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China military shuffle to preserve Hu role: Analysts

Published on Nov 5, 2012 2:44 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China has reshuffled its military top brass in a move analysts said on Monday was probably aimed at ensuring President Hu Jintao remains commander in chief of the military after a 10-yearly leadership change.

At a top Communist Party meeting Sunday, Mr Hu oversaw the promotion of Generals Fan Changlong and Xu Qiliang as vice chairmen of the powerful 12-member Central Military Commission (CMC), Xinhua news agency said.

Mr Hu, the CMC chairman, is slated to step down as head of the ruling party at a congress starting this week and will retire as national president in March as part of China's once-a-decade leadership change.

But Dr Willy Lam, a China politics expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: "As long as he is the CMC chief, he will still be the power behind the throne.

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