Understanding of the political reality of the CCP Dynasty with a core like an emperor is very important. So important that those who oppose Xi Jinping’s cyclone against corruption and official despotism and his economic liberalization have spread the rumors about Jiang’s hospitalization and even death since May. Quite a few people I know well believed such rumor as Jiang after all is 88 years old now.
They all worried that if Jiang had died, Xi would have been in great trouble as he had offended so many powerful officials but not firmly established his powerbase.
Jiang’s physically and mentally healthy appearance is as important as Deng Xiaoping’s Southern Tour in 1992. Deng swept away conservatism across China to reinvigorate China’s reform and opening-up while Jiang’s appearance frightens off those who want to challenge Xi if Jiang were really sick or dead as alleged in the rumor.
Xi may be in trouble now if Jiang’s health fails as he has not yet soundly established his powerbase as so far we have not seen the promotion of any talented assistants he has chosen, not even the five candidates he will choose to replace the five PSC (Politburo Standing Committee) members that will retire in 2017.
Here, I have to correct my post yesterday on Jiang Zemin’s status as CCP paramount leader as it was based on Ming Pao’s description before I watched CCTV primetime news footage on Jiang attending the concert yesterday evening.
According to the footage, when Xi Jinping and Jiang Zemin entered the concert hall, Jiang went not right after Xi as described in Ming Pao’s exclusive report but almost abreast of Xi, leaving insufficient space for his bodyguard to go by his side.
In the footage we saw Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and PSC members Zhang Dejiang and Yu Zhengsheng queuing after Jiang in entering the hall. However, when the concert had begun, CCTV gave close-up shots of Xi Jinping, Jiang Zeming, the other six current PSC members in the order of their ranking and then the powerful elders attending the concert one by one in the following order: Li Peng, Wu Bangguo, Li Lanqing, Zeng Qinghong and He Guoqiang. Such shots were followed by two moving shots of Politburo members with two of them in view by turn.
That set of shots reappeared once. Ming Pao, however, failed to mention the appearance of other elders in the footage. So was my post yesterday that was based on Ming Pao’s report.
In the text of CCTV report, in accordance with Jiang Zemin’s instruction, his name appeared along with the names of other retired elders after those of the Politburo members. It gives Chinese people the impression that retired elders are no longer in charge of Chinese politics. However, how can Xi Jinping ignore the power of retired elders especially the dominant power of Jiang as the core of CCP Dynasty like an emperor.
Therefore, on TV screen, powerful retired elders were shown one by one in fixed close-up shots while Politburo members appeared on TV screen in two moving shots not so close up with two in view by turn. Due to Jiang Zemin’s status as the core of CCP leadership, Jiang was shown on the screen going abreast of Xi Jinping when he entered the concert hall.
Source: CCTV “Beijing held 65th National Day Concert ‘Beautiful China: Glorious Dream’” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
In Chapter 8 of the expanded 2nd edition of my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements, I give quite detailed analysis of the current Chinese political system of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty with a core like an emperor.
As it is a very long topic, I only give a short excerpt here in order not to be boring:
CCP Is Ruled by Its Core Not by Its General Secretary or CMC (Central Military Commission) Chairman
A paramount leader (the term used by Westerners) or core (the term used by Deng Xiaoping) of CCP is an emperor rather than an official. He needs no official title but can still have the absolute power and he just does not retire (from his position as the core). The fact that Deng could sweep away overwhelming conservatism across the nation by his Southern Tour in 1992 (when he had retired from all official posts) proved the absolute authority of the core.
For people outside China ignorant of China’s traditional political systems, that is something wield, but if they have carefully studied Zhao Ziyang and Zishui Li’s memoirs, they certainly will understand my analysis. People who really know Chinese history certainly understand such special characteristic of Chinese politics.
Who is the core, i.e. de facto emperor now? I point out in my book including its first edition that it is Jiang Zemin.
Quite a few China watchers began to realize that when Jiang presided over a Politburo meeting to make the decision on punishing Bo Xilai others could not make in late September, 2012 as described in details in Chapter 16 of the 2nd Expanded Edition.
In the section titled “Signs of Jiang Zemin’s Intention to Have Xi Jinping Succeed Him as the Core” in the chapter, I described two signs that display Jiang’s intention:
First, the change in the order of appearance in media reports on January 22, 2013 where “the wreath placed in Jiang’s name came behind that of President Hu Jintao, party general secretary Xi Jinping and other PSC members at the funeral service for General Yang Baibing, who died at the age of 93 in Beijing on January 15, 2013. “
“It was the first time that Jiang’s name had been placed behind that of Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) members other than the general secretary since he retired as general secretary at the 16th Party Congress in 2002 and stood down from his last official post as chairman of the Central Military Commissions in late 2004.
“In Xinhua report earlier on the funeral of Bishop Ding Guangxun on November 27, 2012, Jiang’s name remained behind Hu and Xi but ahead of PSC member National People’s Congress chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.
“Xinhua says the change in order was done at Jiang’s request. CCP is very particular about the order of appearance of leaders’ names in its official reports. The recent change in the order indicated Jiang’s desire for Xi to take over as the core.”
The second sign is described in the following paragraphs of the section:
Another clearer and more definite sign was found in the headline news at the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 23 on Jiang Zemin meeting Henry Kissinger on July 3. In the meeting, Jiang said to Kissinger, “You know, a large country like China with 1.3 billion people needs a strong and vigorous leader.” “Xi Jinping is a state leader of great ability and wisdom. In such a huge country as China, undoubtedly there may be all sorts of problems, which are not fearful. The key is that the problems must be handled resolutely. Recently, some incidents of violent terrorist attacks occurred in China’s Xinjiang. Xi Jinping made decision resolutely and quickly controlled the situation.”
Moreover, Jiang Zemin told Kissinger that he talked with Xi Jinping over the phone not long ago and Xi asked Jiang to convey his greetings to Kissinger.
That again proved what this book describes about China’s core system. Jiang remains in charge and keeps on discussing state affairs with Xi Jinping. In the process, Jiang has been very satisfied with Xi’s performance so that he praised Xi highly before Kissinger. It proved that Jiang was happy that he had found the right successor to him as the core of CCP leadership.
In the expanded 2nd edition, I hold that the order of lineup when powerful elders appear on TV screen is more revealing of their ranks and strengths than that on the written news reports. There are detailed descriptions of elders’ lineup in Chapter 17 of the 2nd edition. Here I am going to describe Jiang’s status as emperor when he was given limelight at the concert commemorating the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Beijing yesterday.
According to an exclusive report by Hong Kong’s Ming Pao, in Xinhua News Agency’s written report the names of Jiang Zemin and other retired elders Li Peng, Wu Bangguo, Li Lanqing, Zeng Qinghong and He Guoqiang appear after the current CCP Politburo members.
However in Chinese official media’s photos and TV footage on the event, only Jiang appears and is given limelight. Jiang entered the music hall the second, right after Current CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping amid tremendous ovation. He is followed by all the current PSC members.
The most impressive is the order of lineup when Jiang left the hall. He went the first followed closely by Xi Jinping and then by Premier Li Keqiang.
No one but the emperor can go before the current top leader Xi Jinping!
Source: Chan Kai Yee Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition
Source: Ming Pao “Jiang Zeming appears to listen to music along with Xi Jinping: National Day concert attended by all the seven PSC members” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
I describes China’s faction politics in my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements” as follows:
China’s Faction Politics
There are always various factions in CCP, but the establishment and development of factions have become vital for Chinese politicians since Mao’s Cultural Revolution because those who were in a faction with substantial strength suffered less persecution and regained their positions sooner during and after the Cultural Revolution.
As mentioned in Chapter 7, a high-ranking official usually appoints and promotes quite a lot of his people to official posts when he is in power. Those people together with the officials appointed and promoted by them are bound together by comradeship, friendship and common interests and aspiration. They become a faction led by the high-ranking official. When the high-ranking official has retired, he still has his faction under his control and thus becomes an elder with great influence. He will interfere for the interests of his faction whenever possible if necessary.
When it comes to the decisions at a Party Congress on candidates for members of Central Committee, Politburo and its Standing Committee, Central Military Commissions and Party Secretariat and other senior posts, all the retired elders who have been dormant, will come out to take part in the bargaining behind the scene because it affects the balance of strength among various factions and concerns the interest of not only them but also the large number of their faction members.
Just as described in the book, before and during the 18th Party Congress, those dormant elders were quite active and made quite a few appearances, but when there is no such grant event as the Party Congress, they all keep a low profile and seldom appear.
Therefore, it is quite unusually that recently quite a few dormant retired elders were busy making appearance.
The most prominent was former general secretary Hu Jintao. He visited Yuelu College and Hu Yaobang’s former residence respectively on April 9 and 11. Then he toured famous scenery spots Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang Ancient City. Finally on April 17, he visited Guizhou Province he was in charge of before rose to the top.
In my post “China’s Powerful Elder Former President Hu Jintao Came Out to Support Xi Jinping” on April 11, I said, “influential politician’s move must have some political intention.”
Hu’s travel obviously aimed to express his support for Xi Jinping’s mass line and anti-corruption campaigns and ambitious reform. Why?
I said, at Yuelu College, “Hu had a small entourage in accordance with Xi Jinping’s regulations and he refused to write an inscription at despite of repeated requests in accordance with Xi’s instruction that leaders shall not write inscription without central authority’s approval. He finally agreed to give his signature”.
“Therefore, the open support for Xi Jinping’s mass line campaign and anti-corruption storm by Hu Jintao, the head of the powerful Youth League faction with 8 Politburo members, gives a clear message to CYL Faction members that it is no use to complain to Hu when they are the targets of Xi’s campaign and storm. They had better behave themselves.”
Jiang Zemin, the core of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty, in addition to his praise of Xi when he met Kissinger, has made three appearances recently: He visited his niece in Shengzhen at the end of March, toured Shouxihu Lake in his hometown Yangzhou on April 19 and visited his cousin in Shanghai on April 22.
His appearances were also regarded as aiming at showing not only his support for Xi but also his good health at the advanced age of 87. It gave the signal that that those who have been touched by Xi’s campaigns had better behave themselves.
However, it seems their appearances were not simply expressing their support. There must be something great being planned, perhaps an important meeting of top leaders and powerful elders on some important issues.
Not only the two top elders respectively being the leaders of the most powerful Shanghai and CYL factions, other retired elders including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinling, Li Changchun, He Guoqiang have all made recent appearances.
Some analysts believe that they appeared to show support for Xi or that they have not been affected Xi’s campaign, but I would rather believe that they want to show that they are healthy and strong able to take part in the coming great meeting or occasion.
Source: Chan Kai Yee “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”
Source: SCMP “Jia Qinglin joins growing parade of retired leaders”
Source: World Journal “Elders showed support for Xi Jinping: Jiang Zemin appeared in Shanghai”
- Top Elder Jiang Zeming Healthy, Vital for Xi’s Success in Reform, Fighting Corruption dated April 24, 2014
- China’s Powerful Elder Former President Hu Jintao Came Out to Support Xi Jinping dated April 11, 2014
- News Confirms Xi Jinping Chosen by Jiang Zemin as Successor to Jiang as the Core dated August 30, 2013
- Jiang Zemin, 86, Shows He Remains the Core by Punishing Bo Xilai dated October 2, 2012
SCMP reports: “Ex-premier and other retired leaders seek the limelight in pre-congress political jockeying
“Former premier Li Peng has thrust himself into the public eye before next week’s party congress by donating 3 million yuan (HK$3.7 million) to a scholarship for poor university students in Yanan, the Communist Party’s old revolutionary base in Shaanxi.
“The source of the money was the proceeds of books Li wrote in retirement, CCTV reported yesterday.
“Li’s public foray came just a few days after his successor, Zhu Rongji, and Vice-Premier Wang Qishan met the advisory board of Tsinghua University’s business school last Wednesday. Zhu is the school’s founding dean; Wang, a front runner for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, is an honorary board member.
“Retired leaders traditionally stay out of the limelight, except on politically symbolic events such as National Day. But Li, Zhu and former president Jiang Zemin have re-emerged several times in recent months.”
For details, please visit SCMP website at: