QUESTION: Why did the former president Jiang Zemin attend the Communist Party Congress this year?
One of the most surprising sights of the five-yearly 18th Party Congress that wrapped up on Wednesday was the prominence of retired party elders led by Mr Jiang, who ruled China from 1989 until 2002. Mr Jiang stepped down from his last official post, head of the military, in 2004 and has held no formal role in the party or government since then but he retains enormous power and influence over the running of the country. He is believed to have been instrumental in choosing the final line-up of the Politburo Standing Committee this year.
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