fulltimestudent -- I still think you ought to write this book

by Hortensia 2 Replies latest social current

  • Hortensia

    Update on the Neil Heywood case in China. Wang Lijun is in jail, Gu Kailai received a commuted death sentence which means life imprisonment, and now it's Bo Xilai's turn to face the music.


    I think this could make a best seller for someone who writes well in English but also understands China well.

  • fulltimestudent


    I agree that a book on the rise and fall of Bo would be interesting, but I'm not sure whether there are any suitable prospective authors.

    A prospective author would need access to the internal records of the CPC, and outside of the party heirarchy, no-one at present is going to get that.

    As a parallel case, it's interesting to note that the former Minister for Railways, (LiuZhijun) and therefore the man that guided the enormous increase in the hi-speed rail network in recent years, was recently sentenced to death for bribery, but with the sentence suspended for two years. I have no idea why a man would get such a sentence.

    And, I'm sure you recall the famous dictum established during Nixon's difficulties, that in order to become President of the USA, a man has to do things that make him unfit to be President.

    Here's a pik of the former high flying Minister during his trial:

    TV grab of Liu Zhijun at his trial for charges of corruption and abuse of power.

    web-reference: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/08/liu-zhijun-sentenced-death-corruption

  • fulltimestudent

    If you want to follow this story in the Chinese press, I'll post some of the references (for the English editions).

    From a more western perspective, Asia Times ran a story by one of their staff writers (Pepe Escobar) in the past few days:


    It gave an outline of the charges against Bo as: Quote: accused of relatively minor charges of accepting bribes of US$3.2 million and embezzling roughly $800,000. Unquote.

    A further quote is:

    The Ferrari vs the Hondas
    Tall, energetic, charismatic, a fluent English speaker (learned when he was still in junior high, before the Cultural Revolution) and a princeling to boot - the prodigal son of Bo Yibo, one of the "Eight Immortals", the group of Mao Zedong's close pals led by Deng Xiaoping, who later opened China to the world - Bo Xilai is the stuff "rise and fall" epics are made of.

    A princeling - as defined by the Hong Kong-based media way back in the 1980s - was one of the hundreds of children of CCP leaders who danced to the mojo of unlimited money, power and privilege. Bo - who inherited all the priceless guanxi woven by his illustrious father - preferred the term "red successor".

    It's absolutely impossible to understand what's happening to Bo without following his complex family interactions with current Chinese President Xi Jinping, former president Hu Jintao and former premier Wen Jiabao. It's like comparing a Ferrari with a trio of Honda Civics.

    Escobar is (of course) writing in western mode. The west claims to have a free press, and Yes! generally only libel laws restrict what can be said (or, not said) - but it's not entirely free. It must, and does have to attract and keep a readership, or else its main source of revenue - advertising - dries up.

    So let's take a look at one of Escobar's expressions. Quote: one of the hundreds of children of CCP leaders who danced to the mojo of unlimited money, power and privilege. unquote

    Go back to the time of Deng's assumption of power, what was China like then? These young people may have had some power, may have had some privilege, but in the words of another official, " We were all poor together."

    China suffered from the perennial problem of third world nations - lack of capital. The US built its pools of capital, during the 19th C - the 'robber baron' era. The children of the robber barons still enjoy in Escobar's words "money, power and privilege." Personally, I see contemporary China as a mirror image of the USA in the 19th C, and most insightful action by Deng, was his bypassing socialism, to allow a private economy in which, "to get rich is glorious."

    That does not mean that Bo did not have a better life than the child of a peasant in the far west of China. But balance that with the knowledge that it is not possible for the entire nation to 'get rich together.'

    Escobar, acknowledges the source of the term, 'princeling,' as the Hongkong based media, back in the 1980's. A HK that was still British and fearful of the future under "Red" China.

    I suggest a far more balanced view of how the CPC leadership lived, can be seen in Sirin Phathanothai's book, "Dragon Pearl." Her father, a Thai politician, sent her to Beijing, under the personal guardianship of Zhou Enlai, to grow up in China, in order for her to serve as a future bridge between China and Thailand. She came to know many of the top people in Beijing personally, and had a terrible time during the Cultural Revolution.

    Of course, the golden rivers of cash that have poured into China since Deng changed emphasis have altered the way that 75% of the population live. Deng, whom Mao called a 'capitalist-roader,' was the man who led those people within the CPC, who believed (as I do) that removing personal incentive results in a poorer society. If China was ever going to get rich, it would be through the age-old method of hard-work. Deng was right.

    But Escobar's colorful language is slanted to a western readership.

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