China Leadership Monitor

The PLA and the "Three Represents": Jiang's Bodyguards or Party-Army?

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

In July 2001, Jiang Zemin gave an important speech at the Central Party School, formally introducing the concept of the "three represents," which calls for some dramatic changes in inner-party democracy and ideology. Even before this speech, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) had been one of the strongest institutional proponents of these new concepts. This article examines the PLA's interpretation of these ideas, as well as the civil-military dynamic driving their praise of Jiang Zemin as the author of the concepts.