According to Singtao Daily’s comprehensive report, on November 21, just one week after being reelected into the Politburo Standing Committee that ensures his succession to retiring premier Wen Jaibao, Li pointed out at a working conference on pilot projects of reform that reform is China’s greatest bonus.
Li said, “We must and can only move forward and there is no way to turn around.”
Li’s predecessor Wen Jiabao has carried on Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji’s reform and achieved high growth rate, but also left behind lots of problems.
In early September, Deng Yewen, a senior editor of the Party mouthpiece Study Times, listed in his article the following serious problems left behind by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: stagnant economic restructuring, pollution, income disparity, the notoriously outdated family planning and household registration polices, a looming energy crisis, moral degradation and the country’s battered international image (see my post “China’s Hu and Wen Blasted by Party Paper Editor” on September 4)
Deng certainly had some powerful elders behind him in publishing his article.
The further reform was blocked by conservatives in the party, but the obstacle laid by them have now been removed with the downfall of Bo Xilai. However, there has to be some talented reformer to design the roadmap for further reform.
There are three routes in Li’s roadmap:
1. A reform centered on urbanization. Li regards urbanization as a major strategy for China’s development. In the coming two to three decades, every year, over 10 million people will move into Chinese cities. They will certainly bring about a huge domestic demand. It will precisely be a source of force to boost China’s long-term stable fast economic development.
2. Readjust industrial structure in changing the mode of economic growth. I wonder whether this means removal of the monopoly of state-owned sector and enable private enterprises to compete with state-owned enterprises.
That will be the key to further economic liberalization, but will Li be able to deal with vested interests?
Judging by recent increased vigor in the pilot project of financial reform in Wenzhou since Li took over, I believe Li is making efforts in that direction. Whether he will succeed, we have to wait and see.
3. Promoting the reform in developing ecological civilization and overcoming environmental pollution.
People’s awareness of the evils of pollution has been greatly enhanced as proved by recent mass protests against establishment and expansion of enterprises with environmental hazards. I believe that Li has good chance of success in this respect.
- Next premier Li Keqiang sets out case for reform dated November 23
- Li Keqiang Shows His Vigor in Economic Reform dated November 25
At a routine meeting on March 28, the State Council decided to launch a financial reform pilot project in Wenzhou. The decision mentions 12 tasks assigned to the project, but people have no idea that it was the beginning of a radical reform. They thought think that it merely aimed at making loans available for small and medium-sized private enterprises.
However, it in fact aimed at removing state-owned enterprises’ monopoly of the financial sector. In a speech the same day, Premier Wen Jiabao said that it was too easy for state-owned banks to make money as there is no competition from the private sector.
Word Bank’s report also suggests breaking the monopoly of state-owned enterprises.
In my previous post, I mentioned China’s three previous waves of economic liberalization: Liberation of the agricultural sector by Zhao Ziyang; initial liberation of the industrial sector by allowing the private sector by Zhao Ziyang, Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji and transforming the state-owned sector (selling small enterprises and turning large ones into joint stock companies) by Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji; and further liberalization of the industrial sector by removing barriers to entry of private capital by Wen Jiabao exploiting the massive lay-off of migrant workers caused by the financial tsunami.
The three waves are all facilitated by mass protests or serious unemployment. As there are neither mass protests nor serious unemployment now, in my previous post on April 1, I wondered whether China would be able to conduct its 4th wave of economic liberalization smoothly though conservatives have been weakened through the purge of Bo Xilai.
The fourth wave of economic liberalization to remove state-owned enterprises’ monopoly and introduce competition into quite a few industries is very important. If successful, there will be one or two more decades of fast growth in Chinese economy.
This is a vital reform as the financial sector is the hardest stronghold of the state-owned sector. If the monopoly there can be removed, that in other sectors will be much easier to remove.
However, the vested interests are so powerful in the sector that no substantial progress has been made in the pilot project of reform in Wenzhou since the project began in April.
Now, according to Reuters’ report, Wenzhou government announced its plans to allow private capital to form formal institutions – mainly small credit firms to provide lending to local businesses.
Reuters quote the official Securities Times as saying that Zhang Zhenyu, head of the municipal government’s finance office, said that those credit firms would be allowed to issue bonds via private placements while qualified credit firms could be turned into rural banks.
However, Reuters does not seem to understand the tremendous significance of the fourth wave of economic liberalization and regarded it merely as a reform to ease the shortage of loans for the private sector.
That is natural as it is really too difficult to liberate the financial sector.
Wenzhou city government’s recent announcement to reinvigorate the reform seems to me Wen’s designated successor Li Keqiang’s earnest efforts to carry on the vital reform I call the fourth wave of economic liberalization since the 18th congress. He seems to me a reformist full of courage and vigor.
I hope that this will not be the situation described by the well-known Chinese saying: “A new official applies strict measures” (meaning that he will soon relax his strictness later). Li has to stick to the reform and never let the reform to lose steam. Only by so doing can China’s new leaders maintain China’s economic success.
Sources: Reuters, SCMP
China’s 4th Wave of Economic Liberalization Earnestly Begins dated April 4
Reform in Banking Sector Began in Wenzhou, China dated April 27
Bloomberg reports: “China’s new leadership, headed by Xi Jinping, will probably unveil new market-oriented changes in late 2013, according to Li Jiange, head of the country’s biggest investment bank.
“Li, chairman of China International Capital Corp. and a vice chairman of state-owned Central Huijin Investment Co., which holds stakes in the nation’s biggest lenders, said the focus will probably be on reducing government intervention in the economy and breaking up state monopolies. Li spoke at Caixin Media’s annual conference in Beijing yesterday.
“China last week completed the most important phase of a once-a-decade power transition with Xi taking over as head of the ruling Communist Party and Li Keqiang, set to become premier in March, made No. 2 in the party hierarchy. They inherit an economy burdened by slower growth, an aging population, widening income disparity and environmental degradation that’s fueling social unrest.
“‘Expectations are high’ for the new leadership to make changes as government intervention, ranging from excessive regulation to rigid price controls, has become ‘unbearable’ over the last couple of years, said Li, who previously worked for the Development Research Center, an organization that advises the State Council, China’s cabinet.
“‘When inflation was high, many Chinese stores, merchants and even producers received phone calls from regulators telling them not to increase prices,’ Li said. ‘But how can a supermarket not change the price of pork if hog prices are rising,’ he said.
“At a separate conference in Beijing yesterday, central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said it was ‘hard to reach consensus’ on detailed reforms as China is a big and unbalanced country.
“The new government will continue to value changes initiated at local level although it will also still attach great importance to overall planning, he said. China must allow trial reforms so that it can test what could go wrong, he said.”
“Li Jiange added his voice to calls by economist Wu Jinglian, billionaire entrepreneur Liang Wengen and liberals including the son of late party chief Hu Yaobang for the government to allow a bigger role for market forces, roll back the dominance of state-owned enterprises and give equal treatment to private companies.”
For details, please visit Bloomberg website at:
Bloomberg reports: “The People’s Bank of China’s next step in overhauling the exchange-rate system will focus on convertibility, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said, as his omission from a top Communist Party committee indicated he will retire.
“‘For the central bank, I think the next movement related to the yuan is going to be reform of convertibility,’ Zhou told the annual meeting of International Financial Forum, an advisory organization, in Beijing yesterday. ‘We are going to realize it, we are moving in this direction, we need to go further, we will have some deregulation.’
“The governor’s comments underscore pledges made by the ruling Communist Party during a once-a-decade power transition last week to promote freer movement of capital in and out of the country for investment purposes and to make the exchange rate more market based. China is seeking to boost the use of the yuan in international trade and finance to reduce the U.S. dollar’s global dominance and curb its own reliance on the currency of the world’s biggest economy.”
For details please visit Bloomberg website at:
SCMP’s Cary Huang reports from Beijing: “The next premier is likely to be the best educated since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, with Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, who holds postgraduate degrees in law and economics from prestigious Peking University, due to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao in March.
“At university, Li studied the ideas of leading British judges and mixed with democracy advocates, leading some to hope his premiership will herald significant political change in the world’s last major communist-ruled nation.”
“A member of the first group of students admitted to university after late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping ordered the resumption of the university entrance exam in 1977, following the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, Li studied law under Professor Gong Xiangrui , an expert on Western constitutional law who had studied in Britain in the 1930s. Li followed that with a PhD in economics under Li Yining, the mainland’s market reform guru.”
“Li is one of the few top leaders fluent in English, surprising observers during a visit to Hong Kong last year when he broke with protocol and addressed an event at the University of Hong Kong in English. His wife, Cheng Hong, is a linguistics professor and an expert on American literature who has translated several modern American works into Chinese.”
“He started his political career as secretary of the youth league at Peking University and went on to become a member of the secretariat of the league’s central committee in 1985, when Hu headed the secretariat. He was appointed president of the league’s Chinese Youth Political Academy in 1993 and also headed the league’s secretariat from 1993 to 1998.
“In 1999, Li became the mainland’s youngest governor – and the first with a PhD – when he was appointed to head the central province of Henan at the age of 43. He became Henan party secretary in 2003 and Liaoning party boss in 2004.
“He won promotion to the central leadership in late 2007, becoming a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, and was made executive vice-premier in March 2008.”
“Li reportedly plunged into campus politics as reformist ideas galvanised students, befriending freethinkers who went on to become dissidents in exile, and helping to translate The Due Process of Law by famed English jurist Lord Denning.
“Former classmate and prominent dissident Wang Jintao, who has lived in exile in the United States since 1994 after being sentenced to 13 years in jail for supporting the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement, said Li was outspoken and quick-witted on campus.
“Both were active student leaders and Wang said he was so impressed with Li’s speeches he nominated him to be chairman of a student congress.
“Wang said he was surprised his former classmate had remained in the bureaucracy for so many years because Li had expressed his dislike for the bureaucratic way of doing things.
“‘On campus, Li Keqiang was a student with an active mind and sharp words,’ Wang wrote in a memoir. ‘He has his own independent thinking and preferences. But he will not challenge authority on major issues. He is also a person who wants to have big personal accomplishments.’
“Another exiled dissident, Hu Ping, recalled that in 1980 Li, then a member of the official student union, backed controversial campus elections contested by Hu and other pro-democracy activists. Party conservatives were aghast at the radical experiment.
“‘After the election, I talked to him about elections, democracy and the political future of China,’ Hu Ping told overseas media.
“At the university, Li attached himself to Professor Gong, whose classes became a seedbed for exotic, liberal ideas. Gong had earned his PhD at the London School of Economics and was also a student of Qian Duansheng, a Harvard professor in the 1930s who was the founder of constitutional law studies in contemporary China and also a key drafter of several Kuomintang and Communist constitutions.
“Gong organised Li and two other students to translate The Due Process of Law.
“‘As a student of Gong at an age when a person’s value framework is set and as a translator of the great British work, he must have deep belief in the rule of law and modern constitutional systems,’ another of Gong’s former students said.”
“Li, born into a traditional Chinese bureaucrat’s family, also underwent systematic training in Chinese philosophy and culture before he was admitted to university.
“His father was a county magistrate who later became the official in charge of relics and historical records in Anhui province. The younger Li was taught to recite many classical Chinese works when he was a child.”
“A former China Youth League official described Li as cautious and prudent. ‘He’s seldom the first to speak up or lose his composure in conversations or meetings,’ the former colleague said. ‘And he also never lost his temper, at least in my memory.’”
“Like the incumbent Wen, Li has been at the centre of reports about his family’s business interests. Research by Cheng Li shows that his brother, Li Keming, holds a key position in the tobacco industry as deputy director of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.”
For details, please visit SCMP website at:
China Li Keqiang’s wife, a low-profile scholar dated today (
Taking Charge of Vital Tax Reform, Li Keqiang Sets Able Vigorous Image dated October 22 (
SCMP: Vice-Premier urges economic reforms dated June 20 (
China announced in its prime time TV news Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo decision to expel Bo Xilai from the CCP, remove him from all his official posts and transfer his case to the prosecutor for Bo’s serious crimes of abusing power for other people’s interests, taking huge bribes, etc.
The power struggle of the factions advocating the rule of law and the reformist factions against the conservatives finally ends with a waterloo for the conservatives.
It was quite fierce a struggle.
In Bo’s wife’s case, Bo was not even mentioned while in Bo’s subordinate Wang Lijun’s case, Bo was obviously involved but the court refrained from mentioning him by name, giving people the impression that the Party had not yet decided to denounce Bo publicly.
Usually such an issue can be decided by CCP leaders and elders at their summer conference in Beidaihe before CCP national congress. This time, however, powerful elders have to converge in Beijing to conduct long and intensive discussions before they were able to finally come to a decision.
The power struggle had been extremely fierce.
In fact, as soon as Bo fell into disgrace, most media in the world regarded it as an internal power struggle within the CCP. CCP’s mouthpiece the People’s daily, however, published one commentary after another to deny that. CCP’s
history is in fact a history of power struggle. In Mao era, it was called the struggle between two lines and Mao was proud of his victories in quite a few such struggles.
When Peng Dehuai foresaw the disaster Mao’s pursuit of excessive economic growth might bring to China, he wrote a private letter to Mao to warn him politely, but Mao said his letter aimed to usurp power. Mao labeled Peng and 3 million others as rightists to persecute.
Mao used the letter to persecute Peng, the only official who had the courage to oppose him, in order to silence all opposition within the CCP. He won the power struggle at the heavy cost of causing the death of 20 to 40 millions people.
Mao’s another power struggle, the notorious Cultural Revolution to seize power back from his chosen successor Liu Shaoqi, was notorious for the persecution of a large percentage of Chinese urban population.
Due to the evils of such power struggles, since the silent peaceful coup mentioned in my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, the CCP has been making great efforts to prove that it has turned a new leaf and is now free of internal struggle.
However, politicians must have power to implement their policies and achieve their goals. There has to be power struggle for them to seize power. In a democracy, power struggle is carried out peacefully in an orderly manner through election. Those who win the election obtain political power.
In China, an autocracy, there is no such mechanism. Politicians have to conduct power struggle to seize power so as to implement their policies and achieve their goals.
Therefore, power struggles are the most important and interesting parts of Chinese history, especially contemporary Chinese history. They are important as they determine China’s destiny: whether it is prosperous or in difficulty or chaos.
People are interested in Chinese political struggles due to the mystery in them.
“Sound of ax and shadows of people in candlelight, eternal mystery” is a well-known Chinese saying that describes the mystery of palace coups in China. It originated from the story of the sudden death of Emperor Taizu, the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty, and the abnormal succession by his brother instead of his son. Quite a few people believe that Taizu was murdered by his brother, but as there has been no evidence, it remains an eternal mystery.
The CCP power center is a black box where everything, including a leader’s health is strictly kept confidential. How can we know that Bo’s downfall was the consequence of a power struggle and conservatives’ Waterloo? Then it seems impossible to write Chinese history truthfully. No, we can know from the obvious consequence of the struggle.
Take Emperor Taizu’s death for example. All his sons died of abnormal death. That obviously proved that Taizu’s brother came to throne by ill means and that he had to remove Taizu’s sons to prevent their revenge. Therefore, we believe that there was at least 70% probability that Taizu’s brother murdered him and usurped the throne.
As for Bo’s downfall being conservatives’ defeat, we shall first have some background knowledge.
In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, I describe the successful coup in the CCP to substitute intellectuals’ for uneducated workers and peasants’ dominance of the Party and State. I said that the first of Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents justifies CCP’s pursuance of capitalism and conservatives’ resistance to the capitalist reform had thus been overcome.
However, that was reformists’ victory by tricks and intrigues. No decisive battle has been fought between the reformists and conservatives. For most rank and file Party members who lack knowledge about Marxist theory, they do not know the true meaning of the first Represent. In order to avoid the opposition to capitalism from the large number of conservatives in the Party, CCP central authority almost always avoid the terms of capitalism, private enterprises, etc. and replace them by primary stage of socialism, nongovernmental enterprises, etc.
On the other hand, the children of deceased senior officials who fought for the establishment of the PRC, though cannot inherit their parents’ power, can exploit their parents’ influence in their commercial and political careers.
Most of them are rich entrepreneurs or highly-paid executives now. Those who prefer political career are also very successful. Among them, Bo Xilai was most prominent. He was promoted to the Party boss of a major city at provincial level and into the Politburo. However, he had greater ambition. He believed that he was more talented than any of the top leaders such as Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo and Wen Jiabao. As the son of one of the most powerful elders, he should be their boss instead of taking instructions from them.
He began to set his own Chongqing model and had made it very popular especially the sing-red campaign, which reminded people of the achievements of his father and other founders of the People’s Republic of China with the implication that those who contributed to the establishment of the Republic and their children shall be the masters of the CCP Dynasty. Chongqing became the rally point of most princelings, retired officials and their children and other conservatives and won the support of lots of low-income people due to the yawning rich-poor gap resulted from the reform.
Due to the popularity of conservatives’ Chongqing model of disrupting the rule of law and persecution of lawyers, reformists are unable to achieve their goal of the rule of law, the key step of their political reform and the foundation of democracy.
Since 2005, Wen Jiabao and other reformists had called in vain for further economic liberalization to remove open and hidden barriers for private enterprises to enter quite a few industries and eliminate the monopoly of giant state-owned enterprises until an opportunity occurred due to the emergence of serious unemployment caused by the financial tsunami. Wen exploited the opportunity to remove the barriers in quite a few industries and thus facilitate substantial development of private enterprises in those industries. I call that the third wave of economic liberalization.
The first wave was the liberalization of the agricultural sector and permission of the development of private industrial enterprises conducted by Deng Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang; while the second was the privatization of small state-owned enterprises and the transformation of large state-owned enterprises to turn them profitable conducted by Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji.
The conservatives’ opposition was even stronger to further economic liberalization to reduce State control of economy and remove state-owned enterprises’ monopoly and privileges. As for political reform for democracy, conservatives absolutely did not allow. As a result, Premier Wen Jiabao’s call for political reform and democracy got no support for years.
Judging by what happened after Bo’s downfall, we clearly know there was a battle between reformists and conservatives and Bo’s downfall was conservatives’ defeat in the power struggle.
1. The amendment of the Criminal Procedure Law to ensure the rule of law.
In order to ensure the rule of law, reformists made great efforts to amend China’s Criminal Procedure Law to forbid a repetition of Bo’s malpractices of extraction of confession by torture and protect lawyers’ right of defense. This was the skirmish of the battle. In the course of the amendment, the reformists investigated Bo Xilai’s trusted assistant Wang Lijun’s malpractices in Bo’s campaign against organized crime and Bo’s wife’s involvement in British businessman Neil Heywood’s death.
The details of what really happened may probably remain a mystery forever but the resulted fight between Bo and Wang and Wang’s seeking of asylum were clear consequences of the investigation that caused Bo’s downfall.
The battle was so intense that Jiang Zemin had to go to Beijing to play his decisive role as the core of the collective leadership in the battle.
2. The beginning of the fourth wave of economic liberalization.
Without further reform to remove barriers for private enterprises to enter various sectors and eliminate state-owned enterprises’ monopoly, China will fall into the medium income trap. After Bo’s downfall, a pilot project of financial reform began in Wenzhou.
In a front-page story that was followed by several articles inside, the People’s Daily said on April 24 that political reform was “an important part” of the mainland’s overall reforms.
The People’s Daily articles followed earlier reports calling for political reform, all carried on April 23 by three key media organizations: the People’s Daily, Xinhua, the news agency directly under the State Council and the China Youth Daily, run by the Communist Youth League, a training base for the mainland’s future leaders. Those articles came less than two weeks after Bo’s ousting.
However, at that time, the conservatives remained strong even after Bo fell into disgrace and the power struggles continued regarding how Bo should be punished. Knowing that he has strong support from the conservatives, Bo even said, “I will return,” when he had lunch with his Japanese friend Mr. Udagawa in mid May.
Through months of power struggle, the conservatives have finally had their waterloo proved by the severe punishment to be meted out to Bo Xilai.
China’s prospects of further economic and political reform are brighter now.
China’s official media Xinhua publishes yesterday Commentary 1 on studying General Secretary Hu Jintao’s important speech on July 23. Since it is Commentary 1, there must be at least one more commentary to come on Hu’s swansong speech.
The commentary obviously shows the great importance the party attached to Hu’s legacy. It stresses Hu’s emphasis on upholding socialism with Chinese characteristics and carrying on reform and opening up. In order to point out how Hu’s legacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics shall be carried out, it elaborates the content of the theory of the socialism with Chinese characteristics, i.e. Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents and Hu’s Outlook on Scientific Development.
However, as further economic reform of economic liberalization Hu and Wen have started is not contained in the above-mentioned theory, we do not know whether the commentary’s stress on reform contains that reform.
What is conspicuously missing in the commentary is Hu’s stress on political reform to bring democracy to China.
As mentioned in my post “Successor Ignores Hu Jintao’s Call for Democracy” the day before yesterday, Hu’s successor Xi Jinping ignored Hu’s call for democracy in his speech on July 24 calling for studying Hu’s swansong speech, but stresses instead democratic centralism a term used to beautify the party’s autocracy. We believe that so far the party will ignore Hu’s call for democracy just as it ignored Wen Jiabao’s previous calls.
However, China is now at a crossroad. It may further its fourth round of economic liberalization and start its political reform centered on the rule of law which will be the foundation for democracy as the conservatives who oppose such reforms have been defeated in the power struggle resulting in Bo Xilai’s downfall.
We will find clues whether China will carry on the above-mentioned reforms started by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao in Xinhua’s further commentaries, but I am sure that there will be an end to China’s miraculous economic growth if it fails to carry on Hu and Wen’s reforms.
Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at a seminar of provincial and ministerial-level officials in Beijing on July 23, 2012. The speech was regarded as his swan song before retirement as all the top leaders attended the seminar and his designated successor Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed its importance. Though he will give a report at the 18th Congress, as the report will be made on behalf of the party’s Central Committee, it has to be reviewed and agreed by all the Politburo Standing Committee members and cannot be regarded as Hu’s personal speech.
China’s official media CNTV gives a summary of the speech, which I believe is much shorter than the full text, but I don’t think readers are interested in a speech full of party jargons; therefore, I only give a short account of what is interesting in the speech.
First, we all are clear that Hu wants his successor to cherish his legacy; therefore, he talked much about his adherence to reform and opening up, placing particular emphasis on his Outlook on Scientific Development.
The stress on reform in fact aims at telling his successors to follow his strategies on economic development and political reform
Recently, there has been much talk about the end of China’s fast growth, which is best reflected in the title of a long article on Newsweek “End of Chinese Miracle”. However, Hu and Wen Jiabao do not think the miracle has ended. Hu stressed speeding up transformation of China’s pattern of economic development. China shall no longer rely on export of cheep goods produced by its cheep labor. In fact, due to wage increase and the government’s plan for further increase in wages, Chinese labor is not and will no longer be cheap compared with its Asian neighbors.
According to CNTV, Hu says, China shall now boost development through improvement of quality and efficiency, implement the strategy of driving growth by innovation and creation and conduct strategic adjustment of its economic structure, which in my opinion means putting an end to state-owned sector’s monopoly and introduce fair competition between China’s state-owned and private sectors. That is what I call the fourth round of economic liberalization.
In addition, Hu stressed invigorating various kinds of market and boosting simultaneous development of industrialization, infomatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. Due to high savings among Chinese people, increasing consumption through urbanization and raising people’s income by industrialization, informatization and agricultural modernization will greatly expand China’s huge market of 1.3 billion people. I believe if Hu’s successors carry out the strategies left behind by Hu and Wen, they may achieve two decades of fast growth.
Democracy and human rights are the trends of our times. If Hu’s goal to make China rich and powerful has been attained by his successors, Chinese people will be richer and better educated and they will strive for democracy and human rights. They will obtain democracy and human rights by either transforming or discarding the party. It is unavoidable unless China remains poor and backward.
In addition, like Wen, Hu knows political reform is indispensable if China wants to maintain its high growth rate. He was on Wen’s side when Wen openly advocated democracy times and again in the past and Wen was, therefore, not in trouble in spite of conservatives’ strong opposition.
Now, the conservatives have suffered a defeat when Bo Xilai was beaten in his power struggle and China is able to conduct further economic liberalization and political reform. Hu has to come out to speak in favor of democracy. He has seldom given people the impression that he also advocates democracy. It is now his last chance to show that he also cares for political reform and democracy. Otherwise, he will leave an image as a political conservative forever in Chinese history, especially when China has democracy in the future.
That will be a great regret not only for himself but more seriously for his well-educated wife, children and grandchildren. For me, a grandfather myself, what I care most is what image I will leave to my grandchildren. Therefore I can better understand Hu’s mindset as I am of the same age and have received school education similar to Hu’s in the same era.
To set the image as a political reformer, according to Xinhua’s report in English, “Speaking about promoting the reform of political system, Hu said the Party has always considered it important in the whole reform and development agenda, and has made significant progress in that regard.
However, this writer thinks that what Hu referred to as political reform was the establishment and implementation of the rule of law instead of democracy. The NPC has recently amended China’s criminal procedure law to ban extracting confession by torture and ensure lawyers’ right to defend their clients. But nothing has been done for democracy in the decade when Hu has been in charge.
For democracy, there is the tricky issue in China that the party’s dominance of Chinese politics will be diluted by democracy. It seems an insurmountable obstacle. Therefore, CNTV says in its report, “Hu Jintao stresses that in promoting political structural reform, organic integration of the party’s leadership, the position of the people as masters of the country and the rule of law must be persisted.”
However, according to CNTV, Hu also said, “a wider-reaching and fuller people’s democracy shall be developed to ensure that the people conduct in accordance with law democratic election, democratic decision-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision. Greater attention shall be paid to exerting the important role of the rule of law in the administration of the country and society, safeguarding the integration, dignity and authority of rule of law in the country, guaranteeing social fairness and justice and ensuring that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedom according to law.”
This writer regards “democratic election, democratic decision-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision” as the most wonderful part of Hu’s swan song. How can this be achieved when Chinese politics are dominated by one party?
Jiang Zemin’s solution is to turn the party into a party of the whole people in the third of his Three Representatives. Since the party represents the whole people, its government is the government of the people. Jiang Zemin began the practice of allowing all people including capitalists to join the party.
Hu has invented his Outlook on Scientific Development that stresses “putting the people first”. A government that puts the people first is a government for the people.
Then what is left in Lincoln’s democracy is a government by the people. There must be democratic election. To achieve that there shall be democratic election in the party.
When there is democracy within the party and the human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of press, etc. there will be democratic decision-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision. China’s democracy will be better than that of the US.
As mentioned in my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, since the party is too powerful to remove and the removal may give rise to chaos, the best way to achieve democracy in China is to turn the party into a democratic party where various factions compete with one another openly. As pointed out in my book, as the party is for all the people, when a faction comes to power in the party through democratic election, it has to serve the whole people instead of merely the faction as the party belongs to the whole people. That will be much better than the democracy of the US that may result in having a government by the people but of a party and for the party.
Of course, it will be better if there is no dominance of one party. That may happen when there is democracy of one party, but cannot be pursued under China’s practical circumstances now.
China has to invent its own democracy that suits its own national conditions. For such a great country with its own special culture and national conditions, it cannot copy the model of any other country though it shall learn from other country’s strong points.
SCMP’s Enoch Yiu reports on Jun 20, 2012, “Beijing plans to boost the number of international insurance companies in Hong Kong that are allowed to invest in the mainland’s stock and bond markets, as part of broader initiatives to expand those markets through the qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) scheme.
“The upshot will be to increase the number of yuan-denominated insurance policies offered in Hong Kong, allowing the insurers to develop a new line of business, while also fostering wider global use of the Chinese currency.”