It was snowing. A boy 4-year old in nothing but underpants was shivering in a cold street. The freezing temperature was especially severe due to the high humidity. “Run,” he was urged by a stern voice. He began to run but soon stopped. “Do push-ups,” was a further order. The boy put his small hands on the snow, started to do push-ups but he soon fell on the snow.
A passerby ran over, held up the boy, wrapped the boy in his coat and brought the boy into the nearest store to keep him warm. He was followed by some other passersby and a young man. The young man said, “Give me back my son.” “Are you really his father? How could you treat your son so cruelly?” asked the passerby.
“I am his father. I can do whatever I want to him. Mind your own business.” The young man tried to hit the passerby with his fist but was stopped by another passerby. They called the police and accused him of abusing his son.
It was found that the boy’s mother died a few months ago and his father was the only relative to take care of him. However, being a drug addict, the father hated his son and often beat him. That nude exercise in the snow was his new way to abuse his son.
Social workers later found loving foster parents for the boy, but it took years to cure the trauma caused by his sufferings. The boy used to have nightmare of running in underpants in the snow, drowning in icy water, etc. His foster mother had to sleep by his side to wake him and hold him in her arms when he had such a nightmare. Having lived in a loving family for quite a few years, he seemed to have been cured from the trauma and grew up into a normal teenager.
Now there is a Chinese ambitious loving father who gives himself the title of eagle father. He applied the abusive father’s method to make his son a super boy. What has he achieved? Has he imbued his son with courage, fortitude or unflinching willpower? No, the child has been made to fear that experience and never wants to endure such hardship again. Perhaps, he will have nightmares similar to the abused boy.
World Bank’s Feb. 27 report points out that China’s current export- and investment-led growth model is unsustainable and a further economic liberalisation reform shall be carried out to avoid hard landing and middle-income trap. Chinese leaders have to take World Bank’s suggestions seriously as decrease in growth rate may give rise to serious unemployment leading to the collapse of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty.
However, the key factor of reform, privatisation, is so radical that it will certainly be resisted by vested interests and the huge number of poorly educated workers and peasants including the about 30 million Party members among them who advocate Maoist public ownership and planned economy. The large number of bloggers who support Du Jianguo’s opposition to the report indicates the strength of the resistance.
In addition, corruption is so serious that former premier Zhu Rongji had to break his silence on July 18 to make implied criticism.
The next generation of leaders has to be superheroes to maintain the high growth rate. However, I am confident as they are the youngest of the generation of talented scholars with moral integrity described in my book who overcame lots of difficulties when they grew up.
Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji were superheroes able to radically transform state-managed enterprises and vigorously develop the private sector, but they were lucky enough to be able to exploit the pervasive fear in the Party caused by the Tiananmen protests.
When problems of the export-led growth model loomed, the financial tsunami gave rise to serious unemployment among migrant workers. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao are superheroes to maintain the high growth rate as they have been lucky enough to exploit the opportunity to overcome conservatives’ opposition to the reduction of restrictions to private capital and encourage private capital to enter various other industries where there were open and hidden barriers for private capital to enter in the past.
Private capital displayed its great vigor and potential in making surprisingly great achievements in those industries and soon employed back all the migrant workers they had laid off. Seeing the evil of the monopoly of China’s huge state-owned enterprises, they allowed private sector to compete with the public sector. In order to earnestly develop China’s private sector, the State Council issued on May 7, 2010 “Several Opinions of the State Council on Encouraging and Guiding the Healthy Development of Nongovernmental Investment” (the “Opinions”).
For implementation of the Opinions, the General Office of the State Council issued on July 22, 2010 “Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Division of Labor for Major Tasks of Encouraging and Guiding the Healthy Development of Nongovernmental Investment” (the “Notice”) to assign the responsibilities for helping private investment in various industries to various central departments and local governments.
According to the Notice, central departments and local governments are to encourage private capital to participate in transformation of state-owned enterprises, conduct independent innovation, transformation and upgrading and take part in international competition. They had to help private enterprises establish their engineering and technology research centers and technology development centers, increase their technical reserves, and satisfactorily train their technical personnel.
Further, private capital is encouraged to play its role in hi-tech sector, utilize high technologies to reform and develop traditional industries, vigorously develop recycle economy and eco-friendly economy, and invest in the development of the emerging industries with development potentials, such as the industries of energy conservation, emission reduction, water conservation, reduction of water consumption, biological medicine, information network, new energy, new materials, environmental protection, integrative utilization of resources.
After over a century of defeat and aggression by foreign powers, Chiang Kai-shek’s corrupt autocracy and Mao’s tyranny, China has had more than three decades of good luck. I hope its good luck will remain till 2030 when the radical economic reform has been completed and there is sound foundation for political reform.
In an interview with American Chinese basketball superstar Jeremy Lin, the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) reporter asked Lin whether he would play basketball for China in international matches. Lin said that he had not made up his mind yet.
The reporter is being condemned widely on the Internet. “Are gold medals so important that China wants an athlete from another country to help it win them?” asked some bloggers.
However, human history was a history of grabbing and snatching from abroad for thousands of years. Over 2,000 years ago, there were seven kingdoms in China. Qin, the strongest among them, fought one after another war to grab land from other kingdoms, but there was no United Nations to condemn it or a superpower to punish it for aggression. Finally Qin robbed all the land of the other six kingdoms, but the King of Qin who was later called Qin Shihuang, was praised in the recent popular film “Hero” for unification of China (a successful PRC propaganda) in spite of his cruel exploitation and persecution of Chinese people.
Quite a few Chinese still regard Genghis Khan as a great Chinese hero who conquered many countries, i.e. robbed all the land in those countries. They prefer not to remember that China was also a country whose land was grabbed by him. At first, his troops wanted to turn all Chinese land into grassland for breeding sheep and horses, but talented Chinese intellectuals persuaded them to allow Chinese people to continue their farming and thus create much more wealth for them.
Anyway, the Mongolian tyrants are not condemned for their grabbing.
In our current civilized world, grabbing by force is not feasible, but we can attract talented people by high remuneration and great respect. Obama precisely wants to do so. In his recent State of Union speech, he wants to change immigration rules to keep in America talent foreign intellectuals trained by American colleges. Certainly the same treatment shall be given to talented athletes too. Didn’t Yao Ming, a basketball star well-known in China, play NBA games in America?
The question is not whether a country is justified in grabbing talents by lawful means from abroad but whether it is cost effective for the country. Paying US$1,000,000 annual salary to win a gold medal seems too expensive, but if Lin is employed to set an example and help training Chinese basketball players and turn Chinese basketball matches into a business generating billions of dollars like the NBA in America, the return will be huge compared with the investment.
Nine years ago when I first met Uncle Ho at the shed 700 steps up on the hill, he told me he was eighty something. He looked eighty-odd year old then and I believed him.
When I asked about his age a few days ago, he was still eighty-odd years old. I studied his face meticulously and found that he still looked eighty-odd. It seems that the nine years have passed without leaving any trace in his appearance.
I asked other hikers. Some of them said that Uncle Ho told them he was born in the 1910s. I then asked Uncle Ho whether he was really born in the 1910s. He said yes. I said, “You must at least be ninety-two. Even if you were born in 1919, the last year of the 1910s, you must be ninety-two now. In what year were you actually born?”
“I prefer ceasing calculation of my age. I have long passed the normal age of death and shall enjoy the days I am still alive and healthy. Why shall I calculate my age everyday to remind me that death is coming increasingly closer. For me age is a meaningless figure. What counts is whether I am still healthy and happy.”
Uncle Ho comes to the shed often to make tea, provide it for hikers free of charge and sweep the steps. He walks only 700 steps up to the shed and never goes to the peak 1,500 steps up to keep fit like all the other hikers. I exercise earnestly every other day climbing up more than 2,100 steps as fast as I can for good health and longevity, but he spends most of the time chatting and joking with hikers who sit in the shed to enjoy the tea. They say the tea made with stream water tastes especially good, but I do not know the difference. Perhaps, I am no connoisseur.
I work hard to keep fit, but he climbs only 700 steps without effort and just enjoys the chatting and joking. However, I do not think I will live longer than him. What is his secret of longevity? I do not know. The stream water? The moderate exercise everyday? Or being always happy to enjoy life, chatting and joking?
About 30 years ago, my daughter got a beautiful Tibetan terrier but had no idea that the small dog was a bellicose dog. He would challenge to a fight any other dog he met no matter how big the other dog was. I liked his bravery, but did not want to see him fighting; therefore, I used to hold him up when he went near another dog. However, when he met a really big dog such as a German shepherd dog, I did not hold him up because every time he met a dog so big, the big dog just held him in contempt and ignored his fierce barking as if he had not existed.
North Korea is poor and weak. It is unable even to feed its troops let alone its people. When it challenges the United States, it is like my tiny dog challenging a lion. However, it was not held in contempt but regarded as a real threat. US media naturally exaggerated the threat due to its thirst for sensational news. Why shall American politicians also feel seriously threatened and regard North Korea as one of their priorities. Is America a lion with a weak heart?
They say that it is because North Korea has a small number of atomic bombs and some carrier missiles. Atomic bomb is the technology of the 1940s. Any country with the limited resources similar to what North Korea has can produce it now nearly 70 years after it was invented. America shall not be taken in by North Korea’s nuclear blackmail. It shall know very clearly that North Korea’s Kim regime is now on the verge of collapse.
In its New Year report, North Korea’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said, “The food problem is a burning issue in building a thriving country” and urged various Party organizations to “resolve that problem to prove their loyalty.”
Obviously exacerbation of this decade-old “food problem” to a burning extent reveals those organizations’ failure to “prove their loyalty” to the regime.
The lack of loyalty is further revealed in KCNC’s quote of the New Year editorial jointly carried by three North Korean newspapers that “The whole party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong-un,” Kim Join-il’s successor. Certainly, North Korean people do not possess such a firm conviction, or they would not be urged to have such loyalty.
A dynasty that cannot feed its people of course has a pressing need for the loyalty of its people, but how can it get such loyalty. Its trick is to create tension to fool its people that they are under the threat of invasion from America and South Korea so that the people need the protection of the regime. American media and politicians’ response to North Korea’s bluffing gave Kim Jong-il spotlight and thus make him a star worshiped by North Korean communists. What they shall do is precisely the contrary: ignore the bluffing and treat North Korea with contempt as if it did not exist.
They must be clearly aware that America has the capability to destroy North Korea thoroughly if North Korea dares to use its atomic bombs to attack any country; therefore, the Kim regime dare not really use the bombs. As for conventional weapons, North Korea lags far behind even China. Kim Jong-il visited China several times for supply of weapons but failed to get what he wanted. North Korea can be defeated within a week by South Korea with the help of American advanced air force and navy if it invades South Korea with conventional weapons. China will not be so foolish as to help North Korea again as Mao, the warlike tyrant, died long ago. Remember, Mao sent troops into Korea in spite of the opposition of all other Chinese leaders.
All North Korean propaganda about Kim’s genius of shooting, handling tanks and other skills is rubbish because for the leader of a country, those skills are useless. A good leader has first of all to be able to decide the right route for his country to follow and employ competent officials to successfully carry out his policies to make his country prosperous and his people happy.
According to PRC sources, Kim Jong-un has sent thousands of technocrats to China to learn from it its reform and opening-up, especially the development of private enterprises. There is also news that a joint venture coffee shop with Austria has recently been open in North Korea’s history museum to offer well-known European brand of coffee.
If he is really switching from communism to Chinese style of capitalism for his country’s prosperity and his people’s benefit, he is a true genius.
We need not worry that he is too young to have his way. He has China’s strong support.
Jiang Zemin was a mystery even when he was retiring after being spotlighted for more than a decade. So is Hu Jintao now. There were lots of speculation that Jiang was unwilling to retire, that there would be fierce power struggle between Hu and Jiang or Jiang’s protégés in the politburo, etc. that have never turned out to be true.
As the official history distorts the facts, I wanted for quite a long time to write about China to tell the truth based on my own sources and personal experience. However, there must be some authoritative source to support my book. Zhao Ziyang’s memoir provides such a source and what I have written in my book was further confirmed later by the memoirs of former politburo members Qiu Huizuo, Li Zuopeng and Wu Faxian and the books written by Qiu’s and another member Huang Yongsheng’s sons.
Even well-known diplomat Henry Kissinger helped the Chinese Communist Party to beautify Mao era in his book “On China”. I had to write a long review to tell readers his ignorance about China that caused his book to be full of misinformation about not only Mao era but also Chinese history and culture.
It is good that as the speculation about Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao was proved wrong by later developments, people now regard Xi Jinping as a mystery instead of giving their views based on speculation.
Still, as China is the second biggest economy in the world now, knowledge about Xi Jinping, its leader-in-waiting, is indispensable for other countries and people doing business in or with China. Therefore, I believe that I have to give my view on him based on the little information available and my contacts with people of his generation.
How can we know more about Xi Jinping? As a Chinese who has been able to reduce the trouble I might be in when my father was imprisoned for a framed-up active counterrevolutionary crime, I am more sensitive to learn what lies underneath the limited available information.
We have enough information about Xi’s moral integrity, but that is not enough for the top leader of a state. He must be wise. Obviously he was wise in making critical choice in his life. First when he was to go the countryside, he chose his father’s base area where the officials and people still respected his father as his father was persecuted because of a fiction praising the contributions of the former leaders of those officials and people.
Second, all young boys of his age (13 years old then) were happy when they no longer had to study as school education ceased due to the Cultural Revolution. Xi, however, chose to go on studying on his own. When he was sent down to the village in northern Shaanxi, his major luggage was a box of books. He is thus one of the new generation of talented intellectuals with moral integrity that emerged during the Cultural Revolution.
Third, almost everyone who had been sent down to a rural area, wanted to leave for an urban job as soon as possible in order to improve his livelihood, but he preferred to stay as he was very clear with his father’s problems, the village in the area his father was popular is the best place for him to develop his career in the Party.
Fourth, he persisted in joining the Party despite his application has been rejected about 10 times. In my book, I described the emergence of a new generation of talented intellectuals with moral integrity in Shanghai. Judging by the emergence of quite a few good officials, academics, writers, artists, entrepreneurs of that age group throughout China, such scholars also emerged in other areas of China.
What is most important for a top leader is the ability to choose talented assistants with moral integrity. When Xi has just replaced Hu Jintao, he has no choice but to be assisted by those chosen by the core and Hu Jintao. Whether he has this wisdom has to be judged later by his own choice of assistants.
I described a meeting of the new generation of scholars I personally attended in Shanghai, where the way to save the nation was discussed. Some attendants suggested that they should join the Party, climb to the top and transform the Party. It turned out later that their way was the wise way that has transformed the Party without bloodshed. Xi is as wise as them in trying to join the Party and rise to the top though he was not in Shanghai at that time.
Domestically, he paid great attention to development of agriculture to make farmers rich. The increase in farmers’ income will force employers to raise wages for migrant workers as they will return home if the wages they earn are lower than what they may earn as farmers back home. Supplemented by the policies of provision of low-rent housing for migrant workers and equal educational opportunities for their children, there will be great increase in demand in Chinese domestic market.
As for his diplomatic policy, in the beginning he will continue to carry out Hu Jintao’s policy to strive for harmony. I hope and believe that he will try hard to ease tension between China and America during his current visit to America. As for his attitude when he is really in charge, judging by his hardline speeches when he visited Mexico, I think that due to his populist tendency, he will not easily submit to US pressure.