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by Zijing Laihong
Exclusive of BOXUN in English
For those who live in the emperor’s capital or in the inside circle, a lot of things can’t be said in a straightforward manner or so specifically. Otherwise, they will be accused of violating “discipline” which may even lead them to jail. The following is known to all, but I still ask you to savor its flavor.
1. Wang Qishan’s relationship with Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping’s ascension of the throne is the result of a compromise between different factions and the result of the full support of the Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao forces. However, ascending the throne doesn’t equate to consolidating power in one’s hands. Xi has relied on Wang Qishan, who risked his own life using the sharp weapon of anti-corruption to open a bloody road, shake the mountain and frighten tigers, and seize power at every level.
Top officials with real power have been tempered into steel and are very intelligent people. Everybody knows that anti-corruption is a high-risk undertaking. In anti-corruption, no matter whose interest is impacted, any carelessness will result in one’s career and reputation being ruined and lead to a miserable end. That’s why previous Secretaries of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection were very cautious in carrying out anti-corruption campaigns. “Ruling through inaction” and “doing less rather than more” were the norm.
Wang Qishan is the most capable of the capable. He is now in the highest position and there is no higher place for him to ascend. He could have just acted as an official who does nothing. He didn’t have to put himself in a dangerous position and risk his life. Yet Wang went so far as to risk his own life and fight enemies bravely, in the process offending everyone high and low. If you call this resolute act a sign of “Party spirit” and his “loyalty to the cause of proletarian revolution,” it’s simply a fairy tale that even a three-year-old child won’t believe. What works here is interpersonal relationships, the unconditional trust between friends, a friendship that has gone through thick and thin, a sentiment of “dying for one’s true friend”.
No one can accomplish anything significant without having several such friends.
2. Ren Zhiqiang’s unfathomable background
Ren Zhiqiang’s (http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/tag/ren-zhiqiang) position is equivalent to that of a petty official in feudal society. The reason that he has the guts to defame the Communist Party’s ideals that His Majesty advocates, and to challenge the Communist Youth League Central Committee, is because of his political patronage. Otherwise military officers would not have privately come to his defense.
The reason that the Ministry of Propaganda has long been unable to suppress some “petty officials” like Ren Zhiqiang—who scribbles every day—is because he’s not only very close childhood friends with some powerful officials, but also is appreciated by Xi Jinping, who agrees with many of his opinions and viewpoints. If this were not the case and he did not have the emperor’s tacit support, how could such a small fry continue to proclaim so loudly views contrary to those of the Ministry of Propaganda?
Even those in the Ministry of Propaganda know that what they advocate is a lie. But it’s necessary at the moment. It’s also an opportunity for those officials, big and small, in the Party’s propaganda system to display themselves in the hope of being promoted. But their viewpoints may not necessarily be those of Xi Jinping. And those deviant ideas of Ren Zhiqiang may very well be the views in the boss’s mind. The secret is in the unsaid.
If future circumstances are ripe or conditions permit, Xi Jinping may surprise people with an unexpected act.
A friend confided privately:
“Judging from the fact that the boss has for many years ‘hidden his capacity and bided his time’ and even outmaneuvered those crafty adversaries like Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, and Zeng Qinghong, we can see that the boss is someone who hides everything deep inside, who is calculating and has great ambition.”
In the latter period of the Cultural Revolution, the boss, taking advantage of his family ties, read quite a number of books that were for “internal circulation” (this was also part of the food for the spirit of and “fashion” for the children of down and out high-ranking officials). Those princelings who could find time to sit down and read have a relatively strong tendency of Westernization in both their political views and in dealing with people. They are very different from the likes of Bo Xilai, who spent the latter part of the Cultural Revolution engaging in fights and small criminal acts.
The books one reads when one is young and dejected, losing hope in reality and desperately seeking a way out, will have a certain impact. From this perspective, those “internally circulated” books (Western classics on politics and economics) contributed a great deal to the formation of the enlightened influence in the princelings’ circle.
Of course many people were later corrupted by wealth and status. The enlightened ideas and ideals formed in their younger years have faded and they feel alienated. The most famous of this type of person is General Liu Yuan.
But Xi Jinping is different. Liu Yuan couldn’t wait to make himself stand out. Under the influence of his mother, Wang Guangmei, he adopted the strategy of reforming himself to cater to officialdom. But Xi Jinping, be it his personality or under his mother’s influence, acted cautiously and kept a low profile.
When Xi Jinping was young, he was influenced by Western ideas. But under the powerful constraints and influence of the bureaucratic environment, his ideas must have doubtlessly changed and been modified. But the influences on him when he was young and confused were deeply engraved, and can’t vanish without a trace.
My friend predicted that when conditions are ripe or conditions permit, Xi is likely to give us a surprising move. He has great ambition. He’s not someone who’s willing to drift and be subject to the “environment.” Xi is eager to make history rather than to succumb to history and the environment. He has a dream, a grand, era-making dream!