Jiang: Hu's takeover natural and convincing
Jiang Zemin, who just handed over his post as military chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to Hu Jintao Sunday, expressed his strong support to Hu 's succession in Beijing Monday, urging all to "resolutely support" Hu's work.
"Comrade Jintao is the general secretary of the Party and president of the state, so it's natural and convincing for him to take over as the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC)," said Jiang, 78, while he and Hu attended an enlarged meeting of the CMC held in Beijing Monday morning.
"I'm convinced that the Party Central Committee had made a correct decision in choosing Comrade Jintao to take over as the CMC chairman," said Jiang. "All of you must advocate the Party Central Committee's decision and resolutely support his (Hu's) work."
Jiang praised the 61-year-old Hu as a "young and energetic" leader with "rich leading experience" and "excellent qualifications".
"Since he started to serve as CMC vice-chairman in 1999, he was directly involved in the making of a series of major decisions regarding army building," said Jiang.
"Comrade Jintao is absolutely qualified to be the CMC chairman," he stressed.
He explained that for a large party like the CPC and a large country like China, "it is not only necessary, but also the most appropriate option to adopt a three-in-one leadership system under which Party general secretary, state president and CMC chairman is the same person".
"To hand over this three-in-one duty to Comrade Jintao is conducive to the long-term development of the cause of the Party and the military, to the stability and prosperity of the country in the long run, as well as to the upholding of the fundamental principle and system of the Party's absolute leadership over the military," Jiang noted.
Stating that "the top leadership of our Party, state and military has completely and smoothly realized an old-to-new transfer and transition", Jiang said: "Now I have accomplished my historical mission and fulfilled my historical duty."
"I'm very pleased to see that the cause of the Party, state and military has had a good successor," he added.
Jiang also reviewed his work as the Party military chief in the past 15 years since 1989. "When Comrade (Deng) Xiaoping handed over the post of CMC chairman to me, I really felt that an extremely heavy burden had been put on my shoulders," he recalled.
"Over the past 15 years, I had tried my best to live up to the trust of Comrade Xiaoping," said Jiang. "Day and night, I was always concerned about our country's sovereignty and security and our army's building and development."
"Though I'm retired now, my heart will always be linked with the military, with all officers and soldiers of the army, and with the comrades in the CMC," he said.
Hu: Jiang sets a splendid example
Meanwhile, Hu Jintao praised Jiang Zemin for easing in a new era of Chinese leadership and for his "noble character, sterling integrity and broad-mindedness."
"Jiang's decision to resign his post as chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission was made after meticulous consideration," said Hu.
"He (Jiang) stands high, sees afar and reckons deep," Hu said. "Chairman Jiang's noble character, sterling integrity and broad- mindedness has set a splendid example for us," said Hu at an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission attended by Jiang.
Now Jiang Zemin's ideas on national defence and army building will be included among the thoughts of the other great Chinese leaders, Hu said. Those ideas will stand besides Chinese military studies and practices and the writings of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
Hu went on to say that Jiang has made "outstanding contributions" to the military and the country during the past 15 years when he served as CMC chairman and during the 13 years prior to the 16th CPC National Congress when serving as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
Hu stressed that the most important issue for the building and development of the Chinese army is to adhere to the Party's absolute leadership over the armed forces.
"We can never be ambiguous or vacillating in our stance" at any time or under any circumstance in upholding the principle, Hu said.
At present, the most important, most realistic and most pressing task is to make the army ready for combat by constantly improving its training and performance, Hu said.