Jiang's new chapter hits headlines
Former president Jiang Zemin is back in the limelight again in the politically sensitive lead-up to next week's opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress.
Jiang hit the headlines yesterday when the top news item on China Central Television's evening news bulletin reported the release of A Chronicle of Jiang Zemin's Thoughts (1989-2008).
The work contains abstracts of reports, public speeches, articles, letters, instructions and inscriptions by Jiang in the two decades since he became Communist Party general secretary in 1989. The 48,000-word compilation chronicles Jiang's thoughts and ideologies 'in the areas of stability, reform and opening up, domestic politics, foreign policies, national defence and the governance of party, government and the military', the CCTV report said.
The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, released in Chinese in 2006, had also been released recently in English, French, Russian, Spanish and Japanese translations, the report said.
Retired state leaders traditionally shun public appearances and news headlines, apart from a few special occasions such as National Day, but publications of their works, usually compiled by recycling their public speeches and reports, have provided the right occasions for their names to hit the headlines.
Political analysts have said that Jiang's high-profile appearance next to President Hu Jintao during last year's National Day parade is a sign that the retired leader still wields considerable political clout.
Jiang's official biography was released in 2005, while books containing the former leader's views about international relations, information technology and energy policies have also been published, along with a book about machinery said to have been translated from Russian by Jiang.