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China's former president Jiang publishes selected works
BEIJING, Aug 9 (AFP) Aug 09, 2006
China's former president Jiang Zemin will publish his selected works Thursday, state media reported, in a development which analysts said was fraught with political significance.

The three-volume work, appearing in bookstores a week before Jiang turns 80, comes ahead of intense maneuvering in preparation for a five-yearly Communist Party meeting scheduled for the fall of 2007.

"It's not just a book," said Joseph Cheng, a China watcher at City University of Hong Kong.

"If you're allowed to publish your selected works, it's almost as if you're getting a supreme theoretician's status."

Several active politicians at the elite level, most importantly Vice President Zeng Qinghong, are considered Jiang's proteges.

With the publication of Jiang's magnum opus, they and their supporters are likely to get a boost in the personnel changes that will take place before and during next year's party congress, according to Cheng.

"The idea of course is that if Jiang enjoys so much status, you shouldn't challenge too much his appointments. That's the implicit message," he said.

The publication of Jiang's selected works -- including speeches, reports, letters and even inscriptions -- follows the appearance late last month of a lengthy work on Jiang's diplomatic career.

This book, entitled "For a Better World," spends 654 pages to describe all Jiang's travels and missions abroad in extremely exhaustive detail.

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