I’m supposed to be putting together a long piece on Islam, Iran, SEX and fashion but lack the concentration, so lets do a quick one arising out of the Google news reads this morning.
Now, when one scans the world of the Sino chatterati, one always encounters the occasional nitwit who thinks this dreary bit of theatre really matters in the big scheme of things ie it will decide China’s future trajectory economically, socially and politically. Recall the faux retro Maoism of Bo’s Chongqing versus the softer and more responsive approach to governance supposedly articulated by Guangdong’s Wang Yang (and here Wukan comes to mind, among other things). Old Left versus a new Reform model, or something like that.
Getting your man onto the Central Committee or the Politburo is all about grabbing your share of the economic pie for your family and guanzi networks at the provincial level. And its a fucking nasty fight to the finish requiring duplicity, ruthlessness and that much vaunted Chinese virtue cleverness. Take no prisoners and eat the wounded, since it is a zero sum game.
Now to my points. Recall John Garnaut’s long expose – Rotting From Within – on the monumental corruption and extreme factionalism existing within the PLA which was published in Foreign Policy in April this year.
To quote from this long, detailed investigation, which is mandatory course material for all site visitors:
Judging from a recent series of scathing speeches by one of the PLA’s top generals, details of which were obtained by Foreign Policy, it can’t: The institution is riddled with corruption and professional decay, compromised by ties of patronage, and asphyxiated by the ever-greater effort required to impose political control. The speeches, one in late December and the other in mid-February, were given by Gen. Liu Yuan, the son of a former president of China and one of the PLA’s rising stars; the speeches and Liu’s actions suggest that the PLA might be the site of the next major struggle for control of the Communist Party, of the type that recently brought down former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai. Liu is the political commissar and the most powerful official of the PLA’s General Logistics Department, which handles enormous contracts in land, housing, food, finance, and services for China’s 2.3 million-strong military.
Well, Garnaut reports today that corruption whistle blower General Yuan has now been given the rough end of the pineapple, supposedly for his close association with Bo Xilai:
BEIJING: The most openly ambitious general in the People’s Liberation Army appears to have been sidelined following his self-styled ”do-or-die” fight against corruption in military ranks.
General Liu Yuan, after missing out on promotion to the Central Military Commission, was also absent from the ranks of 250 party and military luminaries who appeared on stage for Thursday’s opening of the 18th Party Congress, which marked the start of an eight-day leadership transition.
Supporters of General Liu, the son of the former president Liu Shaoqi, had expected him to receive a powerful leadership role in part because of his life-long ties to the incoming president, Xi Jinping.
General Liu’s sidelining, if confirmed, will mark the second fall from grace of an ambitious and powerful princeling this year.
In particular, Liu stepped around the military hierarchy and trampled over the hidden rules of patronage to dislodge a notoriously corrupt general, Gu Junshan. General Gu was deputy director of the People’s Liberation Army logistics department, where General Liu was political commissar, and is now under investigation.
General Gu was known to be close to the outgoing vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xu Caihou, who in turn was a protege of former president Jiang Zemin.
Thanks to John Garnaut and the Brisbane Times for the full text HERE.
Finally, Lets look at so-called reformer Wang Yang, who is trying to walk both sides of the street at the same time.
Avanth Krishnam of The Hindu writes:
Wang Yang, on Friday morning, nonchalantly strolled into the Guangdong Hall, an ostentatiously decorated meeting room in the heart of the Great Hall of the People – the Chinese Parliament building.
Mr. Wang, the Communist Party of China (CPC) chief in the prosperous southern province of Guangdong, appeared to ignore the group of reporters and the flashing lenses, as he crossed his legs, put on a pair of reading glasses and unfolded a crisp copy of the Nanfang Daily.
The Guangzhou-based daily is known in China as a rare muckraking newspaper, famous for its fearless investigative journalism. Its stories have led to the sacking of corrupt officials, but have also landed its Editors in frequent trouble with the authorities. By appearing to endorse the newspaper in public, Mr. Wang — a member of the party’s 24-member Politburo — looked to be reminding the Chinese media of his liberal persuasions.
Read on HERE and realise that Yang was indulging in another bullshit charade.
More “let’s identify the reformer‘ rubbish, this time the Washington Post Li Keqiang, China’s next premier, carries reformers’ hopes.
I know I’ve gone all potty mouth this post, but the author of the above nonsense Keith B. Richburg is a prize fuckwit who probably has never ventured beyond the Beltway.