President Hu Jintao recently told cadres to launch a new wave of study about former leader Jiang Zemin's 'Theory of the Three Representatives'- and the obedient followers have since gone into overdrive. In flood stricken areas around the country, heroic soldiers are shown on national television reinforcing dykes and saving communities - all in the spirit of the theory, which calls on the Communist Party to represent all advanced elements in a fast-changing society. According to state media, front-line nurses in the battle against Sars put their lives on the line and behaved so selflessly because they had Mr Jiang's theory in mind. And model policemen apparently wear it like a badge. While the former leader's theory was first floated more than three years ago, the propaganda campaign to promote it has been greatly ratcheted up in recent weeks following the flooding along the Huai river valley, where millions have lost their homes. The theory states that the party should represent the most advanced production forces, advanced culture and the interests of the masses. It is designed to broaden the party base and, in practical terms, the most important effect is that with the wider net it can now allow private business people to join the ranks. Tens of thousands of soldiers were ordered to stay on high alert to keep dykes intact. And on Friday, the Ministry of Health issued a circular reminding cadres to do everything they could to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases among flood victims. The soldiers' toil - some spent hours piling sandbags to reinforce dykes or saving stranded villagers from their inundated homes - has all been attributed to the motivation power of Mr Jiang's teaching. Gigantic posters and banners are festooning the cities and towns, urging the citizens to 'fully implement the Theory of Three Representatives'. Other banners say that by supporting the theory, people will 'keep abreast of the times and open a new phase of socialism with Chinese characteristics'. As part of the campaign, party members all around the country are being sent on seminars and study sessions to better understand the former president's approach. An IT specialist, who works with local governments on various projects, said that wherever he had gone in recent weeks, the key officials had not been available because they were taking the courses. 'I don't even have to ask anymore,' he said. 'As soon as the secretary answers the phone I know she's going to tell me all the bosses are out studying the Theory of the Three Representatives. It seems to have got very popular.'