Jiang's Farewell

President Hu Jintao appears to have succeeded where every Chinese leader since Chairman Mao has failed: pulling off a leadership transition without purges, midnight arrests or blood in the streets. Although the 61-year-old Hu is already China's President and chief of the Communist Party, until last week he still shared power with his 78-year-old predecessor, Jiang Zemin, who retained his post as chairman of the Central Military Commission.

But now all that may be changing. According to a senior Party official, in the days before the Sept. 16-19 Central Committee meeting in Beijing, the two reached an...

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