【新唐人2012年12月30日訊】【世事關心】(242)李小鵬升遷和中共官場生態:剖析中共官場當前生態與其對現實的影響。(English Script included below)

Li Xiaopeng’s Promotion and the Dynamics of CCP Officialdom

旁白:照片中的人叫李小鵬,是中共前領導人李鵬的長子,也是被稱作「太子黨」的中共領導人子女中,社會知名度較高的一個。由於李鵬曾長期在電力行業工作,其子李小鵬、女兒李小琳也都選擇了電力工程為自己的大學專業,並且在畢業後在中國電力行業任職。

旁白:1991年李小鵬加入「華能國際電力開發公司」,開啟了他在政商兩界的生涯;1999年李小鵬接任華能集團總經理、以及「華能國際電力開發公司」董事長和「華能國際」董事長的職務。一年後「華能國際」成功地收購了在紐約上市的「山東華能」,使得「華能國際」成為亞洲最大的獨立發電公司。而李小鵬也被冠以「亞洲電王」的稱號。2002年,中國進行電力體制改革之後,李小鵬又出任了新組建的大型中央企業——中國華能集團的總經理,李小鵬治下的華能集團成為中國電力行業的五大央企之首。剛剛年過40的李小鵬,就躋身於副部級的企業家型官員,與時任遼寧省省長的薄熙來一起,成為太子黨中備受矚目的未來之星。而李小鵬的年齡比薄熙來小了大約10歲,薄熙來在李小鵬執掌華能集團的年齡上,還只是大連市的副市長、和代市長。

旁白:2008年李小鵬突然棄商從政,出任山西省副省長,在七位副省長中排名第二。李小鵬的官場生涯顯然在起步階段並沒有像在商場那樣一帆風順。不僅在此後的4年中一直沒能被扶正;而且在2012年11月的中共十八大上,在全部中央委員和候補委員中得票倒數第一。外界普遍認為,由於其父李鵬在「六四」事件中的惡劣名聲、和其家族壟斷中國電力行業招致的詬病,致使李小鵬在仕途受到冷遇。正當一些海外媒體猜測李小鵬的仕途受阻止步的時候,2012年12月19日,中共突然宣佈,李小鵬出任山西省代省長一職。在中共十八大之後的地方領導人事變動當中,本來很不受待見的李小鵬突然大爆冷門獲得升官,引起海外內普遍關注,也引起了關於中共官場到底是誰在主宰沉浮的猜想。

蕭茗:中共十八結束之後,新總書記習近平上任一個月以來顯示出了強勢作風,對內拿下了一批腐敗官員,接連炮製出了一系列規定以約束黨和軍隊的高層幹部;對外在與鄰國的領土主權爭議上擺出咄咄逼人的氣勢,顯示習近平似乎正在迅速接管大局。但是正當一些人為所謂「習李新政」歡欣鼓舞的時候,李小鵬的升官和其他一些事則為這個所謂「新政」罩上了一層疑雲。那麼中共官場當前到底是怎樣一個生態,又會帶來怎樣的現實影響?這一期的《世事關心》讓我們來一探究竟。

旁白:2012年11月中共的「十八大」上,胡錦濤出人意料地卸去了中央軍委主席的職務,成為中共建政後第一位在權力交接時「裸退」的最高領導人。關於胡錦濤「裸退」的意義,一時間成為媒體熱議的話題。《香港經濟日報》的文章《胡錦濤「裸退」結束老人干政》,和《蘋果日報》的評論《全身而退開中共先河,阻老人政治禍害——胡錦濤「掌摑」江澤民》突出反了一段時間以來海外中文媒體的風向,即認為胡的裸退確實有利於消除中共老人政治的傳統。更有媒體用「董存瑞捨身炸碉堡」來形容胡錦濤的裸退是和江澤民「同歸於盡」,堵住了中共卸任魁首們繼續操縱人事、干預大政方針的途徑。

旁白:但是隨著時間的推移,所謂「裸退阻斷老人干政」的觀點正在受到越來越多的質疑。11月23日「自由亞洲電臺」登出署名胡少江的評論《胡錦濤的裸退沒有終止中國政治老人干政的傳統》;12月11日《德國之聲》登出高瑜的評論文章《胡錦濤裸退至今成迷》,明確地指出「胡錦濤‘裸退’獲得‘高風亮節’的盛譽,但是卻未能阻止老人干政」。時事評論家橫河也撰文指出,胡錦濤的裸退其實並無政治遺產可言。

旁白:李小鵬的突然升官,使得老人干政的問題再度顯現。法廣在12月19日的報導中說,李小鵬的升遷「其父的背景是其主要的助力」。該篇報導還引用北京的傳言說,原中組部部長李源潮之所以被擠出常委,是因為受到了李鵬的阻擊,而李鵬之所以對李源潮不滿,「原因在於李小鵬的升遷運作受到了李源潮的冷落」。李源潮的出局和李小鵬的升官,似乎在向外界顯示,不管是在十八大前還是十八大後,中共元老對人事安排都有不可忽視的影響力。

蕭茗:對於李小鵬的升官所折射出的中共老人干政是否仍然存在的問題,我們先聽一下文昭的看法。

蕭茗:在中共「十八大」後的那期《世事關心》節目裡,你就否定了胡錦濤裸退會有助於阻止老人干政這種觀點。那麼這次李小鵬的升遷,你認為是不是就是老人干政的又一個體現呢?

文昭:就李小鵬這個個案,我覺得可以從幾方面看。首先李小鵬當山西省副省長4年沒有扶正,就是說在胡溫主導的這屆中央裡並不待見他;而在第十八屆中央委員和候補委員中他得票墊底,也就表明在整個官場中李小鵬相當缺少支持者,因此他的升官就不太可能是從這兩方面獲得支持,這是其一。其次是在電力行業的一帆風順是得益於其父李鵬的福蔭,調任山西副省長也是其家族的斡旋,這是基本上被公認,也就是說從履歷上看除了他父親,李小鵬並沒有明顯的其他支持力量。第三,從主觀動機上講,李鵬是六四的責任人,他需要有子女在朝以保護家族。在李小鵬不受待見的情況下,他會更緊張、從而會更破釜沉舟地推動他兒子上位。退休元老直接干涉人事任命當然是老人干政。但值得注意的是,在李小鵬很孤立的情況下,李鵬的意見仍能壓倒多數在任官員的意見,這體現出當今中共官場的生態,退休元老和其背後的權貴家族有強大的支配力量。

蕭茗:習近平上任以來刻意體現出一種強勢的形象,以區別於他的前任胡錦濤的唯唯諾諾的小媳婦形象,那你認為習今後仍然會在中共老人政治的陰影下執政嗎

文昭:現在不能說習近平會像他的前任那樣受到元老干政的擺佈。因為從中共體制來講,仍然是在位的領導最有資源來支配大局,在位主要是指有人事任免大權,就能安插自己的人馬在關鍵位置上,羽翼成熟就能掌控大局,但這只是在中共內部權鬥的範疇講。超出這個範疇一步,只要想把中共往開明、民主方向變一點,就會受到體制的強大阻力,還不只是老人干政。老人干政它其實主要發生在關鍵時刻、還不發生在平時。中共由於思想上的僵化,過去歷屆的路線、思想都當成傳家寶一樣供著,這為老人干政提供了思想氛圍,就是元老們以正統面目出現,用教育後輩的口氣對後輩領導人說話時,後輩領導人欠缺權威性與正統性去抵制。當然這些元老身後還有太子黨的權貴集團,他們在很多利益問題上有相近立場,關鍵時刻也能相互串聯協調立場,是中國比較成型的政治勢力。新領導人上臺看起來比較強勢,但要扭轉這一切顯然不容易。

旁白:12月4日,《新華網》報導新一屆的中共中央政治局審議通過了「關於改進工作作風的八項規定」,在這個所謂的「新八條」當中,除了對中共高層幹部的出行、視察、會議等活動作出了詳細的限制之外,特別提到了一條:「除中央統一安排外,個人不公開出版著作、講話單行本、不發賀信、賀電,不提詞、提字」。這條規定被一些海外媒體解讀為有針對中共前黨魁江澤民的意味,自從江澤民掌權以來,一直熱衷於各種題字、題詞的活動,在其卸任後仍然孜孜不倦地以這種方式來顯示其存在、彰顯其影響力。習近平提出的「新八條規定」,要求中共的政治局委員帶頭遵守,被某些海外中文媒體樂觀地解讀為以制度化的方式阻止老人干政,甚至有「封殺」江澤民之意

旁白:可是「新八條規定」出爐不過才半個月,所謂「江澤民被封殺」的預期就落空了。12月22日,一本以竹為主題的詩詞選集,在人民大會堂舉行了發佈儀式,江澤民為該書作序,而且江親手書寫的一首詩還被收錄在此書中。不僅這條消息被新華網等中共官方媒體轉載,而且政治局委員劉延東、新任中宣部長劉奇葆也出席首發式講話,向有關單位贈書。

旁白:就在兩天後,12月24日,以2006年病死的中共前政治局常委黃菊的生平活動為內容的紀實畫冊《黃菊》出版發行,江澤民題寫書名,中共中央政治局委員、上海市委書記韓正出席了出版座談會。江澤民除了以作序、題詞、並拉高官站台捧場的方式以顯示其餘溫猶存、聲勢之不減之外,另一項離奇的人事任命也引起了外界的關注。12月20日上海市常務副市長楊雄出任上海市委副書記、市政府黨組書記。根據中共體制內的習慣,楊雄升任這個職務意味著他很可能將來出任上海市長。這個任命的離奇之處在於,楊雄之前並沒有當選上海市委常委、在十八大上連中央候補委員都沒有選上,竟然在上海這樣一個重要的直轄市獲得提拔。考慮到楊雄與江澤民關係密切,江澤民的長子江綿恒在擔任上海聯合投資公司董事長時,楊雄是該的總經理,江澤民在這項人事任命中發揮的作用惹來許多猜疑。

蕭茗:關於江澤民的近期活動所反映出的中共官場生態狀況,我們聽一下傑森博士的解讀。

蕭茗:習近平提出的「新八條規定」要求政治局委員帶頭遵守,江澤民雖然不是現任的政治局委員,但作為卸任黨魁卻帶頭違反,又是題詞、又是作序,還有高官出來站台捧場。看起來似乎是你規定你的、我幹我的,互不買帳。您認為這反映出中共官場高層一種怎樣的生態格局?

傑森:

蕭茗:中共十八大上新的中央政治局和常委產生後,隨即開始了中組部、中宣部、中央政法委等中央直屬黨務機關的人事換屆,而12月份人事變動則擴展到了省一級的主要負責人。在這一次省級的人事變動中也出現了一些新現象,引起了外界的關注,先聽一下雪莉的綜合介紹。

雪莉:謝謝蕭茗。中共十八大後省和直轄市級的主要領導調動正在密集進行中,比較引人注意的有,汪洋調任北京,預計將出任國務院副總理;原內蒙古自治區黨委書記胡春華調任廣東接替汪洋;而原山西省省長王君則調任內蒙接替胡春華;李小鵬則任山西省代省長。

雪莉:另外,福建省人大常委會主任孫春蘭接替張高麗擔任天津市委書記;廣西省委書記由原中聯辦主任彭清華接任,而原廣西省委書記郭聲琨另有任用,很可能接替孟建柱出任公安部長。

雪莉:在這一系列洗牌中,一個引起較多議論的現象是,有共青團背景的官員囊括了從中央政治局委員到地方大員的許多席位。比如:原國務院副秘書長尤權出任福建省委書記、巴魯朝音出任吉林省代省長;胡春華、孫政才、王滬甯、李源朝、汪洋仍然都名列政治局委員。對此海外「多維新聞網」的評論是《江贏當下,胡贏未來》,認為經過這一輪洗牌,「團派新生代集體上位」,認為五年後當這一屆政治局常委中的五人退休後,就是所謂共青團派全面掌權的時候。但是這些共青團出身的較年輕的官員掌權,是否就能帶來變革也一直有人存疑。早在11月初《紐約時報》的文章《中國改革派寄希望於汪洋》就引用知情人士的話說,「汪洋改革派的身份被誇大了,他曾多次回避人們對更大膽變革的期望」。蕭茗。

蕭茗:謝謝雪莉。關於中共十八大後這一系列人事洗牌的意義,先聽一下文昭的看法
蕭茗:有海外中文媒體說,十八大後的洗牌是團派的大勝,江派在政治局常委中贏得多數席位是假風光,你同意這種說法嗎?

文昭:關於「江贏當下,胡贏未來」這種說法我不能接受。我認為是否存在一個胡錦濤主導的「團派」很存疑。所謂政治派系必須有一條紐帶連接,要麼有共同的政治思想和理念、要麼有一條現實的利益紐帶。但在所謂的「團派」中這兩樣東西我們找不到,不能簡單因為這些人都在共青團裡工作過,就把他們歸屬為一派。我認為在中共政治局以上的高層我們可以謹慎地使用派系的概念,比如說某人是江派,是因為他是江澤民一手提拔起來,要進入權力核心層必須在一些重大問題上和江澤民一致、並且做了讓江澤民滿意的事。但是在省和省以下的官員中還不能簡單使用這樣的概念,因為這些地方官員大多數是左右逢源的,為了自己的仕途需要和中央各衙門都搞好關係,很少有專抱某一根大腿的。說現在與江澤民有關聯的幾位常委是假風光也過於簡單,因為中共常委的分工尚未確定,那幾個常委工作職守沒定,當然露面的機會就少。王岐山比較搶鏡頭是因為他還兼著國務院副總理,去美國談判需要他。中共的權力結構還是金字塔形,重大問題還是在常委會決策,誰只要占一個名額就有一票;其他人就算是真風光,他也是在外圍一層。所以我認為對中共還是要有連貫一致的看法,不能因為有些人在輿論上活躍一點,就認為中共發生了什麼了不得的變化。

蕭茗:最後來聽一下傑森博士的看法。

蕭茗:現在有人認為所謂「團派新生代集體上位」了,等十九大上五個老齡常委退休了,團派新生代全面掌權,中國的變革就會發生了,你認為這種期望靠譜嗎?

蕭茗(結語):2012年落下了帷幕、人們迎來了2013年,可是紛繁和雜亂仍然是時下中國政治的主題:既有新領導人的強勢亮相,也有卸任元老的強勢回歸;既有所謂新生代的咄咄逼人,也有老人干政的頑強存在。不管黑箱當中各種勢力如何相互拉扯和糾纏,有一點是肯定的,他們都沒有意願打破這個黑箱,把一切攤在陽光之下。社會公正和政治清明,對進入2013年的中國來說,仍然是一個不知何時能實現的目標。謝謝收看這一期的《世事關心》,下期再見。

=======

Li Xiaopeng’s Promotion and the Dynamics of CCP Officialdom

Narrator: The person in these photos is Li Xiaopeng, the eldest son of former Chinese Communist Party leader Li Peng. He is one of the most socially visible “princelings", who are the offspring of the Chinese Communist Party’s leaders. Because Li Peng had long been working in the power industry, his son Li Xiaopeng and daughter Li Xiaolin both chose to study electric power engineering in university. After graduation, both started working in China’s power industry.

Narrator: In 1991, Li Xiaopeng joined Huaneng International Power Development Corporation, launching his career in both politics and business. In 1999, Li Xiaopeng took over as the president of Huaneng Group, as well as the chairman of the boards of Huaneng International Power Development Corporation and Huaneng Power International. One year later, in 2000, Huaneng Power International successfully acquired the New York-listed Shandong Huaneng, becoming Asia’s largest independent power company. Li Xiaopeng was also dubbed the “Asian King of Electricity". In 2002, after China’s electric power system went through a reform, Li Xiaopeng became the president of the newly formed large state-owned China Huaneng Group. Under Li Xiaopeng, China Huaneng Group became the biggest among the five largest state-owned electric utility enterprises in China. When he just turned 40, Li Xiaopeng became one of the entrepreneur-officials at the vice-ministerial level. Both Li Xiaopeng and the then-governor of Liaoning Province, Bo Xilai, were high-profile future political stars among all the princelings. However, Li Xiaopeng was 10 years younger than Bo. When Bo Xilai was Li Xiaopeng’s age, he was merely the vice mayor and acting mayor of Dalian City.

Narrator: In 2008, Li Xiaopeng suddenly abandoned his business career to enter politics. He became the vice governor of Shanxi Province, ranking second among the seven vice governors. However, the early stages of Li Xiaopeng’s career in officialdom were clearly not as smooth as his business career. He remained a vice governor for the next four years, without being promoted to the position of governor. In November 2012, at the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, he received the least votes among all the members and alternate members of the Central Committee. It is widely believed that the notoriety of his father Li Peng due to his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and the criticism regarding his family’s monopoly of China’s power industry have resulted in Li Xiaopeng receiving a short shrift in politics. Just as some overseas media were speculating on Li Xiaopeng’s future political career, on December 19, 2012, the Chinese Communist Party suddenly appointed Li Xiaopeng as acting governor of Shanxi Province. During the local government officials’ personnel changes after the 18th National Congress, Li Xiaopeng wasn’t seen as being liked by anyone. However, he suddenly scored a big upset and was promoted. This has drawn people’s attention both within and outside China. People began wondering who was in charge of the ups and downs of the Chinese Communist Party’s officialdom.

Simone Gao: After the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, the Party’s new general secretary Xi Jinping has shown an aggressive style, since taking office a month ago. Domestically, he removed a number of corrupt officials and made a series of provisions in succession to constrain the Party’s senior cadres and the senior military leaders. Internationally, he has exhibited aggressive behaviors when disputing with China’s neighbors on territorial sovereignty issues. These seem to show that Xi Jinping has quickly been taking charge of the overall situation. However, just as some people were rejoicing in the so-called “Xi-Li New Politics”, Li Xiaopeng’s promotion and some other issues cast a shadow over the so-called “New Politics”. Then, what is the situation of the Chinese Communist Party’s officialdom? In reality, what impact will this have? In this episode of Zooming In, we will explore these issues.

Narrator: During the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress held in November 2012, the former general secretary Hu Jintao unexpectedly withdrew from the post of chairman of the Central Military Commission. He became the highest-ranking CCP official to have a “naked retreat” during the transfer of power among the top leaders. The meaning of Hu’s “naked retreat" was a hotly debated topic in the media for a while. The direction of overseas Chinese media was reflected in Hong Kong Economic Times’ article titled Hu Jintao’s “Naked Retreat" to End the Elders’ Intervention in Politics and by Apple Daily’s commentary titled A Complete Retreat and the First of its Kind, Prevention of Political Scourges of the Elders – Hu Jintao “Slapped" Jiang Zemin. The overseas Chinese media generally believed that Hu’s “naked retreat” was certainly conducive to eliminating the CCP’s gerontocracy tradition. Some media even used “sacrificing his life to bomb a bunker" to imply that Hu’s naked retreat was to “die together” with Jiang Zemin, and that it has blocked the way for the outgoing Party leaders to continue their manipulation with the CCP’s personnel arrangement and major policies.

Narrator: However, as time goes on, the so-called view point of “the naked retreat preventing the elders’ political intervention" is being increasingly called into question. On November 23, Radio Free Asia published a commentary written by Hu Shaojiang. It was titled Hu Jintao’s Naked Retreat Did Not Terminate the Tradition of Elders’ Interference in Politics. On December 11, Deutsche Welle published Gao Yu’s commentary titled Hu Jintao’s Naked Retreat Still Remains a Mystery, which clearly pointed out that although Hu Jintao’s “naked retreat” had won him the reputation of “having a sharp sense of integrity”, it failed to prevent the Party elders from interfering in political affairs. Commentator Heng He has also pointed out in his article that Hu’s naked retreat has no political legacy in reality.

Narrator: Li Xiaopeng’s sudden promotion has once again revealed the issue of Party elders interfering in politics. Radio France Internationale reported on December 19 that Li Xiaopeng’s promotion was “propelled by his father’s background”. This article also cited some rumors in Beijing that the former head of the Organization Department of the Central Committee, Li Yuanchao, was removed from the Standing Committee shortlist by Li Peng. The reason for this is that Li Xiaopeng’s promotion was ignored by Li Yuanchao, which caused Li Peng to be dissatisfied with him. The oust of Li Yuanchao and Li Xiaopeng’s promotion seem to show the world that whether it was before or after the CCP’s 18th National Congress, on the issue of personnel arrangements, the Party elders have an influence which cannot be ignored.

Simone Gao: Does Li Xiaopeng’s promotion prove the existence of the Party elder’s interference? Let’s hear NTD TV senior strategist Wen Zhao’s opinion.

Simone Gao: In the episode of Zooming In, right after CCP’s 18th Congress, you rejected the idea that Hu Jintao’s “naked withdrawal” would put a stop to China’s tradition of retired senior leaders interfering with politics. Now that Li Xiaopeng has been promoted, do you think his promotion is evidence of senior leaders’ influence on current political affairs?

Wenzhao: We should approach this topic from a few angles. Li Xiaopeng was stuck in the position of Vice Shanxi Governor for four long years without any promotion, which means that he was not looked upon favorably by the Hu Jintao/Wen Jiabao government. Secondly, judging from the poor vote he received from Central Committee Members and backup Central Committee Members, he did not receive wide support from these two circles. Secondly, he fared relatively smoothly thanks to his father, Li Peng’s intervention; his position as Shanxi’s provincial governor was also due to his family’s support — which was a known fact. That is to say, as far as his resume goes, he has had little support except from his father. Thirdly, as the main culprit of the Tiananmen Massacre, Li Peng needs to have his offspring present in court to protect his family. If Li Xiaopeng is slighted by fellow politicians, Li Peng will become nervous and stake everything to guarantee his son’s ascension to power. For a retired Party leader to intervene in politics constitutes “senior’s intervention in Party politics.” It is worth noticing that when Li Xiaopeng was isolated, Li Peng’s view still overpowered that of the majority of the Party officials. This situation is evidence of China’s political ecology where retired seniors and their prestigious families can still maneuver enormous powers and resources

Simone Gao: Xi Jinping has been cultivating a deliberate powerful profile since his ascent into power, which is a marked difference from Hu Jintao who was once compared to an obedient new bride. Do you think Ji Xinping’s rule will also be overshadowed by retired leaders’ maneuverings?

WenZhao: We cannot simply presume that Xi Jinping would be under as much influence from the retirees as was his predecessor — after all, the CCP political regime assigns most power to the incumbent who has the rightful capacity to assemble his own team and control the big picture. But, we have been addressing political arrangements within the context of intra-CCP politics. Once someone wants to step outside this confine and lead the CCP towards democracy and more openness one will for sure encounter obstacles from the system. The senior leaders’ intervention is just one instance. Seniors tend to intervene during what’s thought to be critical moments, not during the usual times. Due to the rigidity of its mentality, the CCP’s political culture tends to puts conventional Party lines and schools of thoughts on a pedestal, which then becomes the springboard for the senior retirees’ intervention. Backed by old ideological traditions, senior leaders can assume the position of political elders and talk down the younger generation of leaders who are at a disadvantage by lacking relevant political authority. Of course the seniors are often in alliance with the princelings — together they form a mature political mode of operation in China. Although a new leader might seem powerful, it won’t be an easy game for him to turn this table.

Narrator: On December 4, the CCP’s mouthpiece Xinhua Net reported that the new CCP Central Committee Political Bureau examined and adopted “eight provisions to improve work style”. In these eight provisions, besides imposing detailed restrictions on the CCP senior cadres’ travels, inspections, meetings and other activities, there was a special mention of one thing: “Besides the unitary arrangements made by the central government, individuals are prohibited from publishing their writings or speeches, sending congratulatory letters or messages, or writing inscriptions. This provision has been interpreted by some overseas media as aiming at the former party leader Jiang Zemin, since Jiang had been very enthusiastic about writing various inscriptions. After leaving office, Jiang has been tirelessly using this method to show he still exists and to demonstrate his influence. The eight new provisions proposed by Xi Jinping demand the CCP Politburo members take the lead in complying. Some overseas Chinese media had optimistically interpreted these provisions as preventing the elders’ interference in political affairs in an institutionalized manner. Some even thought that they meant to go so far as “ban” Jiang Zemin.

Narrator: However, merely two weeks after the “eight new provisions” were released, the anticipation of the so-called “banning Jiang Zemin” was confounded. On December 22, a launch ceremony of a bamboo-themed poetry collection was held at the Great Hall of the People. Jiang Zemin wrote a preface for the book, and one of Jiang’s poems were also included in this collection. Not only was this piece of news reported by the CCP’s official mouthpiece Xinhua Net and other media outlets, Politburo members Liu Yandong and the new head of the Central Propaganda Department, Liu Qibao also attended and spoke at the launch event and donated copies of the book to some government departments.
http://news.cn.yahoo.com/ypen/20121222/1506167.html
Narrator: Two days later, on December 24, a documentary album titled Huang Ju, which is about the life of its namesake former Politburo Standing Committee member Huang Ju who died due to illness in 2006, was published and released. Jiang Zemin had inscribed the album’s title, and Central Committee Politburo member and Shanghai municipal Party secretary Han Zheng attended the publishing forum. Jiang Zemin employed the methods of inscribing the album’s title, writing a preface for the album and involving senior officials to sing its praises, in order to show that his influence remains the same as when he was in power. Another bizarre appointment also attracted people’s attention. On December 20, Shanghai vice mayor Yang Xiong was promoted to Shanghai’s municipal Party committee’s deputy secretary. According to conventions within the Communist Party system, this implies that Yang Xiong will probably become a future mayor of Shanghai. The strangeness of his appointment is that not only has Yang Xiong failed to be elected as a Shanghai Municipal Committee member, but he also failed to be elected as a Central Committee alternate member at the CCP’s 18th National Congress. However now he’s even been promoted in Shanghai, a major municipality directly controlled by the central government. Taking into account that Yang Xiong has a close relationship with Jiang Zemin, the latter’s possible role in Yang’s appointment has aroused suspicion. When Jiang Zemin’s eldest son, Jiang Mianheng, was the chairman of Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd, Yang Xiong served as that company’s president.
Regarding the Party’s dynamics reflected by Jiang Zemin’s recent activities, let’s hear Jason’s analysis.

Simone Gao: Xi Jinping has instructed the Central Committee Politburo members to take the lead in complying with the “new eight provisions” that he proposed. However, although Jiang Zemin is not a current Politburo member, as a retired former Party leader, he has taken the lead in violating these provisions. He wrote inscriptions and prefaces for books, and some senior officials even sang his praises. It seems that while Xi Jinping is making his provisions, Jiang Zemin is doing whatever he likes; and nobody is showing respect for each other. In your opinion, which kind of structure does this reflect, regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s top officialdom?
Jason: This is a very delicate state of the Chinese Communist Party’s officialdom. The Communist Party is not elected, so its power doesn’t come from the people. Its power comes from the subtle power struggles and their so-called influence. We have always thought from the outset that, relatively speaking, the Party core’s power is waning with each generation of the top leadership. Although Xi Jinping wanted to exhibit a strong stance by fighting corruption, after taking office, and even setting out the eight recommendations, Jiang Zemin had to demonstrate that they cannot constrain him. Jiang must do this. If he still wants the Party subordinates to execute some policies established by him in the past, such as the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and similar policies, he must exhibit at all times his unique authority. After Xi Jinping put forward the “eight new provisions", the best way for Jiang to show his authority is to violate the “eight provisions". He wrote prefaces and inscriptions, and even composed and published a poem. Nearly all of these violated all the recommendations made by Xi Jinping. However, under such circumstances, I think that Xi Jinping cannot do anything about him. He’s done it. That’s it. In doing this Jiang Zemin has demonstrated that he is an independent entity entirely beyond Xi Jinping’s control. This has affected Xi Jinping’s political influence. At the same time, it also makes him seem to exhibit some political influence. This is what Jiang Zemin must do. The nature of the “bloody gang” (i.e. the CCP fraction that persecuted and killed numerous Chinese citizens) throughout history determines that he must do this. This is no surprise.

Simone Gao: If this is the case, in your opinion, does Jiang Zemin hold real power or is he just making a show? And, if Xi Jinping has no way to prevent him from performing this show, in fact does Jiang Zemin have any authority?

Jason: Jiang Zemin’s de facto power should be minimal. From the personnel arrangements in the provinces and within the Central Military Commission, we can see that he has no de facto power. At the CCP’s top level, he should have no real power, either. However, he still hopes to show that he has influence through these political stunts. So currently no one dares propose the vindication of Falun Gong and similar things, or directly challenge Jiang’s policies. He just wants to use the “empty fort strategy” to buy time. Perhaps in the process, his son will die. His son has cancer. Jiang may also die. After his generation, everything may become bygone. His main purpose is to buy time.
Sequence 3
Simone Gao: After the new CCP Standing Committee Politburo members were unveiled at the 18th National Congress, the personnel changes soon started to take place in the Central Organization Department, the Central Propaganda Department and the Central Politics and Law Committee, which are all Party organs directly controlled by the central government. In December 2012, the personnel changes expanded to the people in charge at the provincial level. Some new phenomena emerged during these provincial official personnel changes, and they have attracted people’s attention. Let us first listen to Sherry’s comprehensive presentation.

Sherry Chang: Thank you, Simone. After the CCP’s 18th National Congress, the redeployment of major cadres at the provincial level and central government-controlled municipal level is being intensively carried out. Some notable cases include the former Guangdong Party secretary Wang Yang being transferred to Beijing, and he is expected to become a State Council vice-premier; the former Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Party secretary Hu Chunhua was transferred to Guangdong to succeed Wang Yang; the former Shanxi provincial governor Wang Jun was transferred to Inner Mongolia to succeed Hu Chunhua; and Li Xiaopeng was promoted to become the acting governor of Shanxi Province.

Sherry Chang: In addition, the Fujian Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director Sun Chunlan replaced Zhang Gaoli as the secretary of the Tianjin Municipal Party Committee. The former Director of the central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Peng Qinghua, was newly appointed the Guangxi provincial Party committee secretary. His predecessor, the former Guangxi Provincial Party committee secretary Guo Shengkun will receive another appointment. Guo is likely to take over Meng Jianzhu’s old post as the Minister of Public Security.

Sherry Chang: In this series of position shuffling, a controversial and much-discussed phenomenon is that officials with a background connected to the Communist Youth League have received many high-ranking posts within the central government and local governments. For instance, the former CCP Central Committee Political Bureau Deputy Secretary-General You Quan was appointed secretary of the Fujian Provincial Party Committee; Bayin Chaolu was appointed the acting governor of Jilin Province; and Hu Chunhua, Sun Zhengcai, Wang Huning, Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang are all among the members of the Politburo. Regarding these appointments, the overseas Chinese website Duowei News commented that “Jiang has won for the moment; Hu will win in the future”. The website believes that after this round of reshuffling, “the new generation of Youth League faction took high-ranking posts", and that after five years, five incumbent members of the Standing Committee Politburo would retire, and that would be the time for the so-called Youth League faction to assume full power. However, whether these Youth League faction younger officials would bring about reforms once they are in power, some people have had doubts. Back in early November 2012, the New York Times article China’s Reformists Pin Their Hope on Wang Yang cited a person familiar with the situation as saying, “Wang Yang’s reformist identity has been exaggerated. He has repeatedly evaded people’s expectations for bolder reforms." Xiao Ming.

Simone Gao:Thank you Sherry. What does the post 18th Party Congress government personnel shuffle mean? Let’s hear from Wen Zhao.
Simone Gao: Some overseas Chinese media have observed that the post-18th Party Congress political arrangement marks the triumph of the Youth League faction where Jiang Zemin’s clan, although having won many seats in the standing committee, has actually lost out. Would you agree with this point of view?

Wen Zhao: I cannot totally agree to the saying that, “Jiang has won the here and now but Hu controls the future direction.” I even doubt the so-called “Youth League faction” led by Hu Jintao. A political faction is consolidated by a tie which is either based in common ideological opinions or materialistic interests. We can find neither in the “Youth League” faction. We cannot simply assume that only because these people once worked for the Youth League that they can be grouped into one faction. With caution, the concept of “faction” can be applied to China’s top political echelons. Someone can be said to be from “Jiang’s clan” because he was a Jiang protégé and he has to be consistent with Jiang’s opinion when it comes to key issues. But, as to officials at the provincial or under-provincial level, we cannot make a strong case for “factions” because officials at these levels try to please all sides, endeavoring to cultivate good relationships with all central government entities– few of them would simply rely on one particular political force. It is also over simplistic to assume that the few standing committee members connected to Jiang are having a “false” glory. How to divide their tasks is up for grabs and hence their appearance opportunities are not as frequent. Wang Qishan is high profile because he doubles as the state department vice premier; he was needed when negotiating with the Americans. The CCP’s power structure resembles a pyramid where the top decisions are made at the standing committee level. Whoever owns a seat on the standing committee owns one vote. Those who are thought to be in “real” glory are outsiders to this community. Therefore as far as I am concerned, whoever holds a consistent view on the CCP cannot simply assume that major changes are happening to the system simply because one particular person is more active in the media

Simone Gao:Finally let’s hear Jason’s take on this.
Simone Gao: Now, some people think that the so-called “new generation of Youth League faction” collectively took high-ranking posts. In other words, at the CCP’s 19th National Congress, five aged Standing Committee members will retire. Afterwards, the Youth League faction’s new generation will take full control of the power, and China’s reforms will take place. Do you think that such expectations are likely or not?
Jason: Very unlikely. My feeling is that “CCP’s reform is dead". This is a consensus. This consensus is not the conclusion of one or two people. In fact, all senior Communist Party officials have this understanding. China’s rich are actually powerful, and only the Chinese people close to the power can become rich. We also know that a quarter of the wealthy Chinese have emigrated overseas. Another 50% are ready to emigrate overseas. They know very well that “China’s reform is dead", and there is virtually no possibility of a reform. This is determined by the Chinese Communist Party’s special attributes. It is not because any one person has no intention to reform. We know that Wen Jiabao has been shouting about reforms for a decade. He actually occupied an important position, which was under one person but above all others. In fact, Wen did not do anything. Prior to him, Zhu Rongji was in the same situation. No one can really change the Communist Party’s current institution. A lot of people know that, without any changes, the Party may die after a while, but any reform may cause it to die immediately. This is because it has accumulated too many sins and chronic problems. They cannot be solved through reforms or changes.

Simone Gao: The year 2012 has come to an end, and people are ushering in 2013. However, chaos and messiness remain the theme of China’s current political scene. New leaders are making an aggressive debut. Retired party elders are also making aggressive returns. The aggressiveness of the so-called new generation of cadres and the resilient interference in politics by the elders co-exist. Regardless of how the different factions fight within the black, one thing is certain: none of them is willing to break that black box and expose everything to the light of day. To the China entering 2013, social justice and political transparency still remain goals, whose realization date is still uncertain. Thank you very much for watching this episode of Zooming In. See you next time.

評論