The National People's Congress yesterday approved former president Jiang Zemin's resignation from his last official post as chairman of the state Central Military Commission. Mr Jiang's resignation, marking a symbolic end to the 21/2-year transfer of power to a younger generation of leaders, was approved by 2,853 delegates attending the annual NPC plenary session. Eight voted against and five abstained. His exit marks the completion of the transition of power to President Hu Jintao . Mr Jiang, 78, did not make an appearance on the stage to witness the vote, nor did the former leader show up at other functions of the NPC session. Mr Hu took over from Mr Jiang as general-secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee in November 2002. He succeeded him as president in March 2003 and as head of the party's Central Military Commission last September. The NPC is expected to vote for Mr Hu to become the new head of the state military body on Sunday. Mr Jiang had held the position for almost 16 years. He replaced party chief Zhao Ziyang shortly after the military crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. His promotion was largely a result of political compromises among party elders who selected him as the head of the so-called third generation of leaders. Major-General Wang Yufa , former political commissar of the People's Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong, said the army had seen its best period of development during Mr Jiang's stewardship. 'The military has experienced a big jump ... in terms of personnel training, upgrading of weaponry and equipment and the introduction of information technology in the past 15 years,' he told the South China Morning Post. With Mr Jiang's final exit, Mr Hu will be in full command of the party, government and military. General Wang said Mr Hu had promoted the introduction of information technology in the army since taking the reins. Mr Jiang is still expected to wield considerable influence behind the scenes as he has packed many influential positions with political allies. Six of the nine members of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, and more than half of the full Politburo and State Council, are said to be allies of Mr Jiang or members of his Shanghai faction.