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
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.
Jiang Zemin put forth his Three Represents and Hu Jintao put forth his Scientific Outlook on Development. Both are regarded as the legacy guidelines they left for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to follow. Now it is Xi Jinping’s turn. He put forth his “Four Comprehensives” in his speech last December. Just like Jiang Zemin’s first mention of his Three Represents in a speech in 2000, Xi’s mentioning of his Four Comprehensives did not attract much attention until now. CCP mouthpiece the People’s Daily has published and will publish one commentary after another to publicize it as “a strategic blueprint for China’s future”.
I am going to give below the full texts of People’s Daily commentary and Reuters report on the Four Comprehensives:
However, it is interesting to point out that Jiang put forth his Three Represents for the first time in 2000, 11 years after he was appointed CCP general secretary. It indicated the difficulties in establishing his powerbase. Hu put forth his Scientific Outlook on Development within one year after being appointed. It indicated the strong support he got from Jiang the core of the third generation of CCP leadership.
Xi has obtained strong support from not only Jiang, the core, but also other elders so that he was able to put forth his Chinese Dream as soon as he was appointed. Now he has substantiated his Chinese Dream with the Four Comprehensives. It indicates his success in establishing his position as CCP leader.
However, judging by the serious pollution, corruption, overcapacity, excessive local government debts, etc. left behind by Hu Jintao, Hu has not had much success in realizing his Scientific Outlook in developing Chinese economy.
Will Xi be able to realize his Four Comprehensives to “comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively implement the rule of law, and comprehensively strengthen Party discipline”?
That is the question.
Deepen reform? Can he surmount the resistance from conservatives and vested interests?
Rule of law? Can China’s judiciary be independent?
Strengthen Party discipline? Can he overcome rampant corruption?
PEOPLE’S DAILY COMMENTARY
Xi’s ‘Four Comprehensives’ a strategic blueprint for China’s future
(Xinhua) 08:20, February 26, 2015
BEIJING – A moderately prosperous society, reform, rule of law, Party discipline — these “Four Comprehensives” are Xi Jinping’s blueprint for China’s future.
The “Four Comprehensives” are tasks raised at Communist Party of China (CPC) meetings over the last two years, since President Xi Jinping took office.
The concept was first mentioned by Xi in December, “..comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively implement the rule of law, and comprehensively strengthen Party discipline.”
Shortly after Xi took helm of the CPC in November 2012, he put forward the concept of “the Chinese Dream,” or “the great renewal of the Chinese nation”.
“A moderately prosperous society” is not only the primary objective identified at the 18th Party Congress, but also “a crucial step towards the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation.”
Xi’s first trip as China’s leader was to Shenzhen, symbolic hub of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, and promised “no stop to reform and opening up”.
“Deepening reform” identifies the route to prosperity and social progress.
The “Four Comprehensives” come as China pays greater attention to improving governance following the economic miracle. Social justice has become an important goal.
“The rule of law” came to prominence at the fourth session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, and guarantees modernization of the system of government while championing social justice.
The leadership has taken great pains to address corruption, which they believe may threaten the very survival of the Party and the state: “Strengthening Party discipline” is a must for the CPC to survive.
The “Four Comprehensives” will ensure China continues steadily on its path of development.
After the ‘Three Represents,’ China pushes ‘Four Comprehensives’
BEIJING Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:13am EST
(Reuters) – Following in the footsteps of Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the “Three Represents,” China is promoting President Xi Jinping’s “Four Comprehensives,” calling for rule of law and enforcement of Communist Party discipline.
State media has ratcheted up promotion of the doctrine in the run-up to the country’s annual parliamentary session in March.
The People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s most important mouthpiece, praised the slogan in a front-page commentary on Wednesday. The commentary also appeared on state television and other party-owned news outlets.
The “Four Comprehensives” refer to China working “comprehensively” to build a moderately prosperous society and strengthen reforms, rule of law and party discipline.
Party discipline is Communist Party jargon for efforts to fight corruption. A campaign against graft has formed the centerpiece of Xi’s administration and the leadership has vowed to target both high- and low-level offenders.
Xi has referred to the “Four Comprehensives” in past months but the People’s Daily editorial signals a wide endorsement.
Xi’s best-known slogan so far has been his call for the “Chinese dream”, an ambiguous catchphrase leaders have said refers to national rejuvenation in everything from ties with Taiwan to China’s space program.
Critics say pursuing rule of law is futile without granting independence to courts, which are controlled by the Communist Party. China’s top court on Thursday said it rejected the notion of Western-style judicial independence and separation of powers.
Former President Jiang Zemin was famed for his “Three Represents,” which embraced private entrepreneurs and were written into the party’s constitution.
Hu Jintao, Xi’s immediate predecessor, was primarily known for the economic doctrine of “scientific development”.
I believe that Reuters’ report today on China’s rule of law is also interesting; therefore, I give its full text below:
China’s top court unveils deadlines for legal reform
BEIJING Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:53am EST
(Reuters) – China’s top court set a five-year deadline on Thursday for legal reforms to protect the rights of individuals, prevent miscarriages of justice and make its judiciary more professional as the ruling Communist Party seeks to quell public discontent.
A statement on the Supreme Court’s website promised specific deadlines for each goal, including support for a “social atmosphere of justice” by 2018.
It gave more details of a decision reached at a four-day meeting last year, when the party pledged to speed up legislation to fight corruption and make it tougher for officials to exert control over the judiciary.
Despite the legal reforms, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration has shown no interest in political change and has detained dozens of dissidents, including lawyers.
China’s top court stressed that one of the five basic principles of legal reform was adhering to the party’s leadership and “ensuring the correct political orientation”.
He Xiaorong, the director of the Supreme People’s Court’s reform division, said the court “would make officials bear responsibility for dereliction of duty” for cases that have a wide impact.
“Only through the establishment of such a system can we ensure that we can guarantee social fairness and justice in every case,” He told a news conference, according to a transcript on the court’s website.
The measures reflect worries about rising social unrest. Anger over land grabs, corruption and pollution – issues often left unresolved by courts – have resulted in violence between police and residents in recent years, threatening social order.
The court said it would prohibit criminal defendants from wearing vests and jumpsuits to trials, effectively removing the presumption of guilt that is common in China. It pledged to strengthen the prevention of torture to gain evidence and “effectively prevent miscarriages of justice”.
It would also establish a performance evaluation system for judges, “perfect the mechanism for protecting lawyers’ rights” and establish media galleries in courts for certain trials.
It also promised to boost transparency, saying it would make more information available, and reduce local protectionism by changing the jurisdiction of courts.
How much impact the reforms would have was uncertain. Laws are often not enforced and can be abused by the police.
On Wednesday, the court urged party officials to shun Western-style judicial independence and reject “erroneous Western thought”, state media said on Thursday, as controls over the media, dissent and the Internet are tightened.
Source: Reuters “After the ‘Three Represents,’ China pushes ‘Four Comprehensives’” and “China’s top court unveils deadlines for legal reform”
Source: People’s daily “Xi’s ‘Four Comprehensives’ a strategic blueprint for China’s future”
New York Times (NYT) recent article on China’s Maoist revival reflects Western China watchers’ ignorance of the fierce ideological struggle in China.
It is natural for Western China watchers to hope that China will be Westernized when it is modernized, but fail to see that at the beginning, westernization and modernization are closely linked, but as a country has further modernized, the rate of Westernization declines and the indigenous culture goes through a revival. That was clearly pointed out by talented American political scientist Samuel Huntington in his book Clash of Civilizations.
Before Xi Jiping took over the reigns, the then National People’s Congress (NPC) Chairman, a heavy weight of Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai faction, denounced Western democracy every year in his annual report to the NPC. Western values of democracy and human rights have never been accepted by CCP though China’s reformists want to conduct a thorough Western-style economic reform.
At that time, some pro-Western intellectuals were allowed to air their views in public but the government did so only to show to the West its tolerance of Western ideas.
Was that not very clear to the West when Liu Xiaobo was jailed for advocating the Western political system of multiparty democracy?
Still, in spite of their diligent analysis of Chinese government documents and media reports, Western China watchers fail to understand that China’s political system is the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty with a core like an emperor. (Please refer to my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements.)
The first priority of the emperor, the core, is to maintain CCP’s monopoly of political power.
It is especially so for Xi Jinping who has been chosen by Jiang Zemin as the successor to Jiang’s status as the core.
When Xi took over the reigns in November 2012, the CCP was on the verge of collapse. In his speech to the press when he had just been elected the general secretary, he pointed out the many severe challenges CCP faced, especially corruption, being divorced from the mass of people, formalism and bureaucratism.
Soon he conducted his mass line education campaign to give the people the right of democratic supervision to overcome official despotism and make preparations for his anti-corruption storm. However, his insight did not stop there. He knew that CCP had to learn lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Communist Party.
In his speech to Guangdong officials in December 2012, he said the reason why the Soviet Communist Party, a party larger than CCP in terms of its proportion to Soviet population, disintegrated overnight was because the party had wavered in its ideal and faith and the party organizations had failed to play their role.
If one knows the core’s priority to maintain CCP’s monopoly of political power and to prevent the CCP from collapse like the Soviet Communist Party, one should naturally understand that when Xi has made satisfactory progress in dealing with the challenges of corruption, etc., he will certainly tighten ideological control so that the CCP may not waver in its ideal and faith.
However that is by no means the revival of Maoism. Maintain China’s economic growth is also Xi’s priority as without that the CCP will also be in danger of collapse. For that Xi is carrying out a further reform of thorough economic liberalization. Maoism has precisely been the major obstacle to Xi’s economic reform.
However, Maoism remains very popular among conservatives. That was why Bo Xilai used Maoism to rally all the conservatives around him and established his powerful conservative faction. The fierce power struggle between the reformists and the conservatives led by Bo Xilai is described in details in my book. (Refer to Chapter 13 “Fierce Battle for Succession to the Core–Xi Jinping’s Position as Hu Jintao’s Heir Precarious” of my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition).
Therefore, Xi’s efforts to restore Marxist values by no means aim at a revival of Maoism that advocates class struggle, monolithic public ownership and planned economy.
Such Maoism has been refuted by the Three Represents, the first of which justifies the pursuit of capitalism while the third turns CCP into a party of the whole people. (Refer to the section titled “The Three Represents Signifies Scholars’ Conclusive Victory in Chapter 13 of my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition).
Ignorance of what the Three Represents really means and the difference between China’s new Marxism and Maoism are characteristics of NYT’s and also C.I.A’s ignorance of Xi Jinping.
The danger for the US is if Xi revives Maoism, he will never succeed in his economic reform. As a result, the US can rest at ease that Chinese economy will lose steam and never be able to surpass the US. As a result the US will not be prepared to face a China that is not Westernized but stronger than the US a decade later.
The following is the full text of New York Times article:
China’s Maoist revival seeks to eliminate all western thought
They pounce on bloggers who dare mock their beloved Chairman Mao. They scour the nation’s classrooms and newspapers for strains of Western-inspired liberal heresies. And they have taken down professors, journalists and others deemed disloyal to Communist Party orthodoxy.
China’s Maoist ideologues are resurgent after languishing in the political desert, buoyed by President Xi Jinping’s traditionalist tilt and emboldened by internal party decrees that have declared open season on Chinese academics, artists and party cadres seen as insufficiently red.
Ideological vigilantes have played a pivotal role in the downfall of Wang Congsheng, a law professor in Beijing who was detained and then suspended from teaching after posting online criticisms of the party. Another target was Wang Yaofeng, a newspaper columnist who voiced support for the recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and then found himself without a job.
Since Xi came to power, the pressure and control over freethinkers has become really tight,” said Qiao Mu, a Beijing journalism professor who was demoted this fall, in part for publicly espousing multiparty elections and free speech. “More and more of my friends and colleagues are experiencing fear and harassment.”
Two years into a sweeping offensive against dissent, Mr. Xi has been intensifying his focus on perceived ideological opponents, sending ripples through universities, publishing houses and the news media and emboldening hard-liners who have hailed him as a worthy successor to Mao Zedong.
In instructions published last week, Mr. Xi urged universities to “enhance guidance over thinking and keep a tight grip on leading ideological work in higher education,” Xinhua, the 2 official news agency, reported.
In internal decrees, he has been blunter, attacking liberal thinking as a pernicious threat that has contaminated the Communist Party’s ranks, and calling on officials to purge the nation of ideas that run counter to modern China’s Marxist-Leninist foundations.
“Never allow singing to a tune contrary to the party centre,” he wrote in comments that began to appear on party and university websites in October. “Never allow eating the Communist Party’s food and then smashing the Communist Party’s cooking pots.”
The latter-day Maoists, whose influence had faltered before Mr. Xi came to power, have also been encouraged by another internal document, Document No. 30, which reinforces warnings that Western-inspired notions of media independence, “universal values” and criticism of Mao threaten the party’s survival.
“It’s a golden period to be a leftist in China,” Zhang Hongliang, a prominent neo-Maoist, said in an interview. “Xi Jinping has ushered in a fundamental change to the status quo, shattering the sky.”
China’s old guard leftists are a loose network of officials and former officials, sons and daughters of party veterans, and ardently anti-Western academics and journalists. They look back to the precepts of Marx, Lenin and especially Mao to try to reverse the effects of China’s free-market policies and the spread of values anathema to party tradition. And while their direct influence on the party leadership has been circumscribed, they have served as the party’s eager ideological inquisitors.
Their favourite enemies are almost always members of China’s beleaguered liberal circles: academics, journalists and rights activists who believe that liberal democracy, with its accompanying ideas of civil society and rule of law, offers the country the best way forward.
Mr. Xi’s recent orders and the accompanying surge of pressure on political foes further dispelled initial suspicions that his ideological hardening was a feint to establish his credibility with traditionalists as he settled into power. Instead, his continuing campaign against Western-inspired ideas has emboldened traditional party leftists.
“China watchers all need to stop saying this is all for show or that he’s turning left to turn right,” said Christopher K. Johnson, an expert on China at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, who formerly worked as a senior China analyst at the C.I.A. “This is a core part of the guy’s personality. The leftists certainly feel he’s their guy.”
In November, after Mr. Wang, the newspaper columnist, was dismissed from his job, the nationalist tabloid Global Times celebrated his downfall in a commentary. “In the future, the system will take a harder line towards the ‘pot-smashing party’,” it said, referring obliquely to Mr. Xi’s remarks about those who live off the party and then criticise it. “They will have a choice: change their ways or get out of the system.”
The latest directive, Document No. 30, demands cleansing Western-inspired liberal ideas from universities and other cultural institutions, according to Song Fangmin, a retired major-general, who discussed it with dozens of veteran party officials and hard-left activists at a meeting in Beijing in November. The directive formed a sequel to Document No. 9, which Mr. Xi authorised in April 2013, launching an offensive against ideas such as “civil society,” General Song said.
“These two documents are extremely important, and both summarise speeches by the general secretary,” he said, referring to Mr. Xi by his party title. “They identify targets so we can train our eyes on the targets of struggle.”
Unlike Document No. 9, which was widely circulated online, to the consternation of party leaders, No. 30 has not been openly published. But some of Mr. Xi’s comments have appeared in party publications, and references to it have surfaced on the websites of universities, party organisations and leftist groups, illuminating how the directive has coursed through the government to amplify pressure on dissent.
One political scientist from a prestigious Beijing university said that senior leaders had tried to keep the document confidential by transmitting it orally through the ranks. “This time it’s being kept top secret,” he said, “because last time things were far too public.”
But its effects have been apparent. Newspapers have accused universities of serving as incubators for antiparty thought, and campus party committees have been ordered to sharpen ideological controls. In June, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences revealed that a party investigator had accused the academy of harbouring ideological deviants. The investigator, Zhang Yingwei, said in a speech that the academy had been infiltrated by foreign subversion, and researchers were “wearing their scholarship as a disguise to create a smokescreen.”
The campaign has alarmed liberal academics, who fear that Mr. Xi is reviving the kind of incendiary denunciations of internal foes that have been rare since Chairman Mao convulsed the nation with his jeremiads against bourgeois thinking. Some, like Wu Si, a well-regarded liberal historian, take a longer view, and argue that realpolitik will eventually force Mr. Xi to adopt a more moderate position.
“It’s a self-defensive strategy against those who might try to call him a neoliberal,” Mr. Wu said in an interview.
Before Mr. Xi came to power in late 2012, few foresaw such a sharp and extended ideological turn. China’s leaders were then consumed with purging Bo Xilai, the ambitious politician who had courted party traditionalists by evoking Mao and the rhetoric of the revolutionary past. When Mr. Bo fell, his leftist followers came under official suspicion and some of their websites and publications were shut down.
Now, however, leftist voices are back in vogue. Analysts say it is unlikely Mr. Xi wants to take China back to Mao’s puritanical era, but doctrinaire Communists see him as a useful ally, and his directives as a license to attack liberal critics of the party.
“The leftists were under pressure for a while but now they are very active again,” said Chongyi Feng, an associate professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, who follows China’s intellectual and political developments. “Xi Jinping has used these people to attack.”
At a meeting in October, party secretaries of universities and colleges were summoned to discuss Mr. Xi’s instructions and urged to “enhance their sense of dangers and resolutely safeguard political security and ideological security.”
In November, The Liaoning Daily, a party newspaper in northeast China, drew nationwide attention with a report that said universities were troubled by ideological laxity. Chinese academics, it complained, were comparing Mao Zedong to an emperor, praising Western notions such as a separation of powers, and “believing that China should take the path of the West,” it said.
“It has become fashionable in university lecture halls to talk down China and malign this society,” said the report.
The ideological policing has sent a chill through China’s liberal intelligentsia. Several academics declined to be interviewed, saying they were lying low for the time being. Others said they had already experienced what they liken to an ideological purge.
Since October, Qiao Mu, the journalism professor and director of the Centre for International Communications Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, has been relegated to clerical drudgery, summarising English-language books in the school library, as retribution, he says, for his advocacy of Western-style journalism and a long affiliation with liberal civil society groups in China. In addition to barring him from the classroom, administrators slashed his salary by a third, he said, removed his name from the department’s website and forced his students to find other thesis advisers. “It’s meant to be a kind of humiliation,” he said, adding that he was told his demotion could last for years.
Officially, he is being punished for defying superiors who had withheld permission for him to travel abroad for conferences and other academic pursuits. But privately, school officials acknowledge growing pressure from above.
As he whiles away his days in the library, Mr. Qiao, 44, has become despondent. Some friends have suggested that he leave China, or at least compromise his values and do as he is told.
“I want to stay in my motherland,” he said, adding, “As I like to say, I have everything I need here in China, except freedom.”
Source: Chan Kai Yee Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition
Source: New York Times – Maoists in China, Given New Life, Attack Dissent
SCMP says in its report today titled “Top adviser Wang Huning tipped to become vice-premier, enter Politburo”: “Sources say Wang Huning is expected to become vice-premier and gain entrance into Politburo”.
In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievement”, I said, quoting China’s mouthpiece Ta Kung Pao in Hong Kong, that Wang, a top theorist, played a major role in developing the ideas of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development.
According to Ta Kung Pao, in 1995, Wu Bangguo, the no. 2 leader now and Zeng Qinghong, a powerful elder close to Jiang Zemin now, vigorously recommended Wang Huning to Jiang Zemin. Sources said that when Wu Bangguo had been transferred to Beijing, he times and again urged Jiang Zemin to transfer Wang from Shanghai to Beijing. When Wang was later actually transferred into Zhongnanhai, where Party’s central office was located, Jiang Zemin said to him joking when he met Wang, “If you still had not been transferred to Beijing, those people would have fallen out with me.”
Sources said that Wang was very close to Jiang and was often found in Jiang’s home when Jiang lived at Zhongnanhai.
When Jiang retired, Jiang recommended Wang to Hu Jintao, who also admires Wang’s talents, keeps Wang by his side and always brings Wang along with him when Hu makes foreign visits. Hu promoted Wang into the Party’s secretariat in 2007.
Having served as top advisor for two general secretaries for more than a dozen years with talents cherished not only by the two but also by Wu Bangguo, Zeng Qinghong and others, I believe that Jiang and Hu will recommend Wang to Xi Jinping and Wang will remain a top advisor. Certainly he will be further promoted at least into the Politburo.
As for SCMP’s speculation that Wang will be appointed a vice premier to be in charge of foreign affairs, I do not believe so as Wang seems to be much more useful.
For details of SCMP report, please visit its website at:
When Deng Xiaoping came to power, he wanted to establish a system of collective leadership in the Chinese Communist Party (the CCP) so that there will be no repetition of Mao’s autocracy that had brought disasters to China.
Their reform and opening-up were fiercely attacked by conservatives, who were the powerful majority in the Party then and who regarded public ownership and planned economy as vital indispensable elements of Marxist socialism. The conservatives tried every means in finding faults with reformists and succeeded in removing Hu Yaobang from CCP’s top leading post on the excuse of his failure to fight against bourgeois liberalization.
To counter the opposition, Zhao Ziyang invented the new concept of the “initial stage of socialism” based on the Marxist series of social development from feudalism to capitalism and finally to socialism and communism. Zhao held that as China skipped capitalism in its transition from feudalism to socialism, its economy was too backward and could not merely pursue socialism but had to be supplemented by the development of capitalism. That concept implies that public ownership and planned economy will be resumed when China has passed that initial stage.
However, conservatives did not buy it. According to Zhao Ziyang’s memoirs, before the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, there was a campaign to overthrow Zhao. Conservatives’ opposition to Zhao’s reform was so vehement that Deng Xiaoping even planned to retire so as to force other elders to retire in order to prevent them from interfering with Zhao’s reform.
Before Zhao was removed due to his opposition to Tiananmen massacre, Deng only succeeded in making powerful conservative elders agree that Zhao was to serve two terms till 1997. Deng had not found any one capable of succeeding Zhao then and he might well be dead by 1997 as he would be 93 years old. Deng’s and Zhao’s only hope before the massacre lied in obtaining convincing achievement by the reform by 1997. That was why from the very beginning, Deng told all those who opposed the reform not to debate whether the reform was socialist or capitalist in nature but wait for its results.
However, due to the difficulties in price reform and transformation of the money-losing state-owned enterprises and the obstacles to the reform created by opponents to the reform, they did not seem to be able to obtain convincing achievements even if Zhao had not been removed (state-owned enterprises was not successfully transformed until early 2000s). .
When Zhao had been removed, conservatism prevailed and Deng was desperate. He had to find a way to ensure that his reform will be carried on. Drawing lessons from the Chiang Kai-shek Dynasty, Mao’s absolute monarchy and Deng’s failure to establish collective leadership, Deng realized that since the elimination of the imperial dynasty by the 1911 Revolution, China had remained an absolute monarchy. The Chiang Kai-shek regime remained an absolute monarchy with hereditary succession. The CCP regime differed only in having no hereditary succession. Mao was the absolute monarch but was not succeeded by his son. Deng called the absolute monarch of CCP regime the core of CCP’s collective leadership. When Mao was the core, Mao was able to conduct his Cultural Revolution with only a minority support of the Lin Biao and Zhou Enlai factions. When Deng himself was the core, he was able to carry on his reform in spite of the opposition of a majority of Party cadres and members.
Deng decided that in order to carry on the reform, he should find a reformist successor who should become the core with the power of an absolute monarch like Mao and himself. His successor would then be able to carry on the reform in spite of strong opposition. He had the wisdom to choose Jiang Zemin, a true reformist, as his successor but told Jiang that Jiang’s priority was not to carry on the reform but to gain the position as the core like Mao and himself so as to overcome the opposition to the reform in the future.
Assisted by the Shanghai faction, Jiang, exploited the universal fear in the Party caused by Tiananmen protests to successfully establish his position as the core and carried out a coup to substitute intellectuals’ dominance of the Party and state for that of workers and peasants. He invented the first of his Three Presents by applying the basic Marxist principle that relations of production should meet the requirements of the development of advanced productive force. The economic stagnation in China and other communist countries has proved that public ownership and planned economy do not meet the requirements of the development of advanced productive force. However, the development of private sector in China has proved that capitalism meets the requirements. Jiang has thus not only justified his pursuit of capitalism adjusted by Keynesian macroeconomic control, but also denied the necessity to return to public ownership and planned economy.
By the first Represent, Jiang has thoroughly defeated economic conservatism and achieved economic liberation in China.
Jiang’s Three Represents and Deng Xiaoping Theory are the new Marxism based on Marxist materialist philosophy and Marxist basic principles.
Chan Kai Yee is the author of “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements: The Silent Peaceful Coup D’état In China…”.
Kissinger’s Ignorance about China — On his On China
China is a complicated large country with a long history and civilization entirely different from Western ones. Chinese leaders, especially communist ones, are usually profoundly shrewd and avoid being seen through by others. The top leading group, in particular, is a black box. Its operation is tightly kept
confidential. However, for an autocracy like China, one cannot understand it without understanding its leaders. No wonder Western China watchers are frustrated in understandingChina.
However, as a well-experienced and informed diplomat and politician who helped Nixon achieve rapprochement with China, Kissinger must be in a better position to see through Chinese leaders, since he has times and again had talks in private with all Chinese leaders from Mao till now. I, therefore, read through his book On China, in order to find some insight in Chinese leaders and the reality in China
behind the curtain of thorough confidentiality. However, I am greatly disappointed that Kissinger gives distorted images of and misinformation about China and Chinese leaders, especially Chinese madman Mao.
Having personally experienced Mao’s tyranny, my greatest worry concerning China is the potential emergence of another madman like Mao when China grows into a rival to America. The disaster that he may cause to Chinese and world people will be much more serious than Mao’s great famine and Cultural Revolution.
Kissinger, however, compared China’s rise now with that of Germany before World War I and believes if the state leaders then had known the consequence of the war, they would “have recoiled” from confrontation. So will China and America in the future, he concludes. Kissinger forgets World War II, which is much more relevant. Madmen Hitler and Tojo Hideki started the war because they were callous killers and their mad calculation made them believe they would win the war. Tojo was especially mad. He attacked America
when compared with the giant of US economy, Japan’s was a dwarf.
Like Hitler, Mao Was a Callous Killer
In a speech on August 10, 1959, Mao gave the reasons why there was no Hungarian Rebellion (referring to
the Hungarian Revolution in 1956) in China, saying that since the communist takeover “more than one million counterrevolutionaries have been killed. Hungary has not killed any counterrevolutionary. For the elimination of more than one million of the 600-odd million people, I think we shall shout hurrah for that.” The counterrevolutionaries referred to in his speech were mostly unarmed civilians put to death in peacetime. The terror lies in his pride and joy in the killing.
Mao’s Two Fits of Domestic Madness with Heavy Death Toll
Mao’s mad campaign the Great Leap Forward giving rise to a death toll of 20 to 40 million people is now
well-known the world over. Frank Dikötter gives an astonishing, riveting, magnificently detailed account of it in his book Mao’s Great Famine.
Mao’s second fit of domestic madness the Cultural Revolution is even more famous. It was at first hailed in America as a campaign with lofty ideal. There were no statistics of the death toll and the number of victims. People who personally experienced it like me know that the number was enormous. People outside China now know the evils of the campaign when the truth has come out, but Mao’s misunderstood image as an
idealist remains in the minds of quite a few people.
Mao’s Fits of International Madness
Mao told Soviet leader Khrushchev that he would fight a nuclear war to eliminate capitalism all over the world even if half of Chinese population–300 million then– died in the war. Taking into account of China’s poor economy and backward weapons then, Mao was much madder than Tojo Hideki. However, when I was studying in a university in Anhui, China in 1958, there was hot enthusiasm for communism among the students there. Some of my close classmates talked about Mao’s words and said in private (not openly to
please Party cadres) that they admired Mao that he represented Chinese people in saying that we Chinese were willing to make the greatest national sacrifice for communism. Mao was able to make quite a few Chinese people as mad as him because elements of Maoism are deeply rooted in China’s popular culture for infection of his madness. That is China’s most serious problem.
You cannot believe that unless you have personally experienced it. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, I was amazed to see students even those in prestigious universities turned into mad Red Guards overnight and later discipline-abiding workers turned into rebels promptly.
Kissinger mentions that twice Mao brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in the two Taiwan crises in the 1950s, but he admires Mao’s shelling “diplomacy” and regrets that Mao’s “brilliant achievements” were not “balanced against the global impact of the crisis”. He invented China’s ‘traditional” “empty city stratagem” to gloss over Mao’s repeated fits of madness.
Kissinger Ignores Mao’s Export of Revolution
He says, “Mao was too much of a realist, however, to pursue world revolution as a practical goal. As a result, the tangible impact of China on world revolution was largely ideological and consisted of intelligence support for local Communist parties.” He quoted what Mao said to Snow in 1965 to prove that.
Though a well-informed diplomat, he regards as not “tangible” all the following Mao’s enthusiastic world revolution activities that were reported by media then and have been revealed now by people personally involved, so that Kissinger omits all of them except item 1:
- Mao transferred 50,000 experienced troops with weapons to increase Kim Il-sung’s troops to
231,000 for invasion of South Korea and sent troops to fight against America to preserve North Korea’s communist regime.
- Mao trained and armed Vietnamese communists, sent lots of military advisers to help drive away France and establish communist North Vietnam, and provided aids worth billions of yuan to help them take over South Vietnam.
- Mao helped Khmer Rouge rise to power in Cambodia in 1975. Mao’s “ideal” of “purifying the society” inspired Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, resulting in the Killing Fields. Kissinger omits that perhaps because Thomas Walkum said on Toronto Star on June 30, 1997, “Let’s try Kissinger along with Pol Pot,” and some Americans such as Professor Edward S. Herman held similar views.
- Mao provided substantial aids to communists and guerillas all over the world in spite of China’s
own economic difficulties.
Mao, an Idealist?
Throughout his book, Kissinger strives to sell Mao’s image as an idealist. His trickiest advertisement is that he says that of Mao’s four titles: the Great Teacher, Great Leader, Great Commander and Great Helmsman,
Mao told Kissinger Mao only wanted to keep the title of “Teacher” as if Mao was a loving teacher. Mao persecuted people but that was the punishment given by Mao the strict teacher for purifying his pupils, Kissinger hints.
However, Mao was not a loving but a cruel tyrannous teacher whose teachings you were not to trifle with. Non-acceptance of or doubting any of his teachings or instructions was a crime. One would be severely punished even if one revealed it in one’s diary. In 1970, Zhang Yihe, a common clerk then but a well-known writer now, wrote in her diary upon Mao’s promotion of his wife Jiang Qing the Chinese saying “When a man becomes immortal, even his hens and dogs become immortal, too”. She got a sentence of 20-year imprisonment for that. When I was in Shanghai then, persecution and imprisonment for dissent in people’s diaries were common phenomena.
Mao’s Cruel Persecution of Dissidents
People know well that in 1957 Mao coaxed intellectuals into criticizing the Party and then labeled 550,000 intellectuals as rightists to persecute in order to silence voice of opposition. However, they do not know
very clearly that more than 3 million people were persecuted as rightists in 1959 because they aired their opposition to Mao’s mad Great Leap Forward in order to prevent the disaster it would cause to China. They
failed to stop Mao’s madness and at least 20 million people died due to Mao’s madness. Red Guard’s and rebels’ cruel persecution of innocent people and Party and state cadres is well known now, but quite a few people believe that it was over by 1969 when lots of Red Guard had been sent to the countryside. In fact,
persecution did not stop.
In 1970, quite a few young dissidents including some Party members openly said that Mao’s Cultural Revolution deviated from Marxism after they had diligently studied Marxist classics. Mao carried out a nation-wide One Strike-Three Anti Campaign and according to official figure, by November 1970
arrested 280,000 dissidents labeled as “counterrevolutionaries”. Those young dissidents were brave and wanted an open debate with Mao, but Mao “purified the society” by cruel torture, imprisonment and execution.
Zhang Zhixin was a typical case. The tortures and death penalty she suffered and the cruelty of the Campaign can still be found on the Internet. My father was framed-up and arrested as a counterrevolutionary then. He told me that he heard noise of torture everyday when he was detained in a detention center inShanghai for more than one year.
It is very clear that Mao’s “ideal” was not to “purify the society” but to establish his absolute authority. However, a man cruelly realizing such an “ideal” is normally regarded as a tyrant instead of idealist.
America’s ignorance about China
As a brilliant diplomat, in writing his book, Kissinger certainly consulted lots of American China experts’ writings. The plenty misinformation about China and failure to give information about present-day China and its leaders and people in his book reflect their ignorance too. I have no intention to find faults, but have to point out some to rouse American people’s awareness because the misunderstanding resulting from such ignorance may have catastrophic consequence.
Kissinger makes much of Chinese fondness for playing wei qi to “explain the conceptual way the Chinese think about problems of peace and war and international order”. That is absurd as very few people have
shown much interest in national wei qi competition or even know how to play it. I am a wei qi enthusiast, but have found it very difficult to find people to play with in China from the time when I was young till now when I am 70. However, Chinese chess, a game similar to Western chess, is traditionally the most popular game. One can find people to play with everywhere in China even among illiterates.
Kissinger says that there were no official records of foreign envoys coming to Chinese court to engage in negotiations nor did Chinese emperor hold “summit meeting” with other heads of state but foreign envoys came to be transformed and heads of state came to present tribute to “recognize” Chinese emperor’s “overlordship”. In fact, there were negotiations for treaties by which China was humiliated and forced to give tribute of precious metal and silk to other states, for example, the “Chanyuan Treaty” in 1004 and the notorious “Shaoxing Peace Treaty” in 1141.
As for summit meeting, on pages 6018–6020 of the official history entitled The Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government, Emperor Taizong of Tang met King Jieli of Tujue (the Turkic Khanate) and concluded a treaty with him in 626. That was quite an interesting event as Emperor Taizong who was quite sure that he could defeat Tujue’s one million invading troops then, gave Jieli gold and silk in order to make Jieli arrogant and unprepared so that he could conquer Tujue later. Three years later, his troops conquered Tujue.
Emperor Taizong was the greatest emperor and his Reign of Zhenguan, most famous in Chinese history. Ignorance of him after reading Chinese history is like ignorance of Napoleon Bonaparte after reading French history.
America Not on Alert
American brilliant political scientist Samuel P. Huntington predicted in his well-known book Clash of
Civilizations possible clash between Islamic and Western civilizations but America was not on alert. It failed to make thorough investigations when traces of Islamic terrorist attack were found months before 9.11. That reminds me of Pearl Harbor.
Will Americafail to be on alert a third time when the scenario of the clash between American and Chinese civilizations described by Huntington in his book becomes a reality?
Kissinger begins his book by stressing China’s traditional cosmology with its emperor as the pinnacle of a universal political hierarchy and all other states’ rulers serving as vassals and says understanding China’s role now must begin “with this basic appreciation of the traditional context”. However he fails to mention that when China was strong, its emperors fought quite a few wars to subdue China’s neighbors. In addition, he glosses over Mao’s enthusiastic pursuit of leadership in world revolution, which was precisely a further development of that cosmology. He mentions two recent books advocating sinocentric cosmology, but despite their being bestsellers, he treats them lightly, saying they are criticized in the Chinese press. If Americans believe him, they will not be on alert.
Deep-rooted Maoism, Rich Soil for the Emergence of another Mao
To prevent Kissinger’s book from giving world people a false sense of security, I have to make people see the possibility of the emergence of another Mao. As a profound understanding of Chinese culture and political
system is indispensable for that, I have to give a short description and analysis though they are the topics for a special book.
If future Chinese leaders remain Confucianist-Marxist and pursue harmony in the world,China’s rise will be beneficial instead of troublesome to the world.
In his book, China’s singularity is a major topic, but Kissinger is ignorant about that. China’s singularity first of all lies in its always having a dominant ideology for 2,000 years. Its third and longest dominant ideology Confucianism was thoroughly denounced in the May Fourth Movement in 1919 and criticized along with Lin Biao when ignorant of that, Kissinger mentioned it to Zhou Enlai and got furious response.
During the Cultural Revolution, a new generation of talented intellectuals with moral integrity emerged and there was renaissance of Confucianism among them. Those in Shanghai joined Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai faction and served Jiang in carrying out a silent peaceful coup d’état they have planned for a long time, to substitute intellectuals’ dominance for uneducated workers’ and peasants’. Jiang’s Three Represents marks the success of the coup and develops Marxism to justify China’s pursuit of capitalism adjusted by Keynesian macroeconomic control.
Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao have added Confucianism to Jiang’s new Marxism and stressed harmony in order to overcome the conflict arising from the yawning rich-poor gap resulted from such capitalism. They are also trying to establish Mencius democracy of “putting people first”. However, their Confucianism-Marxism, though dominant at present, has a very short history and takes time to be so well established as to prevent the emergence of another Mao.
Another ideology, Maoism, the dominant ideology in Mao era, has its key elements such as egalitarianism, personality cult, sinocentric cosmology, enmity against intellectuals and cruelty in fighting for its goal deeply rooted in Chinese popular culture. Those elements prevailed in lots of peasants uprisings in Chinese history and in Mao’s mad pursuit of leadership in world revolution and Cultural Revolution.
According to a survey in 2008, in 40 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan, families who had Mao’s statutes or portraits for worship accounted for 11.5% of the total number of families there, exceeding by far those who worshiped Buddha, God of Wealth or local god of the land.
Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought are in conflict with Confucianism-Marxism, but they remain guiding ideology in Party’s and state’s constitutions and Mao remains China’s great leader in spite of the criticism of his errors.
With such rich soil for Maoism, the emergence of another Mao is quite possible in the future.
China’s Political System and Art for Being an Emperor
China has a long history of autocracy. In China, there have never been any definition, codes or rules whatever about the power of a top leader whether he has the title of emperor or not. In fact, even if
there are some codes or rules, there is no institution or mechanism to enforce them. This makes a top leader’s position precarious.
In the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (770–221 BC), it was quite common that the sovereign power in a state was usurped by a powerful courtier, resulting in the demise of the ruling family. Seeing that, Han Fei (281?–233 BC), a Legalist master, wrote his famous Legalist classic entitled Han Fei-tzu to teach sovereigns the strategy, tactics, tricks and intrigues to maintain a top leader’s position and authority. As such strategy etc. is vital for top leaders, it were later further developed and called the art for being an emperor (diwangshu in Chinese).
Han Fei taught sovereigns to control their subjects by law, hold their officials in awe, use power, tricks and intrigues to control them and award and punishment to make them perform their duties properly. In order to maintain the awe and play tricks, He gives the advice that a sovereign must keep a distance from everyone else including his family members, relatives and officials and trust no one. That is certainly not a good way and a sovereign will thus have no friends and lead a lonely life. The constant pressure, sense of insecurity
and loneliness may well drive a sovereign mad.
Qin Shihuang adopted Legalism as the dominant ideology and Han’s ways to maintain his iron rule. However, there is a great problem in Han’s art: When a sovereign dies, he has no close powerful courtiers to ensure smooth succession. That was precisely the case with Qin Shihuang. In his will he wanted Prince Fusu to succeed him, but his eunuch Zhao Gao and Prime Minister Li Si replaced it with a fabricated will to have a weak prince succeed him and Prince Fusu killed.
The failure of succession and people’s uprisings against the cruel Legalist rule caused Legalism to lose its dominance and be negated since the fall of Qin Dynasty. Around 134 BC, Emperor Wudi of Han substituted Confucianism for Taoism as the dominant ideology. All the later dynasties exploited Confucian stress on loyalty and filial duty to consolidate emperor’s position and ensure succession. In spite of that, usurp of emperor’s power or throne was still quite common in Chinese history. For example, Wang Mang (45 BC–23 AD), Dong Zhuo (?–192), Cao Cao (155–220), Sima Zhao (211–265), Liu Yu (363–422), Zhao Kuangyin (927–976), etc. usurped power or throne and those who usurped power not throne mostly passed the power to their sons and enabled them to usurp throne.
Through further development in more than two thousand years of political struggles, the art for being an emperor now consists of the art, strategy, tactics, techniques, tricks, intrigues, etc. to win the throne,
recruit talented assistants, create bondage with them, rule the empire satisfactorily, maintain the emperor’s position, ensure smooth succession, etc. Great emperors wisely applied the art in establishing their dynasties, making the empire prosperous and ensuring smooth succession. One of the most well-known examples was that of Liu Bei, the founding emperor of Shuhan Dynasty, characterized by, among other things, establishing close affectionate bondage with talented generals and officials, but tricks and intrigues are still indispensable in their political struggle. However, there is no special systematic book like Han Fei-tzu on later art. One has to find it in China’s long history. Liu Bei’s story can be found in the well-known fiction The Romance of Three Kingdoms, which has been satisfactorily translated into English.
As Confucianism had been thoroughly denounced since 1919, when Mao became the sovereign of the CCP’s autocracy, his position was as precarious as Qin Shihuang without Confucian loyalty to rely on. It is a pity that Mao adopted Han Fei-tzu’s instead of the later much better art for being an emperor to establish and maintain his absolute authority. That was why he rehabilitated Qin Shihuang who until then had been condemned for 2,000 years in Chinese history, and openly advocated Legalism in his later years. However, Khrushchev’s criticism of Stalin’s personality cult greatly threatened Mao’s authority. Mao faithfully abided by Han Fei-tzu’s principles and took preemptive actions to remove his close friends and chosen successors Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao when he suspected that they had grown too powerful and might have usurped his power.
CCP’s Core System Facilitates Emergence of Mad Leaders
When Mao Dynasty ended and Mao’s successor was removed from power, Deng Xiaoping tried to set up a system of collective leadership to prevent the reemergence of Mao’s autocracy that had brought disasters to China, but that system did not work. Zhao Ziyang’s memoirs gives a vivid description that when Deng and other powerful elders had retired from the politburo, their successors in the politburo were top leaders only in name, but had no real power and became puppets of the elders.
Moreover, Deng found the collective leadership ineffective in adopting hard measures to suppress Tiananmen Protests and maintain the Party’s rule. It caused him to make the unpopular decision of the massacre himself. He realized that China’s political system since the communist takeover had been a core
system with a core having the absolute authority like the emperor in a feudal dynasty but without hereditary succession and believed that such a system should be maintained. That was why when he had promoted Jiang Zemin to succeed him as the core of the Party leadership, he exhorted Jiang, “When Mao was
alive, he had the final say and when I am alive, I have the final say. I will not rest at ease until the time when you have the final say.” Obviously, by “final say” Deng Xiaoping meant that the core should have
absolute authority like Mao and Deng.
According to Zhao’s memoirs, in making a major decision, Deng Xiaoping consulted with other elders when Zhao was in office. However, after the Tiananmen Massacre, Deng began to act as the core and heeded no other elders’ views. When all the elders and quite a large majority of officials became conservative after Tiananmen Massacre, Deng Xiaoping conducted his famous Southern Tour to reinvigorate the reform alone. All others had to obey his instruction and Deng Xiaoping typically played his role as the core who has the
power above all others and even above law and Party and state constitutions like Mao.
When Jiang Zemin has established his absolute authority as the core, the Party’s core system finally became mature.
In such a core system, in order to become the core and maintain the position as the core, one has to master and apply the art for being an emperor elaborated in Han Fei-tzu or Jiang Zemin’s art that is similar to Liu
Bei’s and Emperor Taizong’s, which is even more difficult as there is no special systematic book on it.
A madman will be much more interested in Han Fei’s art of tricks and intrigues than normal people. With tricks and intrigues, he has a better chance to gain the position of core. Therefore the probability that a future core applies Han Fei’s art must be greater than Jiang’s. With the rich soil for mad leader in China, by application of Han Fei’s art such a madman can easily become an absolute monarch and make China mad.
What is most worrisome is that in China’s core system, when the core is mad like Mao, no one can control or remove him!
Democracy, the Only Way Out
Only when there is real democracy in Chinacan the emergence of another Mao be prevented and can another Mao be timely removed if he does emerge. Therefore, only then can Chinese people have a bright future and China’s neighbors and America rest at ease at China’s rise.
However what can Western countries do? They certainly are unable to impose democracy on China as they are doing now on Libya. First, they have to reinvigorate their economy and improve their people’s living
standards. With examples of prosperity in their democracies, they can attract Chinese people to learn from their democracies.
Second, they shall keep on disseminating their ideal of democracy by every possible means among Chinese people. They shall continue to denounce China whenever it violates human rights. It seems not effective, but it indeed works. That was why those who persecuted dissidents recently ordered their victims not to contact foreign journalists.
On the contrary, in his book, Kissinger admonishes US current and future administrations to “substantially” balance “long-term moral convictions with case-to-case adaptations to requirements of national security”, i.e., in disseminating American values of democracy and human rights, they shall avoid offending China
or they shall even turn a blind eye to the emergence of another Mao in China in order to prevent confrontation and achieve “co-evolution”. By so doing, America will fail to be on alert again and may suffer a third time perhaps much more severely.
As a legal translator, I always follow development of Chinese politics and legal system closely especially when I worked as chief editor of a China law website last year. I find that there have been some memoirs and
fictions reflecting the evils of Mao era, but few books on contemporary China based on personal experience and profound knowledge of Chinese culture, history and classics to enable people to understand what contemporary China really is from Mao era till now.
Victims Do Not Want to Write about the Trauma They Have Experienced
However, those who suffered the unheard-of cruel persecution in Mao era do not want to recall their traumatic past due to the unbearable pain of such memory. Previously, I myself did not want to talk about my sufferings when I met old classmates and friends though what I suffered was nothing compared with other much more serious cases.
Moreover, serious books on the history will certainly expose the Party’s despicable past and will of course be banned in China.
However I often worry that those who experienced and witnessed Mao’s tyranny in their prime of life and know Chinese culture, history and classics well are all old like me. If we do not write down what we know now, there will be no records of that important part of Chinese history and people will not learn lessons from it. Therefore, I decided that I should exploit the freedom of expression in Hong Kong and the freedom of publication in the United States to write down and publish what I know. I hope that my writings will
inspire other people to do so too.
Having read Kissinger’s book, I realize the urgency of the job. As I am 70 now, I shall strive to write all I know before I die so that people both inside and outside China will fully know the truth and will not be affected by the misinformation provided by the Party’s misleading propaganda or by those who appear to be China experts but are really ignorant about China.
 True Records of Lushan Meeting by Li Rui, ISBN 978-962-257-661-2, p 336
 Zhao Ziyang: Captive Conversations by Zong Fengming, p 75
DOING JUSTICE TO TIANANMEN
While Amercia has had justice done by killing Osama bin Laden, justice has not yet been done to Tiananmen incident in China.
In order to do justice to that great event in Chinese history, the author wrote this book to reveal Tiananmen’s great achivements.
The Coup D’Etat in China to Substitute Intellectuals’ for Uneducated Workers’ Dominance in China
When intellectuals were despised and almost all intellectual activities forbidden, a new generation of talented scholars with moral integrity emerged. They secretly made preparations to seize political power in order to save the nation and get the human right and freedom to pursue their intellectual activities. I have quite a few friends of that generation and attended a secret meeting of them in Shanghai. I learned at the meeting that one of their ways was to join the Party, rise to the top and transform the Party. They studied hard Chinese classics and history to learn the strategy, tactics, tricks and intrigues of political struggle and all other kinds of knowledge and skill and called themselves Eclectics. The intellectuals I lived among who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution also wanted to fight back when the Cultural Revolution was over. Even those intellectuals like Fang Lizhi who were originally engaged in science and technology and traditionally wanted to have nothing to do with politics, became political enthusiasts and spent most of their time in disseminating the idea of democracy among college students. There were campaigns for democracy one after another with Tiananmen as the climax.