Chinese leader Hu Jintao has been urged to cede the presidency to a rival-turned-ally, sources said, a step that would sweep aside two decades of established practice and let him focus on extending Communist Party power.
Political allies of Vice President Zeng Qinghong have urged that he be promoted to state president at parliament’s annual session in 2008, the sources with close ties to the top leadership said, requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions for speaking to foreign media.
It was by no means certain the proposal would be adopted, but the debate is a sign that jockeying among leaders of the world’s fourth-bigggest economy has begun in earnest ahead of the 17th Communist Party Congress due some time between September and November this year.
“There are voices in the Party that it is no longer necessary for one person to hold all three positions,” one source told Reuters, referring to the presidency and the top Party and military jobs — all currently held by Hu. [Full Text]