Primacy of The Party $

Reversing a separation of power, China gets a dual-role President

IN THE 1980S CHINA'S REFORMIST LEADERSHIP TRIED to keep top posts in the ruling Communist Party separate from those of the government. That campaign reversed a tradition established by no less a figure than Mao Zedong, who served simultaneously as party chief and head of state from 1954 to 1959. Now the pendulum seems headed back toward the direction of double dipping -- and a reconsolidation of official power in party hands.

At the close of the 17-day National People's Congress now under way, Jiang Zemin, 67, the current party general secretary, is scheduled to become the fifth President of the...

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