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Xi Jinping's aged foe is Song Ping, right, who 19 years ago took on Jiang Zemin. (Nikkei montage/Kyodo/Reuters)
China up close

Analysis: 105-year-old party elder sends blunt message to Xi

Reform and opening up is the only path for China, Song Ping says

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.

At 105, Song Ping is the Chinese Communist Party's oldest retired official. Famous for once pressing former President Jiang Zemin to fully retire, Song recently made a rare public appearance.

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