Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Anti-graft drive in China boosts Hu's power: analysts

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cracking down on corruption is a tactic that Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) is using to centralize his power and promote his goal of building a "harmonious society," political observers said yesterday.

The Cross-Strait Study Association, a group affiliated with the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) former New Tide faction, sponsored a discussion yesterday afternoon on China's crackdown on former Shanghai Chinese Communist Party (CCP) boss Chen Liangyu (陳良宇)

Chen was sacked last month and is now under investigation for allegedly channelling city pension funds into illegal investments.

Ruan Ming (阮銘), who was once special assistant to former CCP secretary-general Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦) and now works at the Taiwan Research Institute, said that he thought Chen's case was just part of a small power struggle within the CCP.

Chen's downfall was Hu's final step toward eliminating the influence of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin (江澤民), Ruan said.

"I think Chen's case will not have too much of an impact on China's political power succession. The decisive battle for power between Hu and Jiang was settled in the fourth CCP Plenary Meeting two years ago," Ruan said. "Chen's downfall only demonstrated Hu's ability to root out the last of the Shanghai faction's residual force."

Chen became a target because he had overestimated his own power in Shanghai, Ruan said.

"The Chen case shows Hu's tactics of `slaying one as warning to others.' It helped consolidate and centralize Hu's power," Ruan said.

Kainan University professor Chang Chih-chung (張執中) said the new goals set up by Hu, including "creating a harmonic society and developing scientific viewpoints for China," are Hu's major aims.

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