September 21, 2009

China Watchers Can't See the Tea for the Leaves

The 4th plenary session of the 17th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee ended in Beijing last Friday. According to China watchers and so-called "experts" the party meeting was a bust primarily because their prediction that party secretariat (and current Vice President) Xi Jinping would be promoted to China's Central Military Commission fell flat.

Mainstream media China commenters and analysts along with most of the traditional "gatekeepers" of China disinformation believe Xi Jinping will be the next president of China because he is supposedly aligned with Jiang Zemin. What is lost in this interpretation is the sea change that occurred in the first ever peaceful transfer of power in 2003 when Jiang Zemin stepped down and in the last party congress that selected the current leadership. Hu Jintao's power does not derive from alliance with a former great leader a la Mao or Deng but from his political base the Communist Youth League. Also from the Communist Youth League is Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

According to mainstream China watchers Li will be Wen Jiabao's replacement as PM in a new administration. But this writer believes Li has every chance of becoming China's next president. Here's why: the Chinese Communist Party is changing rapidly. Membership is growing fast and members are getting younger. Over 70% of delegates to the last party congress were under 55 with several hundred under 45. These party members were only teenagers or even younger when Chairman Mao died. They are not committed to "follow the leader" political successions.

And the party is now openly discussing the expansion of what it terms "intra-party democracy" with plans to engage non-party affiliated figures such as Health Minister Chen Zhu and the historic Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. This news has great potential ramifications including the elusive possibility of multi party political participation. Yet it is completely ignored by western news reports. Fact is there is a lot of change going on in Chinese politics. But you need to step away from the silk screen to see it.

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"you egg young fry of treachery" was the best line in Shakespeare's play Macbeth. do not think a bunch of whining babes and delusional youth are gonna displace the old order and Mao's vision of a one man cult personality rule. it is basic fundamental animal natural science. ovulation and conception are reserved for only the one true dominant sperm. it is good to be king and the best government is control ed by a good king.
Therapy, for your analogy to work then Mao's cult is passed on thru Jiang Zemin. But Jiang was a compromise figure, brought into Zhongnanhai after Tiananmen. He has no military or revolutionary background. Anglo-American china experts are convinced that Jiang maintains power behind the scenes. But I don't think they understand how much the party is changing. If Xi becomes president of China then many will believe, like you it seems, that nothing has changed in China. We may have to wait until the next party congress in 2012 to find out.
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