Hu Jintao seen prevailing in PLA power struggle with Xi Jinping and Jiang Zemin

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By Willy Lam,

President Hu Jintao has clawed back some territory with a reshuffle of the People’s Liberation Army’s top brass that largely tallies with the wishes of the 69-year-old supremo.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, front, and Vice President Xi Jinping, back, on Sept. 29 in Beijing. /Feng Li/Getty Images AsiaPac

It seems likely that Hu will remain chairman of the policy-setting Central Military Commission (CMC) for a couple more years after his retirement from the Politburo at the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress scheduled to open on Nov. 8.

Hu’s supporters have cited China’s tense relations with Japan and the U.S. as reasons why the country requires a “commander-in-chief with experience” to handle the national security and defense portfolio.

This development will mean that while “crown prince” and Vice President Xi Jinping will become CCP general secretary next month, he has to wait at least two more years become securing the PLA’s top slot.

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