In Reuters Analysis titled “Analysis of China’s next inner circle”, foreign media again shows its ignorance about China.
However, the ignorance is natural. There are three black boxes in China’s power center. Elaborated description of them will be given in the second edition of my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Analysis”.
Even the first black box, the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), is difficult enough to penetrate. No wonder it is so difficult for Chinese and foreign China watchers to see through.
The second black box, the group of powerful elders who are heads and important heavyweights of various factions are even more difficult to penetrate.
As a result, Reuters is only able to be correct in regarding Jiang Zemin’s “Shanghai Gang” as the dominant faction now, but it is entirely wrong in predicting that the “Tuanpai”, i.e. the Communist Youth League (CYL) faction will take over after five of Jiang’s protégés in the PSC retire in 2007.
Reuters says, “Of the 14 members in the 25-member Politburo eligible for another term in 2017, nine have worked in the Communist Youth League and are considered to be protégés or allies of Hu. Only five are known to have ties with Jiang.
“Communist Youth League experience is even more prevalent among provincial-level Party chiefs.”
In Chapter 7 of my book I said, “A high-ranking official usually appoints and promotes quite a lot of his people to official posts when he is in power. Those people together with the officials appointed and promoted by them are bound together by comradeship, friendship and common interests and aspiration and become a faction.”
Of course, Hu is fond of promoting people of CYL background, but whether those he promoted can form a faction united and combat strong is another question.
What required is not only common background and interest but more importantly comradeship, friendship and common aspiration.
Even when Hu was in the office of the general secretary, he could not urge the CYL faction members he had promoted to pay attention to his priorities: corruption and pollution. As a result, Hu was attacked by Shanghai faction heavyweight Zhu Rongji in 2010 and 2011 for rampant official corruption throughout the nation.
Hu’s failure to rally those with CYL background around him is reflected in the problems he left behind for which he was blasted by the Deng Yewen, a senior editor of the Party mouthpiece Study Times on September 4, 2012.
In fact, Hu’s Scientific Outlook on Development has won Jiang’s support and at first he had the potential to become the leader of the Shanghai faction to succeed Jiang. However, he turned out incompetent to establish a team of competent associates to deal with the problems he was aware of and wanted to resolve.
Jiang’s strong point is his ability to discover talents and build up bondage with them. As a result, those who share the aspirations of Three Represents and Scientific Outlook on Development, including Li Keqiang, Xi Jinping, Wang Qishan, Yu Zhengsheng, etc. have all become his associates no matter what their origins are.
His faction has taken into it quite a few of the new generation of scholars with moral integrity, while we do not see that in any other factions.
Jiang’s is a faction with strong comradeship, friendship, common interest and aspiration and is therefore very strong, but it does not have a large number of members.
Hu’s CYL faction is large, but its members fail to share Hu’s interest and aspirations so that Hu will not become a powerful elder when he retires.
Hu’s lack of strength was obvious reflected during the election at the 18th Congress in his failures to promote his protégés Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang into the PSC or Zhou Qiang and Ling Jihua into the Politburo or even have his personal aide Chen Shiju elected a member or alternate member of CCP Central Committee.
Then there is the princeling faction.
Reuters says “A third group has also ascended rapidly – the princelings, or privileged children of revolutionary leaders. Key princelings include Xi and Politburo Standing Committee members Yu Zhengsheng, Wang Qishan and Zhang Dejiang.”
Princelings may form a group based on their origin, but a loose one without enough loyalty to the group. In fact, two of the heavyweights in the group Xi Jinping and Bo Xilai are deadly foes not because of their rivalry for succession, but due to their entirely different aspirations.
In fact, the Xi, Yu, Wang and Zhang mentioned by Reuters are all important members of Jiang’s Shanghai faction.
Will Xi Jinping be merely a consensus builder?
When Jiang Zeming was appointed the general secretary, most China watchers and even Zhao Ziyang regarded him as a transitional figure. Later, he was regarded as a consensus builder. However, they have now realized that Jiang remains the dominant core of the CCP’s third generation of collective leadership.
Is Xi Jinping a consensus builder? He was in the past, but in the future he has to be a strong consensus imposer instead of a helpless consensus seeker.
In early September, when the powerful elders were not able to reach consensus on the candidates for the PSC and Politburo, the manner to punish Bo Xilai or even the date of the 18th Congress, Xi was mysteriously absent to meet the powerful elders in secret and enabled them to have consensus on all those issues. Soon after Xi reappeared on September 15, Jiang Zemin came to Beijing and presided over a Politburo meeting to make decisions on all those issues including the tricky issue of punishing Bo Xilai harshly. Xi proved himself a talented consensus builder among his superiors.
Xi’s activities during his absence are described in the second edition of my book. As it will soon be published, I will not elaborate here. It is in fact too long for this post.
Xi is to deal with rampant corruption and purge the CCP to prevent the CCP’s collapse. If he is as weak a leader as Hu Jintao, he is doomed to failure. He has proved himself a competent leader and Jiang Zemin has made up his mind to let Xi succeed him as the core of the CCP collective leadership. Xi will have firm control of the party and state after he has purged the Party. By that time quite a few of his associates will appear as rising stars on China’s political scene.
Being well aware of that trend, Jiang made the arrangement that all the five 18th PSC members appointed by him will retire at the 19th Congress.
The conservatives are the largest faction in number, but they do not have a leader who can rally them around him. Bo Xilai was their leader but he has fallen into disgrace. Tiananmen butcher Li Peng has become increasingly unpopular in the faction. He was given the cold shoulder at the 18th congress and his son got the least votes when elected as an alternative member of the CCP Central Committee. What a shame! Song Ping is the most senior member, but he is too old to lead the faction.
Qiao Shi’s legal faction remains strong. Qiao though a Presidium Standing Committee member, did not attend the 18th Congress, but two of his associates were active elders there. His faction together with Wu Bangguo of Shanghai faction were the first to bring down Bo Xilai.
The secret security department similar to KGB in former Soviet Union is the third black box entirely impossible to penetrate.
For many years before his retirement, Qiao Shi had been in charge of China’s secret security department, an organization that plays the role of both CIA and FBI in China. He was in charge of spying on all the domestic officials. In China, an official in charge of this kind of job usually does not retire. No one knows whether Qiao retired from that position when he retired from all other government and CCP positions.
We all know that the secret security department including the secret police is a very powerful secret network. Its head performs his leadership mostly in secret. A top official may be spied on by him in secret and brought down when he has submitted to the PSC the evidence collected by him. In Russia, the communist party has lost power but the KGB remains powerful and has one of its member serving as Russian president now.
SCMP brief: “The name of former president Jiang Zemin again appeared in the media yesterday – the sixth mention he’s had in as many weeks.
“An article on the website of the People’s Daily said Jiang wrote calligraphy to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Shanghai Ocean University, where he had earlier visited.
“On Wednesday the daily ran an article praising his musical talent while about two weeks ago, Jiang, 86, wrote a calligraphy couplet to mark the anniversary of his alma mater, Yangzhou Middle School.
“The frequent references to him ahead of the 18th party congress are meant to send a political message that he is still wielding political influence, analysts say.”
In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, I point out that the Chinese system now is the CCP Dynasty with a core functioning as an emperor. The core may have retired from all official posts, but like Deng Xiaoping, the core of the second generation of CCP leadership, he remains the paramount leader and has the final say.
Ming Pao’s exclusive report today proves that.
Ming Pao says in its report titled “Appearing with a Large Entourage in Limelight, Indicating His Influence on the 18th Party Congress”, “Jiang Zemin likes music and is closely connected with Li Lanqing (a retired Politburo Standing Committee member), which are no secret at all. On the surface, Jiang’s appearance at a special concert last Saturday means but an occasion of recreation, but upon careful analysis, in fact, it was by no means so simple.”
It had been Jiang’s first public appearance since last October. The concert was not held in secret. The over 2,000 seats in the National Center for the Performing Art were filled by officials at provincial and ministerial level and their relatives and staff. There was no media report but pictures of the occasion have been published in microblogs. Obviously, it was Jiang’s high-keyed public appearance, a display of the strength of Jiang’s Shanghai faction.
He appearance was not accompanied by current top leaders but by his close friends and protégés including powerful elders Zeng Qinghong and Li Lanqing, former Politburo member Zeng Peiyan and You Xigui who served as his bodyguard for a long time and has now been promoted to the rank of general.
Jiang left his mansion in Shanghai and made high-keyed appearance in Beijing before the 18th Party Congress. By so doing, Jiang obviously passed a message at home (to the more than 1,000 provincial and ministerial level officials) and abroad (through microblogs to the world): I am still alive, in good health, able to move around freely and accompanied and supported by a number of old friends. We, Jiang’s Faction, are united. It goes without saying that our influence on Party Congress remains.
It is interesting that no current top leaders accompanied Jiang during that occasion of Jiang’s high-keyed appearance. That was perhaps because it was not an official occasion. Ming Pao believes that it was also because current leaders and those who want to be promoted were all especially careful to avoid unexpected misfortune as they might have laid themselves open to suspicion if they had jointed Jiang.
Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily cites Shanghai’s sh.eastday.com report that at the city’s recent 10th Party Congress both Xi Jinping and Yu Zhengsheng, a politburo members and Shanghai Party boss, were elected 18th congress delegates by a great majority and that Yu was reelected Shanghai Party secretary and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng was elected Yu’s deputy.
The paper speculates that Yu is expected to be promoted into the Politburo standing committee. Yu, a member of Shanghai faction, will certainly enhance the faction’s influence, but being 67 years old, he will only be able to serve one term of 5 years. Han Zheng, 58, may be a better choice for the Shanghai faction, but it depends on the strength of Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai faction as he is 86 now and people wonder whether he remains so powerful an elder in the Party.
People perhaps wonder why I regard Xi Jinping and Yu Zhengsheng as members of Shanghai faction as neither of them is Shanghai native.
In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, I point out that Shanghaiis is a bourgeois “dye jigger” that will change the color of all those who come to live there.” I described my neighbors when I lived in Shanghai. They were all Party officials coming from Shandong and wanted to keep their revolutionary Shandong live style, but soon their wives and children all switched to the Shanghai ways of live and regarded themselves as Shanghainese instead of Shandong natives.
Jiang Zemin is a Yangzhou native. When he studied and worked in Shanghai, he and his wife and children have all become Shanghainese. He lived not far away from my father-in-law’s home before his rise in ranks and people in his neighborhood had never had the idea they were Yangzhou natives until he became famous. So have Xi Jinping and Yu Zhengsheng when they have stayed and worked in Shanghai. Of course, one may become a member of Shanghai faction due to his close relations to or promotion by a member of Shanghai faction
As Shanghai was an international city long before the communist takeover, it has its unique characteristics. I point out in my book, “Before the reform and opening up, Shanghainese were discriminated against in nearly every other area in China for their shrewdness, pursuit of rationality and practical benefit instead of the benefit in theory or claimed in communist propaganda, emphasis on education, rules, standards and etiquette and preference to and aptness in accepting Western things.”
Those characteristics were all targets of transformation under Mao’s rule, but were advantageous for the reform and opening-up. When Jiang took the top job, lots of people who did not know the Shanghainese characteristics or Jiang being a Shanghainese regarded him as a conservative, but it is him and his Shanghai faction that have overcome conservatives’ strong resistance and successfully carried through the economic reform to make China prosperous for the past two decades and worked hard to establish the rule of law for more than a decade. The question of whether the Shanghai faction will remain dominant is crucial to China’s development after the 18th Congress.
The election of Xi Jinping and Yu Zhengsheng as Shanghai congress delegate is certainly a good sign, but if Han Zhen is promoted into the Politburo standing committee, we will be sure that Shanghai faction’s dominance remains.
SCMP speculation on the role and future of CYL faction
SCMP.com – Faction a good training ground for future leaders
There is an established practice in China now that retired leaders keep a low profile and refrain from making any comment on the work of their successors. However, at the beginning of a Peking Opera show for Shanghai officials mostly at bureau-chief level on January 18, former premier Zhu Rongji broke his silence and gave a 9-minute impromptu speech.
Zhu began his speech with a joke, telling the audience to be patient as the show would last only three hours, not much longer than the official speeches they have been used to attend. Well-known for the efficiency in his work, Zhu attacked with humor officials’ lack of efficiency in giving excessive long speeches.
What provided much food for thought was that he recalled his work in Shanghai under the leadership of President Jiang Zemin and what he once said then: “We will have a satisfactory clean government in Shanghai and Shanghai will be able to achieve successes however great if only we watch closely our 506 bureau-level officials and give play to their talents.”
When Zhu retired in 2003, he firmly promised that he would not comment on government work. He expressed his dissatisfaction related to housing, automobile industry, urban communications, education, etc., during his visit to Tsinghua University for its centennial celebration in late April, 2011, but he did not mention Jiang Zemin and told his audience not to disclose what he said to outsiders.
Why did he break his silence now?
At the age of 88, Deng Xiaoping could not but break his silence in his famous Southern Tour in 1992 because conservatives were putting an end to his reform. What was the serious problem in China now that makes Zhu, 84, break his promise to remain silent? In spite of Zhu’s instruction to keep his speech in Tsinghua University secret and the CCP Central Disciplinary Commission’s notice immediately after Zhu’s speech that forbade such speech, sources revealed that Zhu was indignant that local governments robbed land from peasants to increase their income though they get 80% of the tax income of the nation. They have such excessive financial needs due to rampant corruption.
In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements: The Silent Peaceful Coup D’état in China…” I point out that China’s current political system is the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty with a core who has the absolute power as the emperor of the dynasty whether the core is in office or retired. To prove that, I cited Deng Xiaoping’s Southern Tour to prove that the core though retired had the absolute power to rescue the reform when conservatives prevailed.
Will Deng’s successor Jiang Zemin continue to be the core ten years after his retirement or be replaced by Hu Jintao who will retire this year? To remain the core, Jiang’s Shanghai faction has to have a majority in the new politburo standing committee, while Hu needs a majority in it for his Youth League faction if he is to replace Jiang and become the new core.
This issue is usually resolved through behind-the-scene bargaining when preparations are being made for the coming CCP congress, but the words of a retired heavy weight in the Party and government will certainly have some decisive repercussion especially when he points out real serious issue in his speech.
That was why in spite of CCP Central Disciplinary Commission’s ban, Shanghai Party head Yu Zhengsheng, a politburo member, gave Zhu forum to air his views.
DOING JUSTICE TO TIANANMEN
While Amercia has had justice done by killing Osama bin Laden, justice has not yet been done to Tiananmen incident in China.
In order to do justice to that great event in Chinese history, the author wrote this book to reveal Tiananmen’s great achivements.
The Coup D’Etat in China to Substitute Intellectuals’ for Uneducated Workers’ Dominance in China
When intellectuals were despised and almost all intellectual activities forbidden, a new generation of talented scholars with moral integrity emerged. They secretly made preparations to seize political power in order to save the nation and get the human right and freedom to pursue their intellectual activities. I have quite a few friends of that generation and attended a secret meeting of them in Shanghai. I learned at the meeting that one of their ways was to join the Party, rise to the top and transform the Party. They studied hard Chinese classics and history to learn the strategy, tactics, tricks and intrigues of political struggle and all other kinds of knowledge and skill and called themselves Eclectics. The intellectuals I lived among who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution also wanted to fight back when the Cultural Revolution was over. Even those intellectuals like Fang Lizhi who were originally engaged in science and technology and traditionally wanted to have nothing to do with politics, became political enthusiasts and spent most of their time in disseminating the idea of democracy among college students. There were campaigns for democracy one after another with Tiananmen as the climax.