Hu takes over as China's military chief
Hu Jintao succeeded Jiang Zemin as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, which concluded here Sunday.

Jiang Zemin, former chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, delivers an important speech at an enlarged meeting of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC) held in Beijing Sept. 20, 2004. (Xinhua Photo/Wang Jianmin)

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Hu Jintao, chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, delivers an important speech at an enlarged meeting of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC) held in Beijing Sept. 20, 2004. (Xinhua Photo/Wang Jianmin)
Chinese President Hu Jintao(L)shakes hands with Jiang Zemin(R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Sept.19, 2004. Hu succeeded Jiang Zemin as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, which concluded here today.(Xinhua Photo/Li Xueren)
Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee in Beijing Sept.19, 2004. (Xinhua Photo/Li Xueren)
Jiang Zemin(2nd,R) and Chinese President Hu Jintao(1st, R)meet with representatives who attend the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee in Beijing Sept.19, 2004. (Xinhua Photo/Li Xueren)
Nine senior members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC present at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee in Beijing, Sept. 19, 2004. (Xinhua Photo/Lan Hongguang)
Jiang Zemin (R5) and nine senior members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC pose for photos after the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee in Beijing, Sept. 19, 2004. (Xinhua Photo/Ju Peng)

Hu's takeover "natural and convincing": Jiang  

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Jiang Zemin, who just handed over his post as military chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to Hu Jintao Sunday, expressed his strong support to Hu 's succession here Monday, urging all to "resolutely support" Hu's work.

"Comrade Jintao is the general secretary of the Party and president of the state, so it's natural and convincing for him to take over as the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC)," said Jiang, 78, while he and Hu attended an enlarged meeting of the CMC held in Beijing Monday morning.

"I'm convinced that the Party Central Committee had made a correct decision in choosing Comrade Jintao to take over as the CMC chairman," said Jiang. "All of you must advocate the Party Central Committee's decision and resolutely support his (Hu's) work."

Jiang praised the 61-year-old Hu as a "young and energetic" leader with "rich leading experience" and "excellent qualifications".

"Since he started to serve as CMC vice-chairman in 1999, he was directly involved in the making of a series of major decisions regarding army building," said Jiang.

"Comrade Jintao is absolutely qualified to be the CMC chairman," he stressed.

He explained that for a large party like the CPC and a large country like China, "it is not only necessary, but also the most appropriate option to adopt a three-in-one leadership system under which Party general secretary, state president and CMC chairman is the same person".

"To hand over this three-in-one duty to Comrade Jintao is conducive to the long-term development of the cause of the Party and the military, to the stability and prosperity of the country in the long run, as well as to the upholding of the fundamental principle and system of the Party's absolute leadership over the military," Jiang noted.

Stating that "the top leadership of our Party, state and military has completely and smoothly realized an old-to-new transfer and transition", Jiang said: "Now I have accomplished my historical mission and fulfilled my historical duty."

"I'm very pleased to see that the cause of the Party, state and military has had a good successor," he added.

Jiang also reviewed his work as the Party military chief in the past 15 years since 1989. "When Comrade (Deng) Xiaoping handed over the post of CMC chairman to me, I really felt that an extremely heavy burden had been put on my shoulders," he recalled.

"Over the past 15 years, I had tried my best to live up to the trust of Comrade Xiaoping," said Jiang. "Day and night, I was always concerned about our country's sovereignty and security and our army's building and development."

"Though I'm retired now, my heart will always be linked with the military, with all officers and soldiers of the army, and with the comrades in the CMC," he said.

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