Time plays on Jiang's mind

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 October, 2002, 12:00am

Mr Jiang has fuelled more speculation over his retirement plans by expressing admiration for the 'youthful' appearance of former US secretary of state James Baker, 73, since he left office in 1993.

Mr Jiang, 76, is expected to step down as party boss next month but there have been rumours he might stay on as chairman of the Central Military Commission.

In a meeting with 60 overseas Chinese in Houston, he said a 20-year-old photograph of himself with his wife presented by the George Bush Presidential Library had made a strong impression. 'Time has passed so quickly. I was so young then,' Mr Jiang said.

He said Mr Baker had looked younger and younger since leaving government. 'It is so relaxing to shed the burden of responsibility.'