SCMP.com – Journalist ‘jailed after criticising Bo’s crusade’


Further evidence of Bo Xilai’s despotism.

SCMP.com – Journalist ‘jailed after criticising Bo’s crusade’

via SCMP.com – Journalist ‘jailed after criticising Bo’s crusade’.

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Elders’ Dominance in China


In his recent press conference, Premier Wen Jiabao said that he will fight on for democracy as long as he lives.

People cannot help ask how. There has now been established practice of retired leaders refraining from commenting government work after their retirement. For example, when former Premier Zhu Rongji commented government work during his visit to QinghuaUniversitylast April, he told his audience to keep secret what he said. Since former premiers cannot comment the work of their successors, how can Wen Jiabao fight for democracy, one year later when he has retired?

Chinese politics are entirely different from Western ones. All the most important decisions are made behind the scene where retired elders remain influential.

In Mao era, Mao was the only decision maker. He entirely disregarded the provisions of Party constitution on holding Party meetings. He never held Party congresses or plenary sessions of the Central Committee according to the provisions of the Constitution and was even so absurd as to claim that the 12th Plenary Session of the 8th CCP Central Committee convened by him had quorum when only 40 of the 97 Committee members and 17 of the 73 alternate members were absent.

When Deng was the core of the leadership, according to Zhao Ziyang’s memoir, all the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) members were “daughters-in-law” while Deng was the only “mother-in-law” giving instructions to them. Meetings were held according to Party constitution, but important decisions were first made by Deng after consulting other elders and then to be adopted by the PSC.

When Hu Jintao had succeeded Jiang Zemin, Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai faction continued to have a majority in the PSC. Five years after Hu took over in 2007, Hu was only able to promote one of his protégés into the PSC and a few of them into the 25-member Politburo. Hu’s failure to choose Li Keqiang as his successor clearly indicated that the Party was dominated by the elders who had strong factions under them.

Premier Wen thought he could fight on for democracy after retirement because he knew that he would remain influential after retirement. However, his words provided a further evidence for the existence of faction politics within the Party.

I often wonder that China’s well-known premier Zhuge Liang was appointed top post as soon as his talents were discovered when he was only 27, but now an official cannot rise to the top position until he is 60. Is China too old a country to employ young talents?


Victory of Rule of Law over Despotism


The removal of Bo Xilai from his post as Chongqing Party head proves the wisdom of China’s new generation of talented intellectuals. Bo acted as a despot disregarding law in conducting his campaign against organized crime. He used tortures to extract confessions and thus sent lots of innocent people including a defense lawyer into prison. The model he set encouraged the police throughout the nation to disregard the nation’s laws and regulations on lawyers’ rights to defend their clients and persecute lawyers who dare to defend suspects. As a result, few lawyers are willing to take criminal cases.

Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin stressed rule of law in order to substitute rule of law for rule of person to prevent the reemergence of the Cultural Revolution. Their successors are wise in regarding the rule of law as their first priority. They attach great importance to criminal law so as to restrict officials’ power and make it impossible for a despot like Mao to defy laws. They found that there were insufficient provisions in China’s criminal procedure law on suspects’ and lawyers’ right of defense and exploited legal academics’ protest against Bo’s and other police’s practice to start substantial amendments of China’s criminal procedure law. The amendments clearly aimed at putting an end to the malpractice of Bo’s Chongqing model.

They clearly know that in China, implementation of law is much more difficult than formulation of law; therefore, the law shall facilitate the emergence of an independent legal profession strong enough to challenge potential despots. As a result, there are lots of provisions on suspects’ and lawyers’ rights of defense and restriction of police abuse in the recent amendments of China’s criminal procedure law.

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.

In 1987, Bo Yibo was assigned by Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun and Li Xiannian the preparation of the lists of candidates for the Central Committee, Politburo, Secretariat and Politburo Standing Committee for the 13th Party Congress. 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 book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, China is now ruled by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty. For a dynasty, the state is its most valuable asset and all successors to the throne have their top obligation not to lose it. So is the case for the cores of leadership of the CCP Dynasty though the dynasty is not hereditary. 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!

Since Bo was a Maoist, he did not mind that what he did in his campaign against organized crime 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 Maoist 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 of the nine 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’s family 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 clues 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.

I called Bo’s removal from office a victory of rule of law over Bo Xilai’s despotism. It is indeed a victory of those who strive to prevent the recurrence of the Cultural Revolution because Mao’s despotism that defied laws and Mao’s teaching to make the rebels’ and red guards’ totally disregard of law was the essence of the Cultural Revolution, though there are no students’ rebellion, smashing of historic artifacts, high-level cadres being struggled against by screaming people, etc. in Bo’s Chongqing model.

This is also a victory of democracy because rule of law is the foundation of democracy. Without it, there cannot be democracy in China. If laws formulated by an independent legislature cannot be implemented, what is the use of the separation of three powers? What is the use of universal suffrage if the police have absolute control of the election.


SCMP.com – Lawyer tells of torture in a ‘tiger seat’


Hong Kong newspaper report on tortures that are condemned in my post yesterday

SCMP.com – Lawyer tells of torture in a ‘tiger seat’

via SCMP.com – Lawyer tells of torture in a ‘tiger seat’.


Victory of Rule of Law over Bo Xilai’s Maoism


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.


Pervasive Fear Caused by Tiananmen Protests


Having read my last post “CCP’s Tiananmen Syndrome”, some people may ask, “Are conservatives in the Party really scared by Tiananmen to such a great extent? Are you exaggerating?”

 

(Excerpt from my book)

People who have not experienced the persecution or lived among the vast number of people who suffered from the persecution certainly cannot understand the extent of the pervasive fear throughout the Party.

 

Pervasive Fear of Capitalist Restoration

Commencing from late 1950s, hatred became the major theme of political indoctrination and people were taught to hate class enemy. That was the major cause of red guards’ and rebel workers’ cruelty in persecuting innocent people regarded as class enemy. On the other hand, there was intensified propaganda day by day about the terror of capitalist restoration, giving terrible accounts of the killing of communists during Hungarian Revolution of 1956 andIndonesia’s violent purge of communists. At that time, people frequently heard Party officials, red guards and rebels say, “We shall strike hard against class enemy to prevent a capitalist restoration. Otherwise millions of people will be killed.”

 

Mao wanted to restrict the number of people persecuted within a percentage of 5% to avoid having too many enemies, but as Party organizations collapsed, there was no one to restrain red guards and rebels. The percentage of people persecuted in urban areas for some reason or no reason at all exceeded 5% by far though at the end in order to reduce the number of the enemies of the regime, quite a few of those persecuted, beaten, robbed, denounced and humiliated were treated “leniently” without being labeled as enemies of the regime. Still they were discriminated against and told to do work other people did not want to do. Those unemployed were told to work at air-raid construction sites along with juvenile delinquents and paid 0.60 yuan (US$0.27 according to the official exchange rate then) a day. Their children were discriminated against at school.

 

For example, when all the workers were listening to the news on Mao’s death in a workshop of a printing and dying mill where I worked as a temporary worker for 2 months, the director of the workshop went around the workshop and told one by one those who had been denounced but not labeled as enemy of the regime including me to sit straight and behave ourselves. At that time I had worked in the mill for only a few days, still the workshop director knew that I had got a conclusion of having committed a serious political mistake without the label as an enemy of the regime. I was involved because my father was imprisoned for a non-existent counterrevolutionary crime.

 

What crimes those people have committed? Some had perhaps expressed their discontent of some of the Party’s policy. Others perhaps merely disobeyed their leader.

 

For example, a boy fell in love with a girl in his workshop and dated her, but the director of the workshop told the boy not to date the girl because he thought that the girl was too good for the boy. The boy openly told the director to mind his own business. The director was upset and told the militia to arrest the boy and imprisoned him in a vacuum flask factory to attend a study class for juvenile delinquents. At that time, I worked there as a temporary worker along with the boy and his co-prisoners in the study class who were receiving reform through labor there. His co-prisoners who were arrested for robbery, theft, illegal sex, gambling, etc. often teased him.

 

The robbers and thieves said that he was a fool that had dated the girl three times without ever holding her hand or kissing her. They said to him, “You shall join us and get some money to pay for a beautiful prostitute. Then you will enjoy the unforgettable sight of a naked girl and have wonderful sex with her. You will have nothing to lose. Even if you are caught, you will end up here just the same.”

 

Those who were arrested for illegal sex said that the boy was a fool and did not know how to handle a girl. They taught him how to make a girl willing to have sex with him. He should touch her here and there this and that way and kiss her in so-and-so manner, etc. “The girl will marry you when she has slept with you,” they said. “That is the shortcut to get a girl you like. Anyway there is nothing to lose. You will just end up here if anything goes wrong.”

 

I saw that the boy was honest and liked him. I told him not to listen to their nonsense. I said, “What you shall pursue is to have a wife and two children who love you all your life. That will be your long-term happiness.” The boy agreed to remain honest but when he returned to his workshop at the end of the study class a couple of months later, he was discriminated against as a juvenile delinquent until he was rehabilitated after the Cultural Revolution.

 

Those people’s pent-up hatred intensified due to the general atmosphere of hatred in the society. As for the 5% labeled as enemies, the regime robbed them of all their valuables and reduced their salary to 12 yuan per head inShanghai(even lower in other areas). They were beaten, denounced and humiliated without mercy. Quite a few of them died due to the prosecution. Their children were often involved and persecuted too. The total number of the persecuted, both the labeled and unlabeled, was very large. It at least exceeded 20% of the population inShanghai. There is no accurate statistics, but if all those who had some complaints such as being unemployed or sent to remote poor area to suffer from deprivation and poverty and whose family members were persecuted, the percentage might reach 50%.

 

As an experienced politician, Deng Xiaoping knew well the problem that may emerge when people’s pent-up hatred erupted. Therefore, soon after he returned to power after the Cultural Revolution, he had lots of those labeled or persecuted rehabilitated including almost all the rightists. In addition, he had the labels of enemy removed from all those who had not been rehabilitated. However, the scars of physical and mental injury remained.

 

The students’ protests atTiananmen Squaresoon spread to hundreds of Chinese cities and won the support of a huge number of citizens precisely because of the eruption of such hatred.

 

On the other hand, most of the persecutors who had not been Party members were admitted into the Party during the Cultural Revolution due to their merits in persecuting the “enemies” for Mao. Only a small number of notorious persecutors were punished and expelled from the Party when Deng Xiaoping returned to power. Naturally those who have persecuted others shudder at the mere thought of the possible revenge that the persecuted will take against them if the regime collapses. The persecution they will receive will be much fiercer than that they have rendered to the persecuted as revenge is usually excessive. Even Party members who have not persecuted any one fear that they may be killed, imprisoned, denounced, humiliated and otherwise persecuted as when the Party collapses, there is no other political force capable of controlling the situation and preventing China from falling into chaos.

 

Therefore, the panic given rise by Tiananmen is real and pervasive in the Party.

 

Note: This is not a fiction. It was what actually happened and was personally experienced or seen by me.


Chinese Communist Party’s Tiananmen Syndrome


It is understandable that Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was jailed 11 years for his role in advocating Charter 08 that calls for multi-party democracy. For a dynasty, the state is its most valuable asset and all successors to the 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 of the state for the CCP Dynasty.

However, it puzzled everyone that Zhao Lianhai, founder of Home for Kidney Stone Babies, a concern group for victims of melamine-poisoned milk, was brought to court in handcuffs and shackles for fighting for victimized babies’ rights. The handcuffs were not removed until his lawyers protested, but his feet remained in shackles for hours throughout the hearing. What felony did he commit so as to be humiliated like that? Even Liu Xiaobo was not humiliated that way.

According to his prosecutor, Zhao Lianhai “maliciously made the tainted milk incident an issue on the Internet, instigated and gathered people to shout slogans and hold illegal assemblies and thus seriously disrupted public order.” In fact, Zhao’s website helped families with babies poisoned by tainted milk share their experiences, maintained a database of medical records and provided practical help such as medical information about children sick due to tainted milk. Since the government itself made public the evils done by the enterprises that sold the tainted milk and the trials and verdicts of the cases of the managers of those enterprises, what was Zhao’s website wrong in doing so?

As reported by Hong Kong and Western media, the prosecutor knew well himself that the protests lead by Zhao Lianhai were entirely peaceful and gave rise to no serious disturbance. The protesters merely shouted some slogans and held some assemblies without permission.

As for holding some harmless assemblies without permission, Zhao Lianhai contacted government officials times and again but was pressured instead supported by them. Since government officials tried hard to cover up the evils done, how could Zhao get permission for the assemblies? Zhao and others were justified in holding peaceful assemblies without permission. They had such rights according to China’s constitution.

Moreover, Zhao Lianhai’s own only baby had kidney stones due to the tainted milk. How can he be accused of maliciously exploiting the incident to make trouble? As a victim’s father, Zhao himself has the right to express his anger peacefully on the Internet and in the streets.

There is a Chinese saying “Once bitten by a snake, one is scared all one’s life at the mere sight of a rope.” The attack that the Party suffered from Tiananmen Protests was like the bite of a snake, which threatened Party’s very survival then. The protests led by Zhao Lianhai though quite harmless like a rope compared with the “snake” — the Tiananmen Protests, the Party was scared just as described by the Chinese saying.

In my book, I call that fear the Party’s Tiananmen Syndrome. As described in my book, it was precisely the fear given rise by Tiananmen Protests that enabled intellectuals to successfully carry out a coup to substitute their dominance of the Party and for uneducated workers’ and peasant’s dominance.