PRESIDENT Jiang Zemin has taken charge of personnel issues for the 15th Communist Party Congress scheduled for next year. But Mr Jiang, who is also party General Secretary, has to share decision-making powers with the other members of the Politburo Standing Committee. Chinese sources said yesterday that in the interest of maintaining stability in the runup to the post-Deng Xiaoping era, many personnel changes had been shelved till the 15th Congress. To ensure his predominance, Mr Jiang had quietly set up a high-powered group to look into matters such as promotions and retirements. 'The Jiang Zemin office is drawing up name lists for senior bodies such as the Politburo and the Central Committee Secretariat,' a source said. 'However, Mr Jiang has at least formally to work through fellow Politburo member Hu Jintao, whose portfolio is organisation and personnel.' The source said Mr Jiang hoped to lessen the influence of party elder Song Ping, a former organisation chief, who is Mr Hu's patron. Moreover, major appointments have to be approved by a majority of the seven Politburo Standing Committee members. It is believed that Standing Committee member Qiao Shi is also trying to elevate his proteges to important posts. Diplomatic analysts said Mr Jiang and Mr Qiao have clashed over the administration of the paramilitary People's Armed Police, a power base of Mr Jiang. They said Mr Qiao had gathered the support of regional leaders who complained that the armed police had taken bribes and engaged in turf wars with ordinary police and judicial personnel. The analysts added Mr Qiao was partly responsible for the removal of armed police commander Ba Zhongtan, a Jiang protege. Meanwhile, within the People's Liberation Army, Mr Jiang has to share power with fast-rising stars including Central Military Commission Vice-Chairman Zhang Wannian. Since last autumn, General Zhang has promoted a number of former associates to senior positions. These proteges include affiliates of the pre-1949 Fourth Field Army, where General Zhang earned his spurs. Among newly elevated officers considered close to General Zhang are the commanders of the Guangzhou and Shenyang military regions, General Tao Bojun and General Li Xinliang respectively, as well as the political commissars of the Shenyang and Lanzhou military regions, generals Jiang Futang and Wen Zongren.