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The escalating infighting in the Chinese Communist Party has so far claimed a rising political star, and threatens to bring down its security czar. Now the regime's former leader Jiang Zemin may be caught up in the turmoil.
Last Friday, Bloomberg reported Chinese regime former leader Jiang Zemin met with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz when he visited China on April 17th. It's one of the few times Jiang has surfaced in media reports since the Communist Party's political turmoil began in February.
Jiang again appeared in the news on Saturday, with U.S. based Boxun.com reporting that he met with high ranking military officials. Jiang reportedly told them, quote, "I'm still the leader of the Central Military Committee."
The details are scant on both the reports, with pictures of Jiang notably missing. Chinese web author Wu Jianguo says this draws suspicion, and is at odds with Jiang's style.
[Wu Jianguo, Chinese Web Author]:
"I really doubt the credibility of this. All these reports online are texts with no pictures. They only reported he met so and so, and the military. In the past, Jiang would try and make a personal appearance.
Many China watchers regarded Jiang Zemin as the leader of the faction that includes Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang. They're sometimes referred to as the "blood debt faction" because of their involvement in the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
Jiang was previously rumored to be in a vegetative state, and no longer in control. Instead, Zhou Yongkang, a Politburo member and China's top security official, is seen driving the fight against current leader Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
After numerous reports last week that Zhou may now be under investigation himself, the fresh news about Jiang is drawing speculation.