President Jiang Zemin has set 'political resoluteness' and 'global perspective' as the key criteria for the next generation of mainland leaders. He called on party seniors to select a new generation of younger and better educated statesmen. 'We must liberate our thoughts, discard old-fashioned attitudes that emphasise choosing someone senior in the party or stressing the need to take care of a certain interest group,' Xinhua quoted Mr Jiang as telling leading cadres attending the National Conference on Party schools. Senior cadres have to attend Communist Party schools for training and are often promoted afterwards. 'It is important to select the right people in the first place, and they must be trained, helped and supervised if they are to become effective leaders,' Mr Jiang said. He said that these leaders had to be younger as many senior government officials tended to be aged 60 and above. The leaders also had to be better educated, Mr Jiang said, and professionally competent, with political integrity. He said that 'broad-minded leaders embracing a global perspective, ideological resoluteness as well as the might to solve sticky problems in a practical way who were capable of running the party and the country were what the country really needed'. The President said younger cadres should be sent on tough assignments to train them in solving problems. Party sources said Mr Jiang had been selecting the 'fourth-generation' leaders, a reference to senior cadres in their 50s, with special support for Vice-President Hu Jintao for the nation's top job. Other potential fourth-generation leaders who are being groomed for senior positions include vice-premiers Wen Jiabao and Wu Bangguo, Guangdong party chief Li Changchun, the head of the Organisation Department, Zeng Qinghong, and the Politburo's member in charge of law and order, Luo Gan. Mr Jiang is expected to step down as Communist Party General Secretary in 2002 and as President in 2003. He might hold on to his other main position as chairman of the Central Military Commission.