The Conundrum of Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream


Colonel Liu Mingfu’s Arrogant China Dream of China Replacing the US as World Leader.
In 2010, Colonel Liu Mingfu published his leftist best seller “China Dream: Great Power Thinking and Strategic Posture in the Post American Era” advocating China replacing the US as world leader. He first assumed the fall of the United States and believed that China would surpass the US in economy. In fact, in 2010, China has quite a few problems in maintaining its economic growth while the US, though failed to achieve much economic growth, still had an economy much larger and advanced than China. It was indeed too early for Liu to predict the fall of the US and the rise of China to replace the US as world leader. To replace the US as world leader, China has to be stronger not only economically but also militarily than the US; therefore, Liu advocates China’s military instead of peaceful rise in his book.

Lots of Chinese people, especially leftists, are very fond of Liu’s ideas. They vied with one another to buy his books and soon all the one million printed copies were sold out. However, like his predecessors Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, the then CCP general secretary Hu Jintao upheld China’s peaceful rise and did not like Liu’s idea of China’s military rise. Hu did not allow any reprint of Liu’s book.

Xi Jinping Uses China Dream to Unite a Deeply Split China
In order to overcome conservatives resistance to reform and especially to eliminate rampant corruption, Xi Jinping disappeared for two weeks to win support from powerful elders. Soon after Xi Jinping’s reappearance after his mysterious absence in September 2012, Jiang came to Beijing from Shanghai. On September 27, 2012, he presided over an expanded meeting of CCP Politburo and adopted a resolution to punish Bo severely.

However, Jiang only deprived the powerful conservative faction of its leader Bo Xilai but the debate between the conservatives and reformists over evaluation of Mao remained unresolved. The conservative faction remained large and powerful and Maoism remained popular among quite a few people. China remained a deeply split nation over the evaluation of Mao. In Xi Jinping’s further thorough economic reform, He had to overcome not only the resistance from vested interests, especially the powerful group of corrupt officials, but also the fierce opposition from the powerful conservative faction.

For example, not long before the 18th CCP Congress, Li Peng, the arc conservative, published a new book to stress government control of market. Li’s book obviously aims at opposing in theory the reformists’ reform of further economic liberalization. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao certainly opposed Li’s ideas. However, two weeks after publication on July 12, 2012, CCP’s mouthpiece People’s Daily carried a full-page article to promote Li’s book and denounce mainstream Western economic ideas that advocate free market. That showed conservatives’ strength in CCP’s media. China’s further reform was encountering serious resistance from the conservatives.

The combined strong resistance from vested interests and the conservatives made the reformists unable to move even a step forward in their further reform. That was why Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao had made no significant progress in the further reform they advocated in Hu’s Scientific Outlook on Development.

Xi was fully aware that he and the reformists behind him were not strong enough to surmount the obstacles to reform set by both the vested interests and the conservative faction. He had to adopt the strategy to split his enemies so that he might destroy them one by one as he was stronger than each of the split sections of his enemies.

Moreover, Xi believes that his most important task is to win over those who opposed the reform and make them support the reform as the success of his fight against corruption and for reform depends on popular support. Through analysis, he found that most of the conservatives shared reformists’ dream to make China rich and strong. The conservatives differed from reformists in the ways to realize the dream. They believe the communist way of public ownership and planned economy is the correct way while the reformists advocated a capitalist way to expand private sector and remove state-owned sector’s monopoly of Chinese economy.

Xi was impressed by the success of PLA senior colonel Liu Mingfu’s leftist book “China Dream: Great Power Thinking and Strategic Posture in the Post American Era”, a book that rejects reformists’ idea of China’s peaceful rise and advocates, instead, China’s “military rise”. Liu wants China to intensify its military modernization in order to replace the US as world greatest military power. The book became instant bestseller with 1 million copies sold out as soon as it was published. However, the reformists under Hu Jintao banned reprinting of the book due to its leftist ambition that pursues China’s military instead of economic rise. The success of the book proves that most conservatives are patriots that Xi may win over.

With that in mind Xi Jinping invented a way to exploit conservatives’ patriotism to win their support for his reform and fight against corruption by turning Liu Mingfu’s China dream into a dream for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Soon after he became CCP general secretary, he brought all the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) members to visit “The Road Toward Renewal” exhibition in Beijing. There, he said that the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation was the greatest Chinese dream for the Chinese nation now and called on people to strive to realize the dream.

At one stroke, Xi Jinping had rallied around him both the reformists who advocate turning China into a great economic power and the conservatives who advocate turning China into a great military power. Moreover, the vested interests that opposed further reform due to their interests may also think that they may be benefited when China becomes powerful. Xi’s Chinese dream had also reduced their opposition.

In order to win over the conservatives, Xi allowed reprinting of Liu Mingfu’s bestseller. In addition, when Xi Jiping visited Chinese navy on April 11, 2013, he talked about the dream for a militarily powerful China to emphasize that his Chinese dream for a powerful China includes that for a militarily powerful China.
Xi Jinping used his Chinese dream to immediately turn China into a united nation from a nation deeply split between reformists and conservatives over the evaluation of Mao. Some people wondered how Xi was able to punish very powerful generals and officials who though retired, still controlled China’s military and armed police. They did not know that Xi’s Chinese dream has enabled him to have the support of lots of powerful conservatives in the Party who helped Xi eliminate corruption as they shared Xi’s dream to make China rich and strong and hated corruption that hinder the realization of the China dream.

Article by Chan Kai Yee

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Fierce Power Struggle before Xi Jinping Took Over the Reign


I have mentioned in my previous posts the fierce debates between conservatives and reformists over the capitalist and socialist nature of China’s reform and opening-up. The conflicts between conservatives and reformists continued until Chinese President took over the reign. How did the debates end in the first place?

How Jiang Zemin Put an End to the Debates
Since Deng Xiaoping began his reform and opening up capitalist in nature, there had been fierce debates between reformists and conservatives about the nature of the reform and opening up. Conservatives denounced the reform for its capitalist nature, but Deng and the reformists under him could not deny. Deng knew well as Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought were the dominant ideology at that time, there was no hope for him to defend his pursuit of capitalism against Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought. He resorted to a stalling strategy and told conservatives to wait and see the results of the reform and opening up.

After Tiananmen Protests, conservatism prevailed. Deng had to apply his power as paramount leader (“core of collective leadership” according to his term of expression) to force officials to carry on the reform. His successor Jiang Zemin had to play every trick to overcome conservatives’ opposition in order to carry on Deng’s reform while establishing his power base.

However, when Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji had achieved obvious successes in conducting reform and opening up, the facts of successes silenced opposition. However, Jiang and the reformist theorists knew that ideology was very important in China. Feudal dynasties could each survive for two to three centuries due to the ideological dominance of Confucianism. Jiang had to justify the reform and opening up with Marxism, the dominant ideology in China, to ensure the continuance of reform and CCP’s rule in China. To do so, he used the most fundamental Marxist doctrine that production relations shall suit the requirements of the development of advanced production force.

According to Marx, at first capitalist production relation the private ownership of means of production (enterprises) suited the requirements of the development of advanced productive force so that it replaced the feudal one and brought about prosperity. However, there is the basic contradiction of capitalism that the production is for the society but the means of production (the enterprises) are owned privately by capitalist entrepreneurs, who often make decisions on production for their own profits in disregard of the needs of the society, resulting in overproduction and overcapacity that gave rise to cyclical economic crisis. Marx believed that by that time, the capitalist production relation no longer suited the requirements of the development of advanced production force and should be replaced by communist production relations of public ownership and planned economy.

Marx instructed communists that they should represent the requirements of the development of the advanced productive force and carry out a revolution necessary to put all means of production (enterprises) under public ownership as required by the development of the advanced productive force so that the state can plan the production in accordance with the needs of the society. A planned economy will be the most efficient, Marx believed. Then as the production relations suit the requirements of the development of the advanced productive force, the economy will take off. There will be abundance of all kinds of products to meet the needs of all the people. Everyone including former capitalists whose assets have been confiscated will be benefited. So, Marx said that the proletariat (the working class) would emancipate the entire human race.

However, Marx was not able to foresee that public ownership and planned economy were good in theory, but have been proved inefficient by practice everywhere in the world.

The first of Jiang’s Three Represents goes deeper in Marxist theory for the communists to represent the requirements of the development of advanced productive force. It sums up the lessons of the failures of public ownership and planned economy and the successful experience of China’s capitalist reform and opening up to prove that capitalism instead of communist public ownership and planned economy suits the requirements of the development of advanced productive force in China now. That was why China remained poor and backward for three decades when it had monolithic public ownership and planned economy, but has become rich and prosperous in three decades since it began to carry out its reform and opening up capitalist in nature.

Jiang has thus justifies with Marxist theory Chinese communists’ pursuit of reform and opening up capitalist in nature. However, the Three Represents have not dealt with Mao Zedong Thought, which lots of people still regard as the doctrines China has to observe.

Jiang can say his reform and opening up conform to Marxism, but cannot say that they conform to Mao Zedong Thought that advocate public ownership and planned economy as CCP’s dogma before the reform. Jiang should have negated Mao Zedong Thought but could not as Mao was too popular to negate among lots of Chinese people.

However, Marxist theory is quite abstruse to learn even for secondary school graduates. The fundamental Marxist economic theory, useless in modern economic environment is not taught even in most tertiary schools. As a result, lots of Chinese, even CCP members, know nothing about such theory. They still hold Mao in high esteem as they regard Mao as the symbol of the great Chinese nation perhaps due to Mao’s victory over the strongest nation the US in Korean War though Mao’s doctrines of monolithic public ownership and planned economy were refuted by Jiang’s Three Represents.

Fierce Struggle between Reformists and Conservatives
In his 2010 New Year’s message on New Year’s Eve, Hu Jintao, the then Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary, said: “In the upcoming new year, we will unswervingly uphold the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, further implement the Scientific Outlook on Development under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents,…”

Hu put forth his Scientific Outlook on Development as China had to blaze new trail to replace its old way of pursuing export- and investment-geared growth. China’s export market was shrinking due to world economic recession and quite a few local governments and SOEs might become insolvent as they had borrowed too much for investment-geared growth. Their blind investment had given rise to excessive production capacity in some industries, especially steel and building material industries.

For sustainable economic growth, Hu had to uphold reform and opening up and overcome conservatives’ resistance to further reform and opening up based on Maxism-Leninist theories on public ownership and planned economy, especially Mao Zedong’s extreme leftist thoughts that absolutely ban private business operations of even family private farming or individual hawker’s business.

In CCP’s and China’s constitutions, the guiding ideologies at that time were Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, but Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought were conspicuously missing in Hu’s New Year’s Eve message.

Hu’s above-mentioned words became CCP jargon and were frequently repeated by him and other Chinese leaders and in CCP documents in the last couple of years when Hu was in charge. The then premier Wen Jiabao repeated the exact wording in his speech in celebration of the 61st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2010.

Hu’s omission was necessary not only for further reform but also for preserving what China had already achieved through reform and opening up. Hu was very clear that opponents to China’s reform may use Mao Zedong’s socialist doctrines of public ownership and collective farming to denounce the reform that not only allows but encourages private enterprises and farming.

Conservatives were much upset by the omission as they still held Mao in high esteem and quite a few of them remained Mao worshipers.

According to a survey in 40 cities including large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan in 2008, 11.5% of the total number of families there had Mao’s statutes or portraits for worship. Those who had statues or portraits of Buddha, God of Wealth or local god of the land for worship accounted for much smaller percentages. Worship of Mao remained hot among common Chinese people. It was especially so when corruption was rampant at that time. Even those who did not worship Mao had nostalgia of Mao era when egalitarianism prevailed and there were no rich-poor gap or the uncertainty caused by the reform and opening-up in people’s lives.

In 2009, the year of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), there was “Mao Zedong Craze” as Mao was PRC founder. Mao’s homeland Shaoshan became a hot red travel spot with thousands of visitors every day. Such enthusiasm remained hot even in late 2012 three years after the 60th anniversary.

Bo Xilai exploited Hu’s omission to rally around him the conservatives who worshiped Mao or held Mao in high esteem in addition to true conservatives who oppose Jiang’s theory. He launched a nation-wide sing-red campaign to advocate Mao’s values and even sent quotation of Mao’s works to all the mobile phones in Chongqing. He had thus become the head of the large and powerful conservative faction in China and launched a fierce power struggle with Hu’s reformists over the evaluation of Mao. Hu and his reformist faction, though in power in China at that time lacked the strength to defeat Bo’s strong conservative faction. They were even unable to punish Bo in spite of the discovery of Bo’s crimes of corruption.

However, if Bo and his faction had remained powerful, Xi Jinping would not have had the power to conduct his anti-corruption campaign or deepen China’s reform. He went to Jiang to request the removal of Bo. Jiang owes Bo’s father Bo Yibo, a deceased powerful CCP elder, for his help in establishing Jiang’s position as the core of CCP leadership when he was alive, but Jiang could not allow Bo to use Maoism to oppose his Three Represents, reform an opening up. He decided to punish Bo severely so as to remove a major obstacle to Xi’s fight against corruption and for further reform.

In September 2012, Jiang came to Beijing to preside over an expanded meeting of CCP Politburo and made the decision to punish Bo severely, but he had not resolve the power struggle between conservatives and reformists. He left the tricky job to Xi his chosen successor to him as the core of CCP leadership.

Article by Chan Kai Yee.


China’s Xi Jinping Not Got the Title of China’s Great Leader Yet


Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily says in its report “Qianxinan Autonomous Prefecture Got Emergent Notice to Withdraw Portrait of Great Leader” on November 19 that since the 19th Congress, Qianxinan Prefecture of Guizhou Province has been vigorously propagate “Great Leader General Secretary Xi Jinping”. Since the beginning of November, standard portraits of Xi marked with “Great Leader General Secretary Xi Jinping” have appeared at all venues of official meetings, government offices and school classrooms. However, in the evening of November 17, the prefecture issued an emergent notice demanding immediate removal of all Xi’s portraits marked with the wording of “great leader” and forbidding the use of such title in all official documents or propaganda.

It is similar to the incident when Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao was elected general secretary the first time in 2002. He was called the “core of central leadership” by local authority but soon such title was removed.

On February 5, 2005, Hu was again referred to as such core at CCTV primetime news, but Chinese authorities and media refrained from using such title afterwards. I pointed out in my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements” that Hu had not gained the position of “core” and that Jiang Zemin remained the core.

In the second enlarged version of the book, I pointed out Jiang had selected Xi to be successor of to him as the “core”.

Jiang, though was the core for more than two decades, has not got the position or title of “great leader”, the title only PRC founder Mao had got. However, that title no longer appears before Mao’s name now.

Chinese politicians care very much about what they will be described in Chinese history. Assumption of exaggerating titles may appear quite stupid in Chinese history.

Xi has been regarded as the core but he still has to apply the art of balancing, a vital part of the art for being an emperor, in setting up his Politburo Standing Committee.

Among the seven member of the committee, Wang Huning and Han Zheng are chosen from Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai faction; Li Keqiang and Wang Yang are of Hu Jintao’s CYL faction; and only Li Zhanshu is Xi’s man. Zhao Leji belongs to no faction, which makes him the best choice to be in charge of fighting corruption as he will be free from the influence of any faction, not even Xi’s faction that has not fully taken shape. Otherwise, the fight against corruption will utterly fail as it will be turned into the power struggle between various factions. The victorious factions will be even more corrupt after their victory.

I described in the second version of my book why Xi had to convince all the factions that his struggle against corruption is not power struggle as the struggle would have failed at its very beginning if it had been power struggle.

Xi’s first five-year reign has proved his great wisdom and courage, but he has not shown whether he is competent as a great leader.

In Chinese history, a great leader shall first of all have the ability to identify talents and appoint them to important official posts to give play to their talents.

We see quite a few new faces in Xi’s new Politburo but still have to wait for their actual performance in the coming five years to prove that Xi has made the right choices.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Singtao’s report, full text of which in Chinese can be found at https://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E9%BB%94%E8%A5%BF%E5%8D%97%E5%B7%9E%E6%8E%A5%E7%B7%8A%E6%80%A5%E9%80%9A%E7%9F%A5-%E6%92%A4-%E5%81%89%E5%A4%A7%E9%A0%98%E8%A2%96-%E8%82%96%E5%83%8F-221124254.html.


The Conundrum of Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream


Liu Mingfu, conservative author of leftist book “Chinese Dream”, the term Xi Jinping has used to unite reformists and conservatives

I promised in my post “The Conundrum of Jiang Zemin Justifying Pursuit of Capitalism with Marxism” on March 30 that I will describe how Chinese president Xi Jinping put an end to the fierce struggle between conservatives and reformists.

In that post I describe how Jiang Zemin applied the fundamental Marxist theory to justify China’s reform and opening up capitalist in nature with his Three Presents. However, Jiang “cannot say that they conform to Mao Zedong Thought that advocate public ownership and planned economy, which was CCP’s dogma before the reform. Jiang should have negated Mao Zedong Thought but could not as Mao was too popular to negate among lots of Chinese people.

“Marxist theory is quite abstruse to learn even for secondary school graduates. The fundamental Marxist economic theory is not taught even in most tertiary schools as it is useless in modern economic environment. As a result, lots of Chinese, even CCP members, know nothing about such theory. They still hold Mao in high esteem as they regard Mao as the symbol of the great Chinese nation perhaps due to Mao’s victory over the strongest nation the US in Korean War though Mao’s doctrines of monolithic public ownership and planned economy were refuted by Jiang’s Three Represents.

Fierce Struggle between Reformists and Conservatives
In his 2010 New Year’s message on New Year’s Eve, Hu Jintao, the then Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary, said: “In the upcoming new year, we will unswervingly uphold the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, further implement the Scientific Outlook on Development under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents,…”

Hu put forth his Scientific Outlook on Development as China had to blaze new trail to replace its old way of pursuing export- and investment-geared growth. China’s export market was shrinking due to world economic recession and quite a few local governments and SOEs might become insolvent as they had borrowed too much for investment-geared growth. Their blind investment had given rise to excessive production capacity in some industries, especially steel and building material industries.

For sustainable economic growth, Hu had to uphold reform and opening up and overcome conservatives’ resistance to further reform and opening up based on Maxism-Leninist theories on public ownership and planned economy, especially Mao Zedong’s extreme leftist thoughts that absolutely ban private business operations of even family private farming or individual hawker’s business.

In CCP’s and China’s constitutions, the guiding ideologies at that time were Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, but Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought were conspicuously missing in Hu’s New Year’s Eve message.

Hu’s above-mentioned words became CCP jargon and were frequently repeated by him and other Chinese leaders and in CCP documents in the last couple of years when Hu was in charge. The then premier Wen Jiabao repeated the exact wording in his speech in celebration of the 61st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2010.

Hu’s omission was necessary not only for further reform but also for preserving what China had already achieved through reform and opening up. Hu was very clear that opponents to China’s reform may use Mao Zedong’s socialist doctrines of public ownership and collective farming to denounce the reform that not only allows but encourages private enterprises and farming.

Conservatives were much upset by the omission as they still held Mao in high esteem and quite a few of them remained Mao worshipers.

According to a survey in 40 cities including large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan in 2008, 11.5% of the total number of families there had Mao’s statutes or portraits for worship. Those who had statues or portraits of Buddha, God of Wealth or local god of the land for worship accounted for much smaller percentages. Worship of Mao remained hot among common Chinese people. It was especially so when corruption was rampant at that time. Even those who did not worship Mao had nostalgia of Mao era when egalitarianism prevailed and there were no rich-poor gap or the uncertainty caused by the reform and opening-up in people’s lives
.
In 2009, the year of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), there was “Mao Zedong Craze” as Mao was PRC founder. Mao’s homeland Shaoshan became a hot red travel spot with thousands of visitors every day. Such enthusiasm remained hot even in late 2012 three years after the 60th anniversary.

Bo Xilai exploited Hu’s omission to rally around him the conservatives who worshiped Mao or held Mao in high esteem in addition to true conservatives who oppose Jiang’s theory. He launched a nation-wide sing-red campaign to advocate Mao’s values and even sent quotation of Mao’s works to all the mobile phones in Chongqing. He had thus become the head of the large and powerful conservative faction in China and thus launched a fierce power struggle with Hu’s reformists over the evaluation of Mao. Hu and his reformist faction, though in power in China at that time lacked the strength to defeat Bo’s strong conservative faction. They were even unable to punish Bo in spite of the discovery of Bo’s crimes of corruption.

However, if Bo and his faction had remained powerful, Xi Jinping would not have had the power to conduct his anti-corruption campaign or deepen China’s reform. He went to Jiang to request the removal of Bo. Jiang owes Bo’s father Bo Yibo, a deceased powerful CCP elder, for his help in establishing Jiang’s position as the core of CCP leadership when he was alive, but Jiang could not allow Bo to use Maoism to oppose his Three Represents, reform an opening up. He decided to punish Bo severely so as to remove a major obstacle to Xi’s fight against corruption and for further reform.

Xi Jinping Uses Chinese Dream to Unite a Deeply Split China
Soon after Xi Jinping’s reappearance after his mysterious absence in September 2012 (a conundrum to be bared later), Jiang came to Beijing from Shanghai. On September 27, 2012, he presided over an expanded meeting of CCP Politburo and adopted a resolution to punish Bo severely.

However, Jiang only deprived the powerful conservative faction of its leader Bo Xilai but the debate between the conservatives and reformists over evaluation of Mao remained unresolved. The conservative faction remained large and powerful and Maoism remained popular among quite a few people. China remained a deeply split nation over the evaluation of Mao. In Xi Jinping’s further thorough economic reform, He had to overcome not only the resistance from vested interests, especially the powerful group of corrupt officials, but also the fierce opposition from the powerful conservative faction.

For example, not long before the 18th CCP Congress, Li Peng, the arc conservative, published a new book to stress government control of market. Li’s book obviously aims at opposing in theory the reformists’ reform of further economic liberalization. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao certainly opposed Li’s ideas. However, two weeks after publication on July 12, 2012, CCP’s mouthpiece People’s Daily carried a full-page article to promote Li’s book and denounce mainstream Western economic ideas that advocate free market. That showed conservatives’ strength in CCP’s media. China’s further reform was encountering serious resistance from the conservatives.

The combined strong resistance from vested interests and the conservatives made the reformists unable to move even a step forward in their further reform. That was why Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao had made no significant progress in the further reform they advocated in Hu’s Scientific Outlook on Development.

Xi was fully aware that he and the reformists behind him were not strong enough to surmount the obstacles to reform set by both the vested interests and the conservative faction. He had to adopt the strategy to split his enemies so that he might destroy them one by one as he was stronger than each of the split sections of his enemies.

Moreover, Xi believes that his most important task is to win over those who opposed the reform and make them support the reform as the success of his fight against corruption and for reform depends on popular support. Through analysis, he found that most of the conservatives shared reformists’ dream to make China rich and strong. The conservatives differed from reformists in the ways to realize the dream. They believe the communist way of public ownership and planned economy is the correct way while the reformists advocated a capitalist way to expand private sector and remove state-owned sector’s monopoly of Chinese economy.

Xi was impressed by the success of PLA senior colonel Liu Mingfu’s leftist book “China Dream: Great Power Thinking and Strategic Posture in the Post American Era”, a book that rejects reformists’ idea of China’s peaceful rise and advocates, instead, China’s “military rise”. Liu wants China to intensify its military modernization in order to replace the US as world greatest military power. The book became instant bestseller with 1 million copies sold out as soon as it was published. However, the reformists under Hu Jintao banned reprinting of the book due to its leftist ambition that pursues China’s military instead of economic rise. The success of the book proves that most conservatives are patriots that Xi may win over.

With that in mind Xi Jinping invented a way to exploit conservatives’ patriotism to win their support for his reform. He expands Liu Mingfu’s China dream into a dream for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Soon after he became CCP general secretary, he brought all the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) members to visit “The Road Toward Renewal” exhibition in Beijing. There, he said that the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation was the greatest Chinese dream for the Chinese nation now and called on people to strive to realize the dream.

At one stroke, Xi Jinping had rallied around him both the reformists who advocate turning China into a great economic power and the conservatives who advocate turning China into a great military power. Moreover, the vested interests that opposed further reform due to their interests may also think that they may be benefited when China becomes powerful. Xi’s Chinese dream had also reduced their opposition.

In order to win over the conservatives, Xi allowed reprinting of Liu Mingfu’s bestseller. In addition, when Xi Jiping visited Chinese navy on April 11, 2013, he talked about the dream for a militarily powerful China to emphasize that his Chinese dream for a powerful China includes that for a militarily powerful China.

Xi Jinping used his Chinese dream to immediately turn China into a united nation from a nation deeply split between reformists and conservatives over the evaluation of Mao. Some people wondered how Xi was able to punish very powerful generals and officials who though retired, still controlled China’s military and armed police. They did not know that Xi’s Chinese dream has enabled him to have the support of lots of powerful conservatives in the Party who helped Xi eliminate corruption as they shared Xi’s dream to make China rich and strong and hated corruption that hinder the realization of the Chinese dream.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


The Conundrum of Jiang Zemin Justifying Pursuit of Capitalism with Marxism


Since Deng Xiaoping began his reform and opening up capitalist in nature, there had been fierce debates between reformists and conservatives about the nature of the reform and opening up. Conservatives denounced the reform for its capitalist nature, but Deng and the reformists under him could not deny. Deng knew well as Maxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought were the dominant ideology at that time, there was no hope for him to defend his pursuit of capitalism against Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought. He resorted to a stalling strategy and told conservatives to wait and see the results of the reform and opening up.

After Tiananmen Protests, conservatism prevailed. Deng had to apply his power as paramount leader (“core of collective leadership” according to Deng’s term of expression) to force officials to carry on the reform. His successor Jiang Zemin had to play every trick to overcome conservatives’ opposition in order to continue Deng’s reform while establishing his power base.

However, when Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji had achieved obvious successes in conducting reform and opening up, the facts of successes silenced opposition. However, Jiang and the reformist theorists knew that ideology was very important in China. Feudal dynasties could each survive for two to three centuries due to the ideological dominance of Confucianism. Jiang had to justify the reform and opening up with Marxism, the dominant ideology in China now, so as to ensure the continuance of reform and CCP’s rule in China. To do so, he used the most fundamental Marxist doctrine that production relations shall suit the requirements of the development of advanced production force.

According to Marx, at first capitalist production relation the private ownership of means of production (enterprises) suited the requirements of the development of advanced productive force so that it replaced the feudal one and brought about prosperity. However, there is the basic contradiction of capitalism that the production is for the society but the means of production (the enterprises) are owned privately by capitalist entrepreneurs, who often make decisions on production for their own profits in disregard of the needs of the society, resulting in overproduction and overcapacity that gave rise to cyclical economic crisis. Marx believed that by that time, the capitalist production relation no longer suited the requirements of the development of advanced production force and should be replaced by communist production relation of public ownership and planned economy.

Marx instructed communists that they should represent the requirements of the development of the advanced productive force and carry out a revolution necessary to put all means of production (enterprises) under public ownership as required by the development of the advanced productive force so that the state can plan the production in accordance with the needs of the society. A planned economy would be the most efficient, Marx believed. Then as the production relations suit the requirements of the development of the advanced productive force, the economy will take off. There will be abundance of all kinds of products to meet the needs of all the people. Everyone including former capitalists whose assets have been confiscated will be benefited. So, Marx said that the proletariat (the working class) would emancipate the entire human race.

However, Marx was not able to foresee that public ownership and planned economy were good in theory, but have been proved inefficient by practice everywhere in the world.

The first of Jiang’s Three Represents goes deeper in Marxist theory for the communists to represent the requirements of the development of advanced productive force. It sums up the lessons of the failures of public ownership and planned economy and the successful experience of China’s capitalist reform and opening up to prove that capitalism instead of communist public ownership and planned economy suits the requirements of the development of advanced productive force in China now. That was why China remained poor and backward for more than two decades when it had monolithic public ownership and planned economy, but has become rich and prosperous in three decades since it began to carry out its reform and opening up capitalist in nature.

Since Jiang’s Three Represents were written into CCP’s constitution, there have no longer been any debates whether the reform and opening up are socialist or capitalist in nature. It is generally accepted that China’s reform and opening up are commensurate with Marxism. However, according to the constitution, CCP has not only Marxism but also Mao Zedong Thought as its guiding ideology. When Hu Jintao wanted to conduct further reform to encourage private enterprises and remove state-owned sector’s monopoly, conservatives represented by Bo Xilai began to use Mao to oppose Hu’s reform.

A fierce power struggle between conservatives and reformists broke out. For several years Hu was unable to conduct his further reform due to the opposition from vested interests, especially the group of corrupt officials, and from conservatives.

How Xi Jinping put an end to the fierce power struggle will be described in my article “The Conundrum of Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream” later.


China Hu Jintao’s CYL Faction in Serious Trouble


The open attack on officials who cut their teeth in the Communist Youth League comes as power struggles and political jockeying intensify in the run-up to next year’s 19th party congress. Photo: AP

The open attack on officials who cut their teeth in the Communist Youth League comes as power struggles and political jockeying intensify in the run-up to next year’s 19th party congress. Photo: AP

SCMP says in its report “Strike Two: Communist Youth League ‘aristocracy’ under fire again” that cadres with youth league (CYL) backgrounds are warmed that “they would face ‘tough weather’after several scandals compounded the leadership’s resentment over their ‘self-serving’ attitude”.

CYL, is former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general secretary Hu Jintao’s powerbase. When Hu was in power, he promoted lots of his CYL protégés to high official positions. As a result a powerful CYL faction emerged and is second only to Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai faction.

SCMP’s report is based on a microblog posted on Capitalnews, a WeChat account operated by Beijing Daily, the official newspaper of the party’s Beijing municipal committee.

Such a microblog on the Internet seems insignificant, but we should recall that it was the article by Deng Yuwen on Hu Jintao’s legacy of ten problems on August 30, 2012 that brought about tremendous consequence on the eve of the 18th CCP National Congress.

At that time Deng Yuwen was the deputy chief editor of Study Times, a magazine of CCP Party School controlled by Hu Jintao’s designated successor Xi Jinping. Soon after the article was published, Xi Jinping mysteriously disappeared for almost half a month in early September.

Before Xi’s mystic disappearance, the CCP could not determine the date of its 18th Congress as there is no consensus on the formation of its Politburo, especially the PSC.

Deng’s article on the Internet seemed insignificant when Chinese official media was filled with articles and reports on Hu Jintao’s achievements, but it gave Xi the ammunition when he visited the powerful elders during his mystic disappearance to win over their support for his fight against corruption and other malpractices.

As a result, soon after Xi reemerged from his mystic disappearance, Jiang Zemin came to Beijing to preside over a Politburo meeting to determine the date of the 18th Congress and severe punishment of Bo Xilai that Hu Jintao lacked power to determine.

Due to the problems listed in Deng’s article, Hu’s CYL faction lost in the fight for control of the PSC. Jiang’s Shanghai faction had all the new PSC members. However, as a compromise, all Jiang’s members were old and had to retire in the 19th Congress and Hu’s faction had 8 Politburo members who were quite talented and might well be chosen as PSC member in the 19th Congress.

However, the arrangement of having 5 PSC members to retire at the next Congress also meant that Jiang wanted Xi to succeed him as the core of CCP leadership and choose the new PSC members to succeed those chosen by him.

It seems that Xi does not want to choose members of CYL faction as PSC members and like Deng’s article on the Internet in 2012, the current microblog by Beijing Daily will play a role similar to Deng’s article.

As for what happened during and after Xi’s mysterious disappearance, it is a very long story described in full in the expanded 2nd edition of my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report.

Full text of SCMP’s report can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1911332/strike-two-communist-youth-league-aristocracy-under


Title Determines Power or Vice Versa in China


Recent repeated appearance of the term “core” has given rise to people’s speculation that Chinese leader Xi Jinping wants to assume the title of “core”.

In my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements, I mentioned that Xi Jinping’s predecessor Hu Jintao opposed the use of the phrase “the Party’s Central authority with Hu Jintao as the core” when he came to power as Jiang Zemin remained the core though retired. Hu preferred the phrase “the Party Central authority with Hu Jintao as the general secretary”. Xi has continued the use of that kind of phrase, i.e. “The Party Central authority with Xi Jinping as the general secretary”.

The term “core of the collective leadership” was invented by China’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping when he remained the dominant leader though retired from all official posts.

Deng granted his chosen successor Jiang Zemin the title of the “core of the collective leadership” and knew well that his granting of the title could not make Jiang the real “core”; therefore, he told Jiang that he would not rest at ease until Jiang became the core.

The greatest help Deng rendered Jiang was the removal of Yang brothers (Yang Shangkun and Yang Baibing) from the military to enable Jiang to control the PLA as Deng knew well that his promotion of Jiang to the post of the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) did not enable Jiang to take over control the PLA from the Yangs.

Deng knew China much better than those China watchers outside China who have been making hue and cry about Xi’s desire to assume the title of “core” so as to have the dominant power.

The person who has the dominant power as an emperor is the core, but the person who has the title of emperor or core does not necessarily have the dominant power. That is why I said in my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements:

One thing quite interesting in Chinese politics is that there are no definition, codes or rules whatever about the power of an emperor in the past and the core of CCP (the Chinese Communist Party) now. In fact, even if there are some codes or rules, there is no institution or mechanism to enforce them.

An emperor could have absolute power like Emperor Shihuangdi of Qin (259-221 BC), but might have almost no power like Shihuangdi’s successor Huhai, whose power was usurped by Zhao Gao, a eunuch. Zhao Gao even dared to give Huhai a stag as a gift and told Huhai that the stag was a wonderful horse. Huhai protested, “It is a stag not a horse”, but most of the officials in the court echoed Zhao Gao’s view as Zhao Gao had already usurped almost all the power and would punish those who dared to challenge him. Huhai was later killed by Zhao Gao.

Seeing that the sovereign power in quite a few states was usurped by powerful courtiers at the end of the Period of Warring States (476-221 BC), Han Fei Tzu, a Legalist master, wrote a book entitled Han Fei Tzu to teach sovereigns of state the art for being an emperor… Emperor Shihuangdi praised the book highly and adopted Han Fei Tzu’s ways to rule the country.

You see that Huhai had the title of emperor but did not have the power as the emperor. That was also the case in 1997 after Deng’s death. Jiang had the title of core but was challenged by Li Peng and Qiao Shi before the 15th CCP National Congress. Jiang had to ask Bo Yibo, a powerful elder king maker, for help. Bo forced Qiao to retire to enable Li to take over Qiao’s position. Bo had thus ensured that Jiang’s position as the core was not challenged.

It was quite impressive that when the congress was over and most of the delegates had left, Bo remained in the hall to give a speech that stressed that Jiang was the core of the Party’s collective leadership. It was obvious that without Bo’s support, Jiang could not even maintain his position as the general secretary, let alone the core.

I gave detailed description how through hard efforts, Jiang became the real core in Chapters 6 and 7 of my book.

If one really understood Chinese politics, one would not have believed that Xi was so stupid as to want the title of core for the power of core. If Xi has the power of the core, he does not need the title of core, but if he does not have the power, the title of “core” cannot help him.

The local officials who said that they would safeguard the core General Secretary Xi Jinping, showed their fear that they might be deprived of their official positions during the reshuffle in the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

What they said does not mean that Xi wants the title of core. Xi’s protégé Li Zhanshu mentioned the awareness of the core. He means the Party instead of Xi Jinping as the core. So does the document of the January Politburo meeting.

Xi seems to have the power of core in reorganizing Chinese military, but we do not know what roles powerful elders have played in such reorganization. I mentioned in my book, there are two powerful black boxes in China, the powerful elders and the secret police. Jiang Zemin wants Xi to succeed him as he chose all the five new Politburo Standing Committee members at the 18th Party Congress that were old and had to retire at the 19th Congress to leave Xi to choose their successors, but whether Xi will have established his powerbase strong enough to have all his protégés elected at the congress remains a question. If through the reshuffle at the next congress, he has enough protégés to control the central committee, he will be the core whether he has that title or not.

Note: Xi would have been an incompetent core if the central committee is filled with new people of his choice. If a leader lacks the charisma to win over powerful officials appointed by other factions, he cannot be the core as he will encounter strong opposition.

Let me conclude with another quote from my book:

For the Party, the best way to have a successor to the core is to appoint the successor the posts of general secretary and concurrently the CMC chairman, but as mentioned in Chapter 1, that general secretary and CMC chairman may only be a “daughter-in-law”. He has to obey the instructions of the core who will be the “mother-in-law”, or to a number of powerful elders, i.e. several “mothers-in-law” if there is no core.

From this, we can see how serious China’s problems are. Even in a developing country such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines, when a person is elected the prime minister or president, he naturally has the power of his office as soon as he has been elected in the parliament or inaugurated. In China, however, a Party leader elected by the Party central committee may be powerless and the country may remain dominated by the elders who hold no official posts at all. In order to really have power and be firmly established, the leader has to gradually establish his powerbase and become the core. Even if he is lucky enough to really succeed in establishing his powerbase, it will take at least several years. Anyway, it is a very difficult process because he should be skilled in applying the art for being an emperor.

Article by Chan Kai Yee as comments on various media reports and articles.