Communist maestro finally steps down


China's former Communist Party chief and president, , ceded his last official post on Tuesday as parliament prepared to hand the final, if only ceremonial, lever of power to his successor Hu Jintao.

Parliament approved Jiang's resignation as chief of the symbolic state Central Military Commission in a near unanimous vote, the final step in a historic leadership transition that started in November 2002 with his retirement as party chief.

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