China

Wrangling in China over Top Military Spot

Will departing president cling to leadership of chief?

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Even as the Communist Party Congress concludes its sweeping leadership transition later this week, the question of whether the departing president, Hu Jintao, will keep his powerful post as head of the military looms as a major unresolved issue, and one of deepest intrigue.

Mr. Hu is scheduled to cede the chairmanship of the ruling party to Vice President Xi Jinping at the end of the congress. But will he cling to a position of considerable influence as the civilian military chief for two more years, and delay the ascension of Mr. Xi to that post? Or will Mr. Hu depart the scene completely?