Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New CCP Poliburo Standing C'tee Emerges

New Politburo Standing c'tee:  Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli. No "reformers"

 Xinhua reports that Xi Jinping has taken control of the military commission.

The composition of new standing committee of the Chinese politburo that has just emerged this morning reflects the disappointing "stay the course" theme of outgoing Party General Secretary's Work Report at the opening of the 18th Congress.  There are no members among them identifying as in the kaiming (enlightened) faction represented by pro-Western reformers such as the leader of Guangdong Wang Yang.  It is hard to imagine that this groups will pay little more than lip service to addressing official corruption and to the pressing need to stimulate domestic demand to reduce difference between rich and poor.  Strong measures under strong charismatic leaders are needed to renew and refocus the Party to regain popular support.  This bland and largely undistinguished group appears to be the harbinger of a Brezhnev-like era in China with no meaningful reform of political and legal institutions or the winding down of the police state security apparatus.  Transferring Wang Qishan off the economic portfolio suggests that therer will be further reorientation of the economy toward  state enterprises and more Party direction of economic development.  Xi immediately displacing Hu Jintao as Chairman of the Central Military Commission further suggests the eclipse of the relatively liberal Youth League faction and a full consolidation of power by Jiang Zemin's Shanghai faction and the taizidang (Princeling faction).  Canadian was hoping for a younger more liberal more open group, but in Communist Party terms what we are getting are a more conservative and less open to the west group of younger leaders.  This does not bode well for China's future in general nor for improved Canada-China relations in specific.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Op-Ed in the Toronto Star "China's Communist rulers disappoint hopes for change"

My Op-Ed in the Toronto Star "China's Communist rulers disappoint hopes for change" - -

"What Chinese people really want is an end to China's police state repression, an end to censorship of political debate and the right to choose their leaders. It would be a win-win situation - and such a democratic, open China would also give Canada a lot less pause over Chinese state investment in Canada."

Friday, November 09, 2012

My Observation on the 18th Party Congress So Far

Xi Jinping is not likely to do for politics what Deng did for economics --- he seems more like a Brezhnev type. Despite recognizing the fact of stagnation and decline, the Party has chosen to pay only lip service to the need to address official corruption, the need to increase domestic demand to address the widening gap between rich and poor, and the need for more political legitimacy by allowing citizen participation and freedom of debate.  No effective measures to address these serious issues are being proposed.

 Any significant legal-political change would probably mean that many CCP leaders would not only lose their jobs, but also face prison for "corruption." They know what happened to the Soviet Union Communist Party under Gorbachev and other Communist Parties under reformers and so do not want to follow that path. 

The Stalinist system in the world only survives now in North Korea, Cuba, Laos and the PRC. In no country that abandoned its Stalinist system is there support for return to that system.

I feel that if Chinese people feel seriously let down by 18th Congress that the political situation in China could become dangerous.  I feel anxious at this prospect.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

CIC Google+ hangout on 18th Party Congress

We're looking forward to our Google+ Hangout with @cburton001, Jeremy Paltiel, Pitman Potter and Lynette Ong tomorow! #CCP18 (starts at noon Ottawa time 08NOV12)