Deng Xiaoping Mr. Deng resigned after eight years as Central Military Commission (CMC) chairman in a major shuffle of the body on Nov. 9, 1989. However, he retains greater influence over the military than any other single leader and has the ultimate say on major decisions. Jiang Zemin (CMC chairman)
As Deng's designated heir, Mr. Jiang took the top post on the CMC last November. But Jiang, whose main job is that of general secretary of the Communist Party, serves mainly as a symbol of Army-Party unity, leaving others to run the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Shortly after his appointment, Jiang, a technocrat, admitted that he ``has no military experience and [his] abilities fall far short of what the position demands.'' Yang Shangkun (CMC first vice chairman)
Yang is considered to be second only to Deng in authority over the PLA and the most powerful member of the CMC. After following Deng onto the CMC in 1981, Yang ran the PLA under Deng's guidance. There he gradually promoted relatives and supporters into high-ranking PLA posts. Yang, who replaced purged Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang as CMC first vice-chairman last November, is viewed as a pragmatic hard-liner with ambitions to succeed Deng. Yang Baibing (CMC secretary general)
Mr. Yang is the younger brother of Yang Shangkun, who vacated this influential position for him to fill last November. Yang has responsibility for promotions and handles the day-to-day affairs of the CMC. A conservative ideologue, Yang has led campaigns since late 1989 to indoctrinate the PLA in Marxism and resurrect the Army martyr Lei Feng. Liu Huaqing (CMC vice chairman)
A Soviet-trained naval expert, Liu is essentially a technocrat who lacks great political influence in the PLA. Respected for a career devoted to upgrading the Navy, Liu is active in China's military modernization drive. Liu is believed to have a close relationship with Deng which began when the two men worked together during the 1937-45 Sino-Japanese War.