Power struggle gives rise to top Chinese generals, hawkish foreign-policy statements

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Willy Lam, East-Asia-Intel.com

A ferocious power struggle among three of China’s most powerful figures — former President Jiang Zemin, current President Hu Jintao, and expected President Xi Jinping — has resulted in top generals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acquiring unprecedented power.

China's President Hu Jintao, center, and Vice President Xi Jinping, right, at the National People's Congress on March 11 in Beijing.

The extraordinary clout of the top brass of the PLA has been evidenced by the fact that they have been given nearly free rein by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership to issue hawkish foreign-policy statements.

Many of these pugilistic pronouncements run not only counter to late patriarch Deng Xiaoping’s famous “keep a low profile” mantra, but also to the views of the country’s more moderate and pragmatic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In an article last week entitled “The defensive mentality has hindered China’s overseas expansion,” Maj. Gen. Han Xudong unabashedly called for an expansionist policy in the military, geopolitical and economic arenas.

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