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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Hu ignored in Vice-President's German visit?

October 18, 2009

Tibetan Review
October 16, 2009

China's Vice-President Xi Jinping departed from a
long-standing Chinese diplomatic protocol during
his meeting Oct 12 with German Chancellor Angela
Merkel in Berlin by failing to begin by conveying
to his hosts the greetings of President Hu
Jintao, noted prominent China specialist Willy
Lam, writing in AsiaSentinel.com Oct 13.  Xi, the
apparent front runner to succeed President Hu, it
may be recalled, failed to make it to the Chinese
Communist Party's Central Military Commission at
the Sep’09 plenary session of the party Central Committee.

Willy Lam felt that Xi thereby apparently blamed
Hu for not inducting him into the policy-setting
military commission, which has been headed by the president since 2004.

Xi, 56, was, in fact, reported to have departed
from the protocol for a senior Chinese cadre on
overseas tour throughout his ongoing trip to five
European countries, even hardly mentioning Hu.

And during the meeting with Merkel, it was the
83-year-old former President Jiang Zemin who
dominated the exchanges. It was reported that
before their official discussion began, Xi handed
to Merkel the English editions of two books -- on
energy and on information technology -- written
by Jiang. Xi then, as per a Xinhua report,
"passed along Comrade Jiang Zemin's greetings and
good wishes" to the German leader. Merkel
reciprocated by asking Xi to send her greetings to Jiang.

There was no reference to Hu throughout the two leaders' tete-a-tete.

As the highest-ranked Fifth-Generation politician
in the Politburo Standing Committee, Xi is slated
to succeed Hu as party general secretary at the
18th CCP Congress in Oct 2012 – and as state
president a few months later. Hu’s favoured
candidate to succeed him is said to be
Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, who, for now, is
expected to take over the premiership from Wen Jiabao in early 2013.

Willy Lam sees Xi's apparent decision to openly
side with Jiang -- and his failure to appear
deferential to Hu -- as a good indication that
factional rivalry and jockeying for position has
begun some three years before the 18th Party
Congress when the fifth generation of Chinese
leaders are set to assumed office.
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