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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China mouthpiece reports PLA remark amid speculation

Central News Agency

2012/03/24 20:40:23

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) A recent report in China that a Chinese official demanded troops unite behind Chinese President Hu Jintao came as the country was speculating about political wrangling within the leadership following the dismissal of the top official in Chongqing City.

The official Xinhuanet reported Friday that Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), had told People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers during a recent inspection trip in Shaanxi Province to "more closely unite behind" Hu, who concurrently serves as general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

During the inspection, Guo also said the military should prepare itself for the 18th CPC national congress in autumn, during which the party's new leadership will be elected, and be ready to ensure the stability of society, as well as offer disaster relief.

The Xinhuanet report came as speculation mounted in China about the dismissal of Bo Xilai, CPC chief in Chongqing City, on March 15.

There have also been rumors on the Internet saying that China's Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, headed by Bo's ally Zhou Yongkang, has been stripped off its power to command armed police, and that the CMC will not provide troops to the committee to quell any potential unrest.

Zhou's absence at a national conference in Shanghai on Thursday seemed to support a recent Financial Times report saying he has been ordered not to make public appearances.

However, state broadcaster China Central Television Friday showed a video clip of Zhou meeting with Indonesia's foreign minister that day.

(By Rita Cheng and Kay Liu)

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