Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China orders no extravagance during holidays [Xinhua] #China #Corruption #Guanxi

Xinhua: Not leaving the grey areas of corruption to chance prior to the holiday periods – a top-down directive clearly stating how public funds can not be used.

First established in 1927, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection 中国共产党中央纪律检查委员会’s current Secretary is Wang Qishan – China’s current ‘troubleshooter’,  one of the seven in the latest Politburo Standing Committee.

More on the Ministry of Supervision here. It may come as a surprise for those not in the know this is a ministry with a history of female leadership. More on Ma Wen here.

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China orders no extravagance during holidays
Editor – Wang Yuanyuan
Source – Xinhua, published December 27, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) — The disciplinary watchdog of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as well as the government’s supervisory authority, have called for efforts to halt extravagance during the upcoming holiday season.

The use of public funds to purchase cigarettes, liquor and gifts for government officials should be strictly prohibited, according to a circular issued by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision on Thursday.

Public spending on extravagant banquets, travel, entertainment or sporting activities will also be prohibited during the New Year holiday, as well as February’s Spring Festival, the circular said.

Please click here to read the rest of the article the source. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, xinhua, , , , , , ,

Xi Jinping urges to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics #China [Xinhua/China Daily]

State media sowing the seeds of the guiding ideology that will have Xi’s name on it. The long and short of it? No giant leap, but a continuation of winning a new victory for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

He told the Party members to keep in mind that the Party’s overall approach is to promote economic development tuned together with political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, and that its general task is to improve the people’s livelihoods, make the country more prosperous and achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation. (Xinhua, November 19, 2012)

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Xi Jinping urges to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics
Xinhua
Source – China Daily, published November 19, 2012

BEIJING – Members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee gathered on Saturday to study and exchange opinions on the spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress which concluded on November 14.

The meeting was presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

In his speech at the meeting, Xi called for efforts to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, as it is the theme of the report to the 18th CPC National Congress, which was delivered by Hu Jintao on November 8. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, xinhua, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader #China [New York Times]

As a student of the media, it is hard to ascertain intention from simply reading off representative lines of text in articles. Unless one has a direct face-to-face interview with the author and amongst other things, a complete understanding of the editorial process,  political economy of the transnational media institution involved, it’s at best, an informed guess. Interpreted by Chinese communities I am in touch with as part of a continuum of China gesturing in a time of Sino-US leadership transition, the consensus seems to be one of 顧全大局 – keep the eye focused on the big picture, general situation and present conditions.

New York Times: From David Barboza, correspondent for the NY Times based in Shanghai since 2004. Fact illuminating or complicating the Chinese fog of war ahead of the  leadership change scheduled to take place on Nov 8 at the 18th National Congress? I don’t think the Chinese people are overly concerned for the wider Chinese socio-economic headspace has other priorities, but for a non-Chinese audience this may take some deliberating.

Will this diminish Wen’s residual power as the Chinese central authority reconfigures itself? Also – this comes at a time when questions are being asked if Hu Jintao will step down from his chairmanship of the Central Military Commission (see Hu Jintao likely to quit as head of China’s military: analysts by the Want China Times, October 15, 2012)

The article scarcely reveals the methods behind their investigations, based on ‘[a] review of corporate and regulatory records‘. Incidentally, this story is repeated all over Australia’s state broadsheets via the agencies and was trending on Twitter when news broke. Below is what I found on my feed.

Screen capture from my Twitter Feed. Hashtag #Wenjiabao is trending at the moment. David Barboza who wrote the article was ‘credited’ by FT’s David Pilling as bringing the NYTimes website down in China.

In response, China’s Great Firewall was cranked up with a retaliatory posture, with its 500m plus  internet users now unable to search for keywords relating to Wen and NYT (save for those who utilise proxy servers to ‘tunnel’ through the wall – China condemns NY Times Wen Jiabao wealth story ‘smear’ (BBC, October 26, 2012)

On China’s Twitter-like weibo platforms, keywords such as Wen Jiabao and the New York Times are blocked. Mr Wen’s name, like most other Chinese leaders, has always been a screened keyword.

Some netizens did manage to post the article despite heavy and rapid censorship. A Sina Weibo user tweeted about the article from Kawagoe city in Japan, but his post was removed after 11 minutes.

Here’s an interesting comment on the NY Times article which piqued my interest. Fair comment, or victim of  information intertextuality and access gone wild?

It looks like ousted Chongqing leader Bo Xilai has eventually got to fight back. Revelations about Wen Jiabao family’s hidden fortune have been timed to coincide with expulsion of Bo Xilai from top legislature that stripped him of his MP immunity, which means he’s now facing a biased trial and harsh imprisonment, if not worse. With the revelations Bo Xilai and his supporters landed a devastating blow straight at the top of China political establishment. Adding to the drama the long awaited change in China’s secretive and closed leadership is looming only few days away. Wondering whether this is just the first and last retaliatory blow from someone who has given up all hopes and deems to be doomed. I would bet that Mr. Bo Xilai keeps ready some more bunker-busting ammos in store and signaled loud an clear that he’s now ready to use all of them in his last-stance fight. If my bet is right things in China in the very near future will get quite interesting. Comment on article by Mario from Italy

If found true however, will this fall under the list 52 “unacceptable practices” (不准 – 中国共产党党员领导干部廉洁从政若干准则 in full)? Introduced in 2010 to fight widespread corruption after an initial trial that started in 1997, the code of ethics has a special emphasis on indirect corruption – when officials abuse power to benefit not themselves directly, but their relatives. The code explicitly names ‘spouses, children, in-laws and other relatives’ as unacceptable beneficiaries depending on transaction.

According to a Shanghai cable in 2007 that Wikileaks got its hands onto – “Wen is disgusted with his family’s activities, but is either unable or unwilling to curtail them.” Swimming in a sea of driftwood collateral corruption, if you will.

For a wider perspective – check out A rising pitch against corruption [Straits Times, March 8, 2010] – that examined China’s ever-lingering problem – corruption. The issue has brought down many Chinese institutions in the past – 3% of the GDP being siphoned off sounds like no small number. Back in 2010, Wen Jiabao spoke at the National People’s Congress, stressing that failure to ‘check corruption will have a ‘direct bearing’ on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) grip on power.’ This article then argued that it is not China’s modern capitalist leanings that have fueled today’s problems. Rather, it feels that it was Mao who “created a privilege-based political system that lies at the heart of China’s contemporary corruption woes.” Beyond that the fine line between guanxi and gifting as a significant cultural paradigm Chinese, diasporic or not, subscribe to makes the western interpretation of corruption hard to impose.

 And here’s a two-year rewind with Inflation, corruption could hurt China: Wen (The Age/AFP, October 3, 2012). In an interview with Fareed Zakaria on GPS, he said, “I do have worry for the management of inflation expectations in China… And that is something that I have been trying very hard to manage appropriately and well, because I believe corruption and inflation will have an adverse impact on stability of power in our country.”

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Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader
by David Barboza
Source – New York Times, published October 25, 2012

Many relatives of Mr. Wen became wealthy during his leadership. Source – New York Times, 2012

BEIJING — The mother of China’s prime minister was a schoolteacher in northern China. His father was ordered to tend pigs in one of Mao’s political campaigns. And during childhood, “my family was extremely poor,” the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said in a speech last year.

But now 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind — she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show.

The details of how Ms. Yang, a widow, accumulated such wealth are not known, or even if she was aware of the holdings in her name. But it happened after her son was elevated to China’s ruling elite, first in 1998 as vice prime minister and then five years later as prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Influence, Internet, Law, Maoism, Media, New York Times, Peaceful Development, Politics, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

Viewpoint: Fear and loneliness in China [BBC]

From 26% in 1990 to 51.3% urbanised by end 2011, but at what cost? A British sociologist known for researching the urban and housing policy sums up his field work on the fragmentation of collective community in China.

..[t]his way of life is disappearing, in the cities and in the countryside. For many in China isolation is a new experience brought on by economic transformation. In the neighbourhoods where I worked in Chongqing and Beijing, loneliness was spreading like pollution.

Gerard Lemos was a visiting professor at Chongqing Technology and Business University from 2006 to 2010 and author of The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People fear the Future. Whilst he makes many pertinent observations, his book has a rather polarizing title I must say. It is not in the method of academic inquiry to apply one’s results as self-assertive blanket, in this case, over the entire Chinese spectrum.

Perhaps this study also completely discounts the transition where community, like in many places in developing Asia, is shifting quickly, in other cases, augmented from public to virtual space. In a way, it really is a decade in, figuring out how to balance the two, in the midst of the reality of intense domestic and foreign competition.

An Op-Ed titled What Keeps the Chinese up at Night for the New York Times on his book can be found here.

Here’s a WSJ review of his book with a further interview here. Further check out reviews from  America: The National Catholic Weekly or the Financial Times here.

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Viewpoint: Fear and loneliness in China
by Gerard Lemos
Source – BBC, published October 16, 2012 

Source – Getty Images

What kind of society will China’s new leaders inherit? China has developed at unimaginable pace, lifting millions out of poverty. But as part of a series of viewpoints on challenges for China’s new leadership, Gerard Lemos, who conducted research in the mega-city of Chongqing, says it is easy to overlook its lonely underbelly.

An old man was hanging upside down in the public square. His feet in traditional cloth shoes were over the parallel bars from which he had suspended himself, for what were presumably his morning exercises. He was fully clothed and in a padded overcoat to combat the spring chill.

I saw this when visiting a factory community in Beijing in 2008. On the face of it, this was a peculiar act to perform in a public space, but people walked past taking no notice. In such traditional Chinese communities, this public square served as a communal living room; most of the people around are friends and neighbours. Not being surprised by the unusual behaviour of your neighbours is an aspect of intimate community life. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Pollution, Population, Poverty, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, , , , , , , , , ,

The curse of China’s big city warlords [Straits Times]

Straits Times: A Singaporean perspective on strong Chinese local leaders as double-edged swords.

It has not gone unnoticed by observers that the fall of Bo, 63, means that the last three most senior leaders disgraced in China were kingpins in major cities. “Probably it is not accidental,” said professor of political science Wang Jianwei from the University of Macau. Chen Xitong controlled Beijing city, a position regarded as local even though it is based in the capital, until his fall in 1995. 

Bo Xilai is finally expelled from the party since the drama caught public eye in Feb earlier this year. Here is a selection of headlines from domestic and international press.

Official announcement from Xinhua: Investigations have found that Bo seriously violated Party disciplines while heading the city of Dalian, Liaoning Province, and the Ministry of Commerce and while serving as a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and as Party chief of Chongqing Municipality… Bo abused his power, made severe mistakes and bore major responsibility in the Wang Lijun incident and the intentional homicide case of Bogu Kailai.Bo Xilai expelled from CPC, public office, September 28, 2012

BBC: Under China’s system the Communist Party controls the media, the police, the prosecutors and the courts. The party is not subject to outside checks and balances. That’s why Mr Bo has been dealt with, by the party, in secret. The courts will now simply confirm the party’s decisions about how to punish him. Bo Xilai: China leaders try to put scandal behind them, September 30, 2012

See also – BBC timeline of events here.

Reuters agency: “Last night, one of the core members of the ruling party’s leadership was suddenly turned into a demon,” said one commentary on “Red China”, a far-left Chinese-language website that has issued a stream of commentary defending Bo. China leaders show unity after expelling Bo, September 29, 2012

New York Times: In his brief statement, posted Saturday evening on Tumblr, the younger Bo wrote: “Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations that were announced against my father, because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life. Although the policies my father enacted are open to debate, the father I know is upright in his beliefs and devoted to duty.” Chinese Ex-Official Snared in Scandal Is Defended by His Son, September 30, 2012

Telegraph:“With such a political aspect to it, you cannot judge this case solely on a legal basis,” said Pi Yijun, a law professor at China’s Law and Political Science university. “The sentence took into account his evidence on Bo’s case, and also the likely reaction of the public. The general public liked Wang and the campaigns he ran, which hit at the mafia. It was mostly intellectuals who were unhappy with him because of the illegal way he went about his job,” he added.Bo Xilai scandal: police chief Wang Lijun sentenced to 15 years, September 24, 2012

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The curse of China’s big city warlords
Strong local leaders a ‘double-edged sword’ for the central government
by By Peh Shing Huei China Bureau Chief News Analysis
Source – Straits Times, October 1, 2012

CHONGQING: Bo Xilai was expelled from the party last week. — PHOTO: AP in Straits Times, 2012

BEIJING – In recent years, as his star shone in south-western Chongqing city, Bo Xilai enjoyed an online nickname – ping xi wang, or Prince Who Pacifies the West.

It was the title of famous Qing Dynasty warlord Wu Sangui. But the moniker was also an early sign of trouble for Bo, who was purged last week.

Wu was a rogue general who declared an independent kingdom in 1678, and such unilateral breakaways – perceived or true – do not sit well with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Law, Media, Nationalism, New Leadership, Politics, Reform, Straits Times, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, , , ,

Gold mooncakes raise suspicions of corruption [Xinhua]

The Chinese referent has been based on the moon for the longest time. From the lunar calendar to the lunar-orbiting satellite aptly named Chang’E after the moon goddess to the pop culture hit 月亮代表我的心 (with subtitles)- literally the moon represents my heart perhaps it’s no surprise there are always updates to the recurring theme.

In Chinese lore, mooncakes once performed the role as ingenious mass media with hidden messages to rally against Mongol rule during the fourteenth century. A cultural practice that has taken many forms in folklore over four millennia through various myths, the Chinese used the mooncake to gather into a collective crouching stance.

Centuries on, the mooncake festival continues to be celebrated today. Depending on your point of view, it is also known as the mid-autumn festival and celebrated for a host of reasons.

Xinhua performs the role of fourth estate by illuminating one of 52 unacceptable practices 中国共产党党员领导干部廉洁从政若干准则 on what some in China’s public sphere 2.0 see as an insidious, self-serving albeit well-meaning update on delicate grey line between guanxi and corruption.

A jewelry store staff member shows off a pair of moon cakes made of gold in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province Tuesday. Photo: CFP Source – Global Times, 2012

See – Gold moon cakes not about the glitter (Global Times, September 26, 2012)

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Gold mooncakes raise suspicions of corruption
by Hu Tao and Yuan Ruting
Source – Xinhua, published September 28, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — Gold mooncakes made their debut in the gift sector ahead of China’s back-to-back autumn holiday but suspicions of corruption have been raised.

Made of pure gold, the mooncake-shaped artifact witnessed good sales on the eve of China’s traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival.

“Most of the buyers are groups of clients of companies and enterprises who have bought gold mooncakes as a gift,” said a shop assistant in a department store in Xuanwumen in downtown Beijing on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, History, Law, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, xinhua, , , , , , , ,

Ana Palacio: The Next Task for China’s New Leaders [Straits Times]

Ana Palacio, a former Spanish foreign minister shares her thoughts on areas the new Chinese leadership should be paying attention on.

First, China’s state of flux despite its ‘outward appearance of monolithic resolve.’ Second, the growing demands of the stratification and divides of Chinese society. Third, its conduct of foreign policy.

It is, therefore, little surprise that China’s policies are widely regarded as a reflection of former Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping’s call for a strategy of “hiding our light and nurturing our strength.” Ana Palacio

However, if that is her assessment of the wider interpretation of Deng’s call, then therein lies another problem – because the saying defers to good form, and not misdirection.

Read up more about Ana Palacio here at Project Syndicate.

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Ana Palacio: The Next Task for China’s New Leaders
by Ana Palacio for Project Syndicate
Source – The Straits Times, Global Perspectives, published September 21, 2012

BEIJING – On a recent fact-finding trip to China, organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, I began with the assumption that the country’s biggest challenge revolved around the need to promote domestic consumption in order to maintain rapid economic growth. By the end of the trip, what had emerged was a complex picture of Chinese assertiveness and uncertainty, poise and anxiety.

Although impending, the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is shrouded in mystery. While the congress is presumably set for October, the exact dates remain unknown, as does much about the internal process and preparatory discussions.

For much of this year, there seemed to be one certainty in the coming leadership transition: the CCP’s new general secretary would be Xi Jinping, a man whose political vision could be elaborated in well under 30 seconds. But Xi’s mysterious vanishing act, in which he dropped from public view for almost two weeks in September – after abruptly canceling meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the prime minister of Singapore (rare occurrences for the protocol-fixated Chinese leadership) – has stirred more speculation. It has also fueled concerns about whether so secretive a leadership can effectively govern the world’s second-largest economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Democracy, Domestic Growth, East China Sea, Economics, Europe, European Union, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Law, Media, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Ten Grave Problems Facing China [The China Story]

From the Australian Centre for China in the World.

Back in 1956, confronted with the task of making a new China, Mao in the speech  ‘On the Ten Great Relationships’ 论十大关系 outlined the challenges that faced the CCP’s transformation of China.

Fast forward to 2012, the once-in-a-decade leadership transition sees Deng Yewen, senior editor of the Party mouthpiece Study Times frame a wide spanning ‘The Ten Grave Problems’ as an urgent agenda that demands the attention of the incoming leaders.

This piece by the centre also provides some history into Chinese intelligentsia and their vying to provide intellectual and strategic advice to the contenders for power. Suggestive that the party is not filled with automatons or reinforcing of the idea that the Chinese collective has always been a dynamic process?

China’s Hu and Wen blasted by party paper editor (China Daily Mail, September 4, 2012) provides an interesting perspective on faction and solidarity challenges right at the top.

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The Ten Grave Problems Facing China
by Geremie R Barmé
Source – The China Story by the Australian Centre for China in the World, published September 8, 2012

In April 1956, Mao Zedong gave a speech to the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party titled ‘On the Ten Great Relationships’ 论十大关系. It was a decisive period for New China. The initial surge of nationalisation that saw the country’s industry and agriculture come under state control was building into a tidal wave of radical socialism that would dominate the country for the next two decades. In the build up to this next stage of dirigisme Mao thought it essential to articulate the problems facing the fledgling People’s Republic. He listed ten issues that underlined social, economic, regional and national policy; he was in reality outlining the challenges that faced the Communist Party’s experiment in transforming China.

A popular observation about political uncertainty in Chinese holds that ‘when evil prognosticators appear in all quarters it is a sign of the end of days’ 末世征兆,妖孽四起. Elsewhere we have noted the dire warnings issued by left-leaning critics of China’s Communist Party such as the Children of Yan’an and the latter-day red fundamentalists of the Utopia group. In recent days, an editor with the journal Study Times 学习时报 has published a lengthy article in which he outlines ‘The Ten Grave Problems Facing China’.

During the once-in-a-decade ‘transition year’ of 2012-2013 which will see a change of party-state leadership, Communist Party propagandists have set the tone and require media outlets to celebrate clamorously the ‘ten golden years’ of rule under President/Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao (for an example of these hosannas, see People’s Daily, ‘The Reasons for China’s “Glorious Decade” ’, in our China Story Yearbook 2012: Red Rising, Red Eclipse, ‘From Victory to Victory’). It is a time of extreme tension and high stakes, one in which China faces major political decisions that may well determine its direction not only for the next few years, but, as many feel, for long into the future. At this juncture a more lowly Party member than the late Chairman has offered his version of the problems facing the restive and fractured nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Green China, History, Human Rights, Inflation, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Migration (Internal), military, Modernisation, Nationalism, Natural Disasters, Peaceful Development, Politics, Pollution, Population, Poverty, Property, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ferrari crash link to China leader exposed [The Age]

富二代 Fu Er Dai and dirty laundry: Ling Gu, son of Ling Jihua, Hu’s political fixer is revealed (almost six months after the fatal crash) to be behind the wheel.

Alleged driving rampage in £500,000 Ferrari costs father political fallout from the Hu Jintao camp. Further, how Ling Gu got to own such a pricey set of wheels when both his parents worked government jobs has come under scrutiny as well. Tragedy of the accident aside, what is telling is the timing when the powers that be decided the great reveal – just weeks before the  18th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in October 2012 and a little further down, its once-in-a-decade leadership transition around March 2013.

Professor Miao Di, at the Communication University of China, said those in power were not helping themselves by covering up scandals that could be exposed by netizens and mainstream media. ”But it seems the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t thought of any better ideas,” he said.

For more on Ling Jihua from a Hong Kong perspective, go here.

And over to the UK’s Independent with a rather crowd-pulling title – [23 year old] Son of Chinese politician died after engaging in ‘sex games’ with two women while driving at high speed in his Ferrari

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Ferrari crash link to China leader exposed
By John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published September 4, 2012

The wreckage of a Ferrari which exploded into flames after a crash in Beijing that allegedly killed Ling Jihua, the son of Hu Jintao’s political fixer, and two semi-naked women. Photo: Supplied to the Age

A SORDID tragedy involving a 20-something playboy, two scantily-clad women and a two-seater Ferrari has once again exposed the Communist Party’s challenges in hiding its dirty laundry in the information age.

The black Ferrari 458 Spider, reportedly bought for close to $1 million, was travelling so fast along Beijing’s North Fourth Ring Road that it split in two when it smashed into the Baofusi Bridge about 4am on Sunday, March 18.

A photograph of the tangled, smouldering engine block – resting far from the main car body – was published in the Beijing Evening News and immediately spread across the internet. The paper reported the driver was killed and two female passengers seriously injured. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Social, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, , , ,

Details of intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai, Zhang Xiaojun [Xinhua]

A few generation X party members, and generation Y Chinese students I have met thus far express this is simply a case of Bo Xilai overstepping party consensus. Here was a man, and the ideas he represented, who was a genuine threat to the status quo of progress using the existing model of deliberative authoritarian capitalism. But that’s just one side of the story.

The amount of detail in this Xinhua report details on the case of Bo Xilai’s wife is directive, and perhaps indicative of how serious the party views this case to leave no detail unturned  for public consumption ahead of judgement.

Interestingly, the Age draws parallels with the last time the party put a leading wife on trial, perhaps fanning fuel to the diminishing flame of the narrative of Red Revival represented by Bo.

The last time the Chinese Communist Party put one of its leading wives on trial it was the fiery Madame Mao, accused of a leading role in the persecution of precisely 727,420 people during the Cultural Revolution. Source – Gu walks Madame Mao’s tightrope (The Age, August 9, 2012)

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Details of intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai, Zhang Xiaojun
Source – Xinhua, published August 11, 2012

HEFEI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — The attention-grabbing intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun opened Thursday in east China’s Anhui province.

All seats in the courtroom of the Hefei City Intermediate People’s Court in Anhui were occupied when the trial began.

More than 140 people attended the trial, including relatives and friends of the two defendants, relatives and friends of British victim Neil Heywood, diplomats from the British embassy and consulates in China, media representatives, deputies to China’s legislature and members of China’s political advisory body, as well as members of the general public. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, New Leadership, Politics, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, xinhua, , , , , ,

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