President Jiang Zemin and propaganda chief Ding Guan'gen have become respectively the chief and vice-chief of the Guiding Committee for the Construction of Socialist Spiritual Civilisation, Chinese sources said yesterday. The unit was set up at the party Central Committee's sixth plenum last week to spearhead the drive to promote orthodox values such as Mr Jiang's slogan about 'paying more attention to politics'. The sources said the latest personnel development reflected the determination by Mr Jiang to take charge of the political agenda in the run-up to the 15th party congress next year. Mr Ding, a Jiang protege who is tipped for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, already controls the party's Leading Group on Ideology and Propaganda. The sources added that local-level committees on promoting spiritual civilisation had already been set up earlier this year in many provinces and cities. Nationwide ideological classes are being conducted to propagate spiritual civilisation, which many cadres have equated with the personal philosophy of Mr Jiang. The People's Daily reported yesterday that party committees in the regions and the People's Liberation Army had called special meetings to promote the ideals of spiritual civilisation. The paper quoted leaders of different provinces as saying the Resolution on Spiritual Civilisation passed last week was a 'cross-century programme of action' for the entire people. The Liberation Army Daily said yesterday that in his unpublicised speech to the plenum, Mr Jiang had explained the importance of spiritual civilisation from 'an elevated, strategic point of view'. The paper said all units in the army and People's Armed Police had begun a 'thorough study' of Mr Jiang's important speech. Meanwhile, a party source said that in his plenum address, Mr Jiang highlighted two major tasks for the coming year. One was to ensure national political stability to facilitate the peaceful transition of power in the 'new era', a euphemism for the post-Deng Xiaoping epoch. The source said this meant strengthening the party leadership with Mr Jiang as its core. The second task, he said, was to ensure a smooth transition of Hong Kong to Chinese rule.