The removal of Bo Xilai proves the wisdom of China’s new generation of talented intellectuals. The recently-adopted amendments of China’s criminal procedure law in fact openly denounce without naming Bo his contempt of due legal process, use of torture to extract confessions and wonton persecution of defense lawyers in his campaign against organized crime in Chongqing.
Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao’s stress on rule of law aims at substituting the rule of law for the rule of person to prevent reemergence of the Cultural Revolution.
During the long process of the amendments, Bo who looks clever did not seem to realize that he was targeted by the amendments. Perhaps he knew but did not care as he had the support of the powerful conservative faction formerly led by his father Bo Yibo.
Bo Yibo was in charge of preparing the lists of candidates for the Central Committee, Politburo, Secretariat and Politburo Standing Committee for the 13th Party Congress in 1987. In 1997, he helped Jiang Zemin by forcing Qiao Shi to retire. His speech at the end of the 15th Party Congress stressing Jiang Zemin’s status as the core of the collective leadership of the Party clearly showed that he was the kingmaker. He died in 2007, but his influence remains. Defeating a princeling with such a powerful father was very difficult.
It is interesting that almost all China watchers fail to see the obvious power struggle in the amendments of the law between the factions against the Cultural Revolution and the conservative faction, but focused on what protection the amendments would bring to dissidents who fight for multi-party democracy.
They do not understand the current political system in China. As mentioned in my previous post “The Party’s Tiananmen Syndrome”, for a dynasty, the state is its most valuable asset and all successors to throne have their top obligation not to lose it. So is the case for the cores of leadership of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty. A multi-party democracy means the lost by the CCP Dynasty of its most valuable asset the state. How can we cherish the illusion that the CCP will provide any protection for such dissidents!
As for the emergence and characteristics of the CCP Dynasty, it’s too long for this post. Those who are interested can find my description in my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”.
Since Bo was a Maoist who upholds Maoism, he did not mind that what he did in his anti-organized crime campaign reminded people of Mao’s defying laws both human and divine in conducting the Cultural Revolution. He went further and launched a mass campaign of singing red songs to spread the propaganda for leftist values. Last year, he organized a 100,000-strong rally to sing revolutionary songs to celebrate the party’s 90th anniversary.
Mao’s image and the Party’s revolutionary past are so important for the legitimacy of the CCP Dynasty that according to Bo, six Politburo Standing Committee members – Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang – had given his red culture campaign positive assessments.
Carried away by his success, Bo even kicked off a campaign that sent quotations from Mao to millions of mobile phone users. The talented intellectuals who have grabbed dominance of the Party and state had to take action to eliminate the revival of rule of person and the personality cult of Mao because those were the major elements of the Cultural Revolution. They secretly found traces of corruption in Bo and sowed discord between Bo and his close assistant Wang Lijun. What happened afterwards was known to all but the trick and intrigue behind the scene may perhaps remain unknown forever.
“Sound of ax and shadows in candle light, eternal mystery.” This is a well-known Chinese saying about palace coups originated from the abnormal death of Emperor Taizu of the Song Dynasty and his succession by his brother instead of his son. People heard sound of ax and saw shadows in candle light the night the emperor died and suspected that he was murdered by his brother, but as no one saw what really happened, it remains an eternal mystery.
However, people can infer from the abnormal death of Emperor Taizu’s sons after Taizu’s brother came to the throne that the story about the murder is believable.
Top-level power struggle in the party is kept strictly confidential. No wonder China watchers are frustrated in gathering information about what really happened in China.
However, we can still find clear signs for inference if we view events without bias and avoid being diverted by what we are obsessed with: the expectation of CCP’s amendment of law to allow people to overthrow the CCP Dynasty.