In the era of Jiang Zemin, the core leader of third generation has not be much more powerful than other leaders. Hence, he needs to build a coalition to gathering varied interests that supported his leadership. He had to bargain and compromise with other leading officials, to generate resources in order to reward and maintain the coalition which supporting him in power. Based on such “give and take” relations, he had been relatively weak when bargain with military or other interest groups within Chinese political system. And that might be the major reason to explain why the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could get the unforeseeable political influence in the Jiang era.
When discussing the Party-Army relations in the Jiang era, it would be useful to view the PLA as an interest group in the Chinese political system. Therefore, I posit two basic assumptions to analyzing such relations. The first is that army and Party are engaged in a chronic and multiform conflict stemming from their incompatible outlooks and interests. The second is that Party would insist in controlling the army and keep suppressing the expression of its group interests. Besides, several variables would be introduced to identify such conflict. These include the declination of ideological indoctrination, the power reduction of the political control system in the army, the absence of regularized procedures for the transfer of political power within the ruling Party elite, the acceptance of the principle of collective leadership, and the modernization of the economy. These factors would be used to explain the transformation of the Party-Army relations.