President Jiang Zemin has encountered opposition in his effort to unite the PLA under the so-called Jiang Theory. Sources close to the People's Liberation Army said yesterday his opponents had snubbed the President by hoisting the banner of the military teachings of Deng Xiaoping, Mr Jiang's predecessor as chairman of the Central Military Commission. The sources said that since Deng's death in February, Mr Jiang had paid numerous visits to the PLA units to impose his own line. The President had also asked central and regional PLA departments to hold special sessions to avow their allegiance to 'the party leadership with Jiang Zemin as its core'. The sources said officers in central PLA departments and regional commands had largely gone through the motions of saluting Mr Jiang's predominance. However, on both public and private occasions, senior officers, including General Liu Huaqing, had refused to acknowledge Mr Jiang's status. While touring military facilities in Sichuan last week, General Liu said Deng's theory on socialism was 'a flag for the party, Army and the people'. According to official reports of General Liu's tour of the province, the veteran vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission did not mention Mr Jiang. In an internal talk to officers during a trip to southern China, another commission vice-chairman expressed disagreement over a ruling that Mr Jiang had made on payment and welfare benefits for soldiers. The veteran pointed out decisions must be made by a collective leadership and that 'the word of one man does not count'. Moreover, the Chinese media have given contrasting treatment to speeches made by Mr Jiang. A case in point is the address the President made to a party congress in the Beijing military region last month. In its report, the People's Daily highlighted Mr Jiang's call for giving priority to 'ideological and political construction', shorthand for professing allegiance to the President. Other media reports of the same event, however, played up Mr Jiang's own reference to Deng Thought, an indication, analysts said, of a subtle attempt by forces controlling those media to put Mr Jiang in his place. A senior diplomat who recently toured military units in Beijing and the provinces said only one out of about a dozen officers who briefed him mentioned Mr Jiang. The diplomat said Mr Jiang had used his control over the dossiers of the top brass to keep them in line.