With Jiang refusing to let go, Hu has had to do lots of kowtowing since becoming Party chief on Nov. 15. In an secret speech to Party leaders, he promised to consult Jiang on major decisions. He will also send Jiang minutes of important meetings. In a Nov. 22 visit to China, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry expected to meet with Hu; instead he wound up talking to Jiang, according to a former diplomat close to Perry. And Jiang remains the Party's propaganda darling. In the last 10 days of November, Jiang's photo appeared on the front page of the Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily newspaper, 10 times, com-pared to Hu's single showing. With Jiang staying atop the army, Hu better get used to saluting.
It's hard to say good-bye, and China's outgoing President Jiang Zemin seems determined not to. Despite hopes for a real transfer of power to new Communist Party leader Hu Jintao, officials say Jiang will remain as chairman of the Central Military Commission for several more years. Army general Xu Caiyou, whom Jiang just promoted, declared that his boss's continued leadership ensures "lasting political stability." Less charitable observers have portrayed it as a simple lust for power.