” leading group, it would be difficult to judge whether Zeng’s influence on North Korean policy is greater than Hu Jintao’s, but Zeng’s grip on the foreign ministry bureaucracy (through Tang Jiaxuan) and the military (via Jiang’s CMC chairmanship) suggest that whatever influence he cares to exercise would be decisive.
Zeng’s Interest in Military Policies
Most of the Chinese language press in Hong Kong and Taiwan has speculated that Jiang has intended to move Zeng Qinghong into the CMC at least since 1999.172
And it has been an open secret since Zeng’s selection in November 2002 for a seat on the CCP Politburo SC that his ambitions include a seat on the CMC. Jiang Zemin himself counted heavily on support from the PLA to tighten his grip on political power, and one report from Hong Kong indicated that Zeng Qinghong personally huddled with outgoing PLA chief, General Zhang Wannian, for over an hour in October to map out Jiang’s continuation as chairman of the CMC.173
Shortly after Zeng’s appointment as China’s vice president, informed observers in Beijing opined that “Jiang Zemin has the major power, Hu Jintao has the position, and Zeng Qinghong holds real power.”174 Speculation in Beijing calculated that Jiang Zemin could hold on to the CMC chair as long as the world was gripped by a series of crises from the Iraq war to the North Korean crisis and from the Taiwan issue to unsettled relations with the United States, all compounded by the leadership transition, but that Jiang would be loath to abandon his CMC chair to Hu Jintao without some confidence that his influence would remain strong. As such, Jiang could only rest easy if Zeng Qinghong were on the CMC running day-to-day affairs. By the end of 2003, it was clear that Jiang had no plans to depart the CMC anytime soon, and perhaps would even stay on until the 17th CCP Party Congress in 2007. If so, Zeng still plans to be a CMC vice chairman―despite the fact that he would be over 68 years old.175
Through 2003, Zeng had already given outward appearances of being interested in defense affairs. In September he conferred with visiting defense ministers from Uganda, Canada, and Australia, and met with the Vietnamese defense minister in October.176
It may also have been that Zeng sought to take advantage of his early career in the military missile program to enhance his reputation as the Politburo’s expert on space technology and policies. In March of 2002, Zeng accompanied Jiang Zemin to China’s space center in Jiuquan to observe the launch of the unmanned Shenzhou-3 space capsule, and in November Zeng and other Politburo and military figures apparently visited the Second Astronautical Institute to offer their congratulations.177 In early 2003, Zeng toured several missile component factories in Jiangxi, his father’s old bailiwick, and in Guizhou province.178
Zeng Haisheng, Sister of the Revolution.
Zeng Qinghong’s sister must certainly be one of Zeng’s primary conduits for inside scuttlebutt within the PLA bureaucracy. She has come up through the ranks, but her promotion into the PLA’s general personnel files office to the office of the Chief of General Staff seems to have coincided with her brother’s increasing prominence on the national scene.
General Zeng Haisheng is a close aide to General Liang Guanglie, chief of the PLA General Staff Department. She was also a member of the PLA’s 268-person delegation to the Tenth National People’s Congress in March 2003.179
On April 3, 2003, “Major General Zeng Haisheng” was identified as deputy director of Chief of General Staff office (Zong Can Bangongting fuzhuren) when she saw off General Kui Fulin at the airport as he departed on a visit to three African countries, and a few days later she saw off General Xiong Guangkai on his trip to South Africa.180
Naturally, she was at the airport when the delegations returned. A name search of the PLAD website turned up at least 20 news articles that included General Zeng Haisheng’s name, mostly blurbs about General Zeng greeting or sending-off various PLA delegations.181
In January 2003, General Zeng gave at least four military, security, and information related briefings to the tenth session of the Beijing Municipal Political Consultative Conference. From September 29 to October 1, 2002, General Zeng Haisheng led a team of four from the PLA General Staff Department to inspect the city of Jinggangshan, which she called the “cradle of the revolution.”183
No doubt because of her paternity and her brother’s senior status in the Politburo, General Zeng was treated with the greatest of deference in Jiangxi as she traveled with several other military officers from the Jiangxi Military district, touring such landmarks as Mao’s old house in the Ruijin base area. Clearly, General Zeng is in a position to know just about everything that is going on in the PLA, and certainly must share that information freely with the vice president―her brother.
The careers of Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Zeng Qinghong are emblematic of the two very different world views of China’s “two centers,” the Party/Government and the PLA. Not since the early 1930s when Mao Zedong leveraged his control of the Red Army “gun” in the Jiangxi Base area to gain leadership in the Party, has the Army’s top leadership been seen as a competing center of power to the Party Center. The “Futian Incident” of 1930 established Mao as the preeminent leader of the Party for nearly three decades, and in 1959, following his humiliation at the Lushan Plenum and his retirement from the policy work, Mao was determined to maintain his control of the Army. Indeed, Mao used the Army as his powerbase to undermine and then destroy his political rivals during the Cultural Revolution, and the Army remained a separate center of power until the Third Plenum of the 11th Party Congress when both political and military power were again concentrated in the hands of one person, Deng Xiaoping. Control of the Army was essential to Deng’s ability to defeat the most serious challenge to the power of the Party since the Cultural Revolution―the Tiananmen Demonstrations.
Since 1989, Jiang Zemin and Zeng Qinghong have seen the PLA as a vital part of their own power base. But it remains to be seen whether China’s army wants to continue in the role as the Praetorian Guard for an unpopular leadership. Political dynamics in China are already undergoing profound changes, and the SARS fiasco may have begun a process in the Army that inclines it toward a leadership with proven political competence. As the sentiments against the “two centers” expressed by senior PLA generals during the NPC session in March 2003 indicate, the PLA is somewhat uncomfortable with the existing situation―a civilian leadership focused on economic (and perhaps even eventual political reforms) vying with Jiang Zemin’s “Shanghai Gang,” which sees the PLA’s role as bolstering their personal influence. But as long as the PLA has its own agenda―to transform itself into a fighting force befitting a global superpower―the PLA’s top military commanders may well be inclined to go with the political leadership that promotes their goals.
If, in the long-run, both the economic reformists and Zeng Qinghong’s Shanghai faction continue to see the PLA as the strategic center of power in China, there is little likelihood that China’s national priorities will shift away from military modernization and “increasing the comprehensive strength of the nation.” On the other hand, if the Hu Jintao/Wen Jiabao leadership faction can successfully undermine Jiang Zemin’s prestige in the military―as they tried to do in the SARS crisis―there is a chance that the PLA’s influence over debates of national policy can be marginalized. At this juncture, the latter scenario seems unlikely.160

141. Zou Jingwen, p. 204
142. Qu Tao, “Jiang Zemin Promotes Hong Hu,” Hong Kong Chengming magazine, November 1, 1997, No. 142, pp. 41-43, translated by FBIS.
143. Ling Chen, “When Has Zeng Qinghong, Jiang Zemin’s Ambitious Top Advisor, Emerged From Behind the Scenes?” Hong Kong Kai Fang magazine, No. 145, January 3, 1999, pp. 35-38.
144. Hao Xinyi, “CPC Comprehensively Readjusts Its Policy Toward Taiwan,” Hong Kong Ming Pao, September 10, 1996, p. A12, transcribed by FBIS.
145. Xiao Peng, “Zeng Qinghong Joins Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs,” Hong Kong Sing Tao Jih Pao, September 7, 1998, p. A7, translated by FBIS.
146. Wang Zhuozhong, “Zeng Qinghong, Chen Yunlin jiang zhang dui Tai
Gong zuo” (Zeng Qinghong, Chen Yunlin to run Taiwan Work portfolio), Taipei
China Times, November 15, 2002
147. See Wang Zhuozhong, “Zhonggong dui Tai Juece Xin Ban di, Yi zhiwu
Gongneng Kaoliang” (The CCP’s new cadre of Taiwan Policymakers, Professional
Capacities is main consideration), Taipei China Times, December 26, 2003. Author
cites Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po as reporting that the CCP Central Taiwan Task
Force (Zhong Yang Dui Tai Gong Zuo Xiao Zu) had been reshuffled and formally
announced on December 25. The new nine-man Task Force includes one more 174
member than the previous group. They are Hu Jintao (replacing Jiang Zemin,
as chief), Jia Qinglin (replacing Qian Qichen as deputy), Tang Jiaxuan (state
councilor, replacing Zeng Qinghong, as secretary general), Wang Gang (director
of General Office of the CPC Central Committee, new), Liu Yantong (Head of the
United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, replacing Wang
Zhaoguo), Wang Daohan (president of the Association for Relations Across the
Taiwan Strait, remains), Chen Yunlin (Director of Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s
State Council, remains), Xu Yungyao (National Security Minister, remains), Xiong
Guangkai (Deputy Chief of General Staff of PLA, remains). Aside from Hu Jintao
himself, only Minister of State Security Xu Yunyao is clearly not a Jiang Zemin
protégé, and consequently may not be inclined to seek Zeng Qinghong’s guidance.
Zeng kept Tang Jiaxuan on the job even after the fiasco of Jiang Zemin’s Tokyo visit
of 1998 (see below), Wang Gang is also considered a “brother and faction member
of Zeng Qinghong” (Wang was in the Seventh Ministry of Machine Building with
Zeng for 10 years).
148. At the end of December 2003, the removal of a key Shanghai man from
the Taiwan Affairs Office indicated that Zeng Qinghong may be losing his grip
on Taiwan policy. See “Zhuan Zhou Mingwei bei diaoli Guotaiban ‘Shanghai
Bang’ Zaici Shoushang” (Zhou Mingwei transfer from the State Council Taiwan
Office said to be another blow to the ‘Shanghai Faction’”), Singapore Asia Times (in
Chinese), December 29, 2003, at http://www4.chinesenewsnet.com/MainNews/Forums/
149. Chen Weiming, “Deng Xiaoping Requires the Preliminary Work
Committee to Do Down-to-Earth Work,” in the Pro-PRC Hong Kong magazine,
Ching Pao, No. 1, January 5, 1994, pp. 18-19, translated by FBIS.
150. “Jiang Zemin’s Assistant Zeng Qinghong Arrives in Hong Kong to
Make Arrangements for Reversion,” Hong Kong Ming Pao, June 23, 1997, p. A2,
translated by FBIS. Liu Fei-lang (cited earlier) also says that before the 15th party
congress (1997) Zeng was “given another title, that of first political commissar
of the Central Guards Regiment” the unit that is responsible for the protective
security of the central leadership.
151. Zheng Hanliang, “23 tiao zenma xiu? Zhongyang liang tiao luxian?”
(How to revise Article 23? Are there Two Lines at the Center?), Taipei China Times,
July 7, 2003.
152. The China Daily headline read “Conspiracy to Subvert,” and the editorial
accused the democratic camp of trying to transplant “Western political systems
to Hong Kong.” “Hong Kong Democrats Attacked in Editorial in China-Owned
Paper,” Bloomberg wire service, July 14, 2003, at http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/
153. Even the English language press was sensitive to Liu’s patrimony―see
Joseph Kahn, “Analysts See Tension Among Chinas Leaders,” New York Times,
July 1, 2003. Liu Yunshan is a rigid party ideologue on propaganda matters
according to Charles Hutzler, “Beijing Strives to Match Changing Nation’s Pace,”
The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2003, at http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1066584
154. Wong Kwok Wah, “ANALYSIS: HK leader loses the mandate of
heaven,” Singapore, Asia Times, July 9, 2003, at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/
155. Hamish McDonald, “Hong Kong protesters to keep up the pressure,”
Melbourne, The Age, July 7 2003, at http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/07/06/
156. Chen Jingxin, “Beijing Si Jutou, Gao Zitai Yan Dong” (Four Beijing
Heavyweights give high profile support to Tung), New York World Journal, July
20, 2003.
157. “Wen Jiabao Hui Dong, Xian Paiding Xinwan,” (Wen Jiabao sees C. H.
Tung, first prescribes a dose of digitalis), New York World Journal, July 21, 2003
(citing Taipei Central News Agency).
158. Philip P. Pan, “China’s Leaders Show Support for Hong Kong’s
Chief Executive,” The Washington Post, Sunday, July 20, 2003, p. A28, at http:
159. See “Zeng Qinghong fenguan Xianggang shiwu” (Zeng Qinghong
assigned to handle Hong Kong Affairs,” New York, World Journal, July 23, 2003.
See also Ching Cheong, “Beijing may shelve new HK law,” Singapore, The Straits
Times, August 15, 2003.
160. Ching Cheong, “Beijing may shelve new HK law,” Singapore, The Straits
Times, August 15, 2003, p. 1.
161. “Zeng Qinghong fan Yue shicha, Zhaojian Dong Jianhua, liaojie Gangfu
chehui guoan tiaoli hou zhuangkuang, qiangdiao wending dui Xianggangde
zhongyaoxing,” (Zeng Qinghong returns from inspection of Guangdong,
Summons C. H. Tung for an appreciation of the situation in the wake of the recall
of National Security legislation, Stresses the importance of stability to Hong
Kong), New York, World Journal, September 17, 2003, p. 2.
162. Ling Chen.
163. Ibid.176
164. Ib
164. Ibid. The most scathing commentary came from the Hong Kong press.
See Wang Ziyan, “Jiang Zemin’s Visit to Japan Premature, Ill-Timed,” Hong Kong
Hsin Pao, November 30, 1998, p. 20, which said all the visit did “was to expose
the weakness of the Japan policy of the Chinese government” and called it “Jiang
Zemin’s worst diplomatic failure since he assumed office.”
165. Wang Ziyan (above), see also “Twelve Senior Diplomats Who Were
Promoted Through Open Selection Have Recently Gone To Their Posts―Zeng
Qinghong Demands Stepping Up The Reform of The Personnel System Of Cadres
Dealing With Foreign Affairs,” Beijing Xinhua Domestic Service, in Chinese, 1348
GMT, March 19, 2003, translated by FBIS.
166. The reporting of Zeng’s “secret” visit was quite public, and references
to “free assistance” were replete in the Chinese press. See Kwon Kyong-pok,
“Background Behind CPC Organization Department Director’s Visit to DPRK,”
Seoul Yonhap, 0108 GMT, March 20, 2001, FBIS translated text. Zhang Jinfang
and Li Zhengyu, “Kim Chong-il, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of
Korea and Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, Meets With
Zeng Qinghong,” Beijing, Xinhua 1513 GMT, March 22, 2001, FBIS translated text.
Kim Jong Il Meets CPC Leader,” Beijing Xinhua 1555 GMT, March 22, 2001, FBIS
transcribed text.
167. Kwon Kyong-pok: “Director Zeng Qinghong’s Visit to North Korea,
What Did it Accomplish?,” Seoul Yonhap (Internet Version-WWW), 1517 GMT,
March 25, 2001, FBIS translated text.
168. See Wen Yu, “Zeng Qinghong: A Potential Challenger To China’s Heir
Apparent,” The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief Vol. 1, No. 10, November
21, 2001. Jiang had been making a habit of lavishing particular attention on Zeng
in the presence of foreign leaders. In a meeting with Russian President Putin at
the October 2001 APEC summit in Shanghai, Jiang introduced Zeng to Russian
president Putin as “Qinghong, our director of the Organization Department
and a member of the Secretariat.” Most analysts saw Jiang’s reference to Zeng
simply as “Qinghong” as implying an extremely close relationship, at http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=17&issue_id=...
169. See Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Press Conference on July 15, 2003, at http:
170. “Chuli Yang Bin An, Chuan you Zeng Qinghong Fuze” (Zeng Qinghong
said to handle Yang Bin Case), Taipei China Times, October 8, 2002 (cites Hong
Kong’s Jingji Ribao).
171. Willy Wo-Lap Lam, “China looks ahead to Korea crisis,” CNN International
(internet report), March 18, 2003, at http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/177
03/18/willy.column/n policies. See also Joseph Kahn, “Six Party Talks U.S. Set to Take
a Hard Line in Talks on Korean Arms,” the New York Times, August 27, 2003, at
172. Wu Su-li, “‘Shenzhou’ Space Strategy,” Hong Kong Kai Fang magazine,
No 156, December 5, 1999, pp. 15-16, FBIS.
173. “Kaifang Zazhi: Jiang Zemin Kao Juntou ji zhang Jun quan” (Kaifang
Magazine says Jiang Zemin relies on Military chiefs for hold on Military power),
New York World Journal, December 6, 2002.
174. “Zeng Qinghong mingnian keneng ren Junwei Fuzhuxi” (Zeng Qinghong
could be named CMC Vice Chairman next year), New York World Journal, April
3, 2003 (citing Hong Kong Kaifang [Open] magazine). See also Wang Zhuozhong,
“Jiang Zemin Ji Zhang ‘Guofang Waijiao Liangan’ San Daquan” (Jiang Zemin
maintains grip on authority in three priority areas, ‘Defense, Foreign Affairs,
Cross-Strait’), Taipei China Times, February 17, 2003.
175. Ruan Leyi, “Zeng Qinghong Shiqi Da ren Junwei fuzhuxi?” (Will Zeng
Qinghong wait for 17th CPP Congress before being CMC Vice Chairman?), Taipei
China Times, December 15, 2003, at http://news.chinatimes.com/Chinatimes/newslist/
176. See “China’s Zeng spreads wings, gains power with military post,”
based on Reuters dispatches, Taipei China Post, November 4, 2003, at http://
177. “Hangtian Er Yuan Jianyuan 45 zhou nian, Li Lanqing, Wu Bangguo, Zeng
Qinghong, deng biaoshi zhuhe” (Li Lanqing, Wu Bangguo, Zeng Qinghong and
others offer congratulations on the 45th anniversary of the Second Astronautical
Institute), Press Release, China National Space Administration, November 28,
2002, at http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/brow.asp?id=1154.
178. News release, “Jiang Zemin Xianchang Guankan ‘Shenzhou”Sanhao
Feichuan Fashe Chenggong” (Jiang Zemin observes the successful launch of the
‘Shenzhou-3’ Spacecraft at the launch site), China National Space Administration,
March 25, 2002, at http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/brow.asp?id=725.
179. “Zhonghua Remnin Gonghe Guo Di Shijie Quanguo Renmin Daibiao
Dahui daibiao Mingdan (2982 ming)” (Namelist of delegates to the Tenth Session
of the People’s Republic of China National People’s Congress [2982 names]),
People’s Daily Information Database, at http://www.people.com.cn/GB/shizheng/252/
180. “Kui Fulin shuai Junshi Daibiaotuan Chufang Feizhou san guo” (Kui
Fulin leads a military delegation to three African nations), Beijing People’s 178
Liberation Army Daily, April 3, 2003, at http://www.pladaily.com.cn/gb/pladaily/
2002/04/03/20020403001090_army.html. Fu Zong Canmozhang Xiong Guangkai
Shangjiang Qicheng fan Nanfei Chuxi Huiyi, (Vice Chief of General Staff General
Xiong Guangkai Embarks on trip to South Africa to attend conference), April 6,
2003, at http://jczs.sina.com.cn/2003-04-06/119324.html.
181. Among them were: www.english.peopledaily.com.cn/200304/06/
eng20030406_114633.shtml, http://www.people.com.cn/GB/shizheng/252/9667/9685/
20030315/944408.html, http://www.people.com.cn/GB/junshi/60/20021028/852180.html,
www.jiaodong.net/2003/2/68203.htm, http://www.pladaily.com.cn/gb/pladaily/2002/10/
27/20021027001043_world.html, http://www.pladaily.com.cn/gb/pladaily/2001/12/12/
20011212001112_army.html, http://mil.21dnn.com/5051/2002-10-27/186@486760.htm,
http://www.pladaily.com.cn/big5/pladaily/2002/04/20/20020420001067_army...., http:
//jczs.sina.com.cn/2003-04-06/119324.html, http://www.pladaily.com.cn/gb/pladaily/
182. See the Beijing PCC web site at http://www.beinet.net.cn/bjzx2003/overture/
index.jsp. In 1998, Zeng Haisheng was awarded a Science and Technology
Progress Prize, Third Class, possibly for her work in computerizing the General
Staff Records Office, see http://www.chinatech.com.cn/aspx/kejiziliao/kejijiangxiang/
183. See the Jiangxi Agricultural and Economic Net at http://www.jxagriec.gov.cn


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