Wednesday, August 24, 2005
If he takes Hu's offer, Hu would most likely promise him that position until the 18th Party Congress in 2012. However, if he confronts Hu Jintao now, Hu might gain enough power by the 17th Party Congress to force Zeng Qinghong into retirement, using the “too close to 70” argument that Jiang had used against Qiao Shi. However, if Hu was cold-blooded (ie if he was like Zeng himself), he could promise Zeng CMC vice-chairmanship until 18th PC but renege on that promise at the 17th PC or soon afterward using the retire at 70 rule. In sum, I think Zeng's decision will be based on A) whether he thinks Hu will force him to retire at the 17th PC or soon afterward and B)his relationship with Liu Yandong. I think that Zeng wants to maintain a base in Shanghai, a rich metropolis in which he can carry out all kinds of nefarious dealings. If the family bond between Zeng and Liu is indeed deep, he might, as you say, take Hu's offer and sacrifice Chen.