Former President Jiang Zemin met Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz on April 17 in Beijing, a person with knowledge of the meeting said.
Jiang emerged in the capital ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change later this year.
Details of Schultz’s conversation with Jiang, 85, were not immediately available, according to the person. Schultz also visited Shanghai during his China trip.
Jiang led the Communist Party from 1989 to 2002.
Jiang’s presence in Beijing suggests he is taking part in the leadership transition, complicating the succession process, said Victor Shih, a professor who focuses on Chinese finance and politics at Northwestern University in Illinois, United States.
“He [Jiang] has shown the world conclusively that he remains in good health and that he remains part of the equation for the 18th party congress,” Shih said. “This will make complete domination by any particular faction difficult, despite recent events.”
Starbucks’ Shanghai-based spokeswoman Wang…
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