April 25, 2005

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Beijing wall and other thoughts

- Yesterday Philip Pan explained very well which kind of reformer Hu Jintao is.

More than two years after taking office amid uncertainty about his political views, Chinese President Hu Jintao is emerging as an unyielding leader determined to preserve the Communist Party's monopoly on power and willing to impose new limits on speech and other civil liberties to do it, according to party officials, journalists and analysts.

Hu sealed his reputation after taking control of the military at a meeting of the party's ruling elite in September, a final step in his long climb to power. On the last day of the conclave, in his first major address to the 300-plus member Central Committee as the nation's undisputed new leader, Hu warned that "hostile forces" were trying to undermine the party by "using the banner of political reform to promote Western bourgeois parliamentary democracy, human rights and freedom of the press," according to a person given excerpts of the speech.
Hu said China's enemies had not abandoned their "strategic plot to Westernize and split China." He blamed the fall of the Soviet Union on policies of "openness and pluralism" and on the efforts of "international monopoly capital with the United States as its leader." And in blunt language that party veterans said recalled Mao Zedong's destructive Cultural Revolution, he urged the leadership to be alert to the danger of subversive thinking.

No surprise here. As history teaches, communist regimes are not reformable: where Party in power, no real changes; where real changes, no Party in power. A comment in TPD blog pointed out: As the saying in communist circles go. It is better to be an Andropov than a Gorbachev. Right. In communist perspective, Gorbachev's performance was a failure: he wanted to keep USSR alive, he was USSR gravedigger. Hu - like his predecessors - knows that lesson. But... there's a but. You can call it the paradox of authoritarian rulers: if you open, you lose; if you don't... you lose as well. The point is that dictatorial regimes are not only against people but also against the course of history: you can try to delay the moment but - sooner or later - events will prevail. 1989 Tiananmen was a powerful reminder: only a massacre stopped the change in China as in Eastern Europe communism broke up.
To be clear: I'm not among those who think that chinese regime is now on the verge of collapse. Pragmatism in economy, if anything, has given CCP a breath of air (still, it's a double-edge sword). But I also believe that it's only a matter of time: it could be a financial shock, the birth of an underground but organized opposition movement, a thoughtless mistake in foreign policy... I don't know what's more likely to happen but certainly one day we'll see the fall of Beijing wall.

- Racism in China? Andrés Gentry reports. Racism and nationalism often walk together.

- Insightful post by Coming Anarchy about Nepal: a scary situation (euphemism). See also Radio Free Nepal. Alex Perry went there and interviewed the Maoist leader.

- Train accident in Japan: the deadliest in forty years. Sad.

posted by Enzo on 04.25.05 at 10:38 PM in the China politics category.


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My eyes glazed right over the link to the Coming Anarchy Nepal post. Woops!

Anyway, it's a good post. Read it. :)

posted by: Dan on 04.26.05 at 12:11 PM [permalink]

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