Former Chinese president resigns last post

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin submitted his resignation today from his last official post as chairman of a largely ceremonial government military panel, the government said, completing a long-planned retirement.

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin submitted his resignation today from his last official post as chairman of a largely ceremonial government military panel, the government said, completing a long-planned retirement.

Jiang, 78, submitted his request to resign as chairman of the government’s Central Military Commission to leaders of China’s parliament, the official Xinhua News Agency announced.

The commission has no major powers over the military, which is run by a parallel panel of the ruling Communist Party. Jiang handed over his post as chairman of that party commission in September to President Hu Jintao, who earlier succeeded him as party leader.

Jiang’s resignation from the government panel brings a symbolic end to a carefully planned handover of power to a younger generation of Chinese leaders that began in 2002.

The parliament, which opens its annual session on Saturday, is expected to name Hu to succeed Jiang as leader of the government military commission.

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