China’s Aristocratic Class Wields Its Influence to Shape Politics

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Excerpts from:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/w...op/News/World/Countries and Territories/China

    China’s Aristocratic Class Wields Its Influence to Shape Politics

    BEIJING — When Maoists were trying to keep control of China in the 1970s, a powerful general from the south came to the aid of moderates, helping to arrest the radicals and throw them in jail. The bold actions of the general, Ye Jianying, paved the way for the country’s move to a more market-oriented economy, and created a political dynasty that still plays kingmaker, able to influence national policy and protect its sprawling business empire in southern China.

    Over the past year, according to party insiders familiar with the situation, Mr. Ye’s children — the general died in 1986 at age 89 — have helped organize meetings to criticize the country’s current course, influenced top military appointments while also helping block a vocal economic reformer from joining the Politburo’s Standing Committee, the small, powerful group at the top of the party hierarchy, because they felt that he was not attentive to their interests.

    The rise of so-called princelings like the Ye family will reach a capstone this week, when Xi Jinping, himself the son of a Communist Party pioneer, is to be unveiled as China’s top leader at the conclusion of the 18th Party Congress. Mr. Xi is likely to be joined by at least two other princelings on the seven-member Standing Committee.

    Despite rising controversy over their prominent role in government and business........... mark in the established order, playing important roles in businesses, especially state-owned enterprises. Others are heavily involved in finance or lobbying, where personal connections are important.

    “Many countries have powerful families, but in China, they are becoming the dominant force in politics and business,” said Lü Xiaobo, a political science professor at Columbia University. “In this system, they have good bloodlines.” Many of the oldest among them — those now set to take power — share something else: an upbringing during some of China’s most difficult years. Many were children during the Great Leap Forward, when upward of 30 million people died of famine from 1958 to 1962, and teenagers during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, a period many spent as outcasts or in exile after their parents were attacked by Maoist radicals.

    “This is a volatile generation, one that didn’t have a systematic education and often saw the worst side of the Communist revolution,” said a senior party journalist who grew up with some of China’s princelings and asked for anonymity because of pressure from China’s security apparatus. “They’ve learned one thing, and that’s all you can count on is your family.”

    The princelings are distinct from the current top rulers of China, most of whom owe their allegiance to institutions in the Communist Party. Outgoing party general secretary, Hu Jintao, rose up through the Communist Youth League, one of the party’s key bodies. Likewise, the premier, Wen Jiabao, who leaves office next year, is an organization man with few outside sources of power..................

    “Without a Deng to settle questions, you have competition for the top spots,” said an independent Chinese political commentator who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is under police observation during the congress. “We don’t have elections, and we don’t have a system, so they go for the person with the most connections.”

    That was evident five years ago when Mr. Xi was picked to be Mr. Hu’s successor. Initially, the front-runner had been one of Mr. Hu’s protégés, Li Keqiang. But Mr. Xi won a higher-ranking slot, with the help of another princeling, Zeng Qinghong, then vice president and son of a security minister.

    Mr. Xi’s career reflects his status. His father had been a senior party leader for half a century: military commissar, governor, vice premier and pioneer of economic reforms, a background that helped create a network of support for Mr. Xi.

    The elder Mr. Xi arranged a slot for his son in a university during the Cultural Revolution when few were allowed to study, then secured him a job as personal secretary to one of the country’s top military leaders. Later, when Mr. Xi was working in local government and ran afoul of a provincial leader, his family got him transferred to a province run by a friend of his father’s.

    Mr. Li, by contrast, chiefly had his formal party affiliations and the backing of Mr. Hu, but no deeply rooted network of family power. That proved decisive when he had to compete with Mr. Xi for the top slot. (Mr. Li is set to replace Mr. Wen as premier.)

    “The leaders produced by the 18th Party Congress are the first generation that weren’t appointed” by a figure like Deng, said Zheng Yongnian, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore. “It’s the first generation made through political competition.”.

    Princelings are far from a uniform bloc. Many grew up in Beijing’s “big yards” — the sprawling housing compounds of the ministries and Communist Party organizations that defined the capital in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Children of senior leaders studied together, played together and, during the Cultural Revolution, fought each other in Red Guard factions that resembled inner-city gangs.

    Many of those tensions spill over today. Last year, the Ye family helped organize a meeting of princelings whose parents participated in the 1976 arrest of the Gang of Four, the group of Maoists who had dominated politics in the last years of Mao Zedong’s life and threatened to keep control after the dictator’s death. With Mr. Xi’s half-sister taking notes, the Ye family and other princelings met to criticize China’s current direction, saying the Communist Party had become corrupt and distant from the people.

    But the meeting was divided over how far to push political changes. Those close to Hu Deping, the son of Hu Yaobang, the reformist general secretary deposed by Mr. Deng in the 1980s, have been clamoring for a relaxation of the party’s dominance over government and business. Others, including those in the Ye family, reflect their patriarch’s belief in party control and are wary of changes that could undermine their lucrative business ties.

    Those ties are extensive, especially in Guangdong, near Hong Kong, where they ran into partial conflict with the province’s party secretary, Wang Yang, who has preached against corruption and nepotism. The general’s various family members have served as provincial governor, mayor of a special economic zone, head of an influential securities firm, founder of a real-estate firm and chief executive of an industrial and media group. While Mr. Wang, the son of a laborer, did not investigate the Ye family or challenge its status, party insiders say he did not concern himself enough with its interests to satisfy the family. Starting last year, some family members began whispering that Mr. Wang was not politically reliable, according to party officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the information. Partly as a result of this campaign, Mr. Wang is not expected to be on the Standing Committee when it is unveiled Thursday.

    China’s ruling body, however, will be heavily stacked with princelings.

    Yu Zhengsheng, currently the Shanghai party secretary, has a glittering family résumé that includes relatives who served the Qing emperors, the Kuomintang government, and as senior leaders in the People’s Republic. Another expected member, Wang Qishan, is married to the daughter of a powerful leader, Yao Yilin. A third likely member of the Standing Committee, Zhang Dejiang, is the son of an army major general, which some analysts say qualifies him for princeling status, too.

    Mr. Xi’s widespread contacts in the military and bureaucracy may allow him to act more vigorously than Mr. Hu. But some analysts caution that his connections to other princelings could make bold action difficult.

    “There are a certain number of princelings who are benefiting from the system,” said Zhang Lifan, a historian in Beijing and the son of a former minister. “So there are a number of them who don’t want any change.” Advocates of systemic reform like Mr. Zhang look askance at the rise of the princelings. In imperial days, when emperors and their relatives ruled the country, nepotism was prevalent. When the Communist Party took over, idealists hoped that it would guard against that. “But for some reason, we’re now back to nepotism,” Mr. Zhang said. “And the country is ruled by a few families.”

    **********************************


    A neat study of modern Chinese communism which is crony capitalist old school tie family dynastic rule masquerading as Communism.

    Mao is dead and so is Communism, and the present closed high society princeling group is using the cloak of the label of Communism to fool and cheat the citizens of China who find comfort in being egalitarian.

    The situation i China is of the type of lemmings on the loose with the Pied Pipers leading the way!
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Deng’s China

    .................new leaders would do well to master the lessons from Deng Xiaoping, the bold reformer who set China on its path to success after the tumult of the Mao years.

    Deng took power in 1978, when China was in dire poverty. By the time he stepped down 14 years later, over 200 million people had been lifted out of poverty, and the policies he introduced set China on the path to become an economic powerhouse.

    But in recent years China has lost its way. The public has become fed up with rampant corruption, the extravagant lifestyle of party leaders, the lack of full freedom and the inadequate procedures for correcting leadership abuses. Economic growth is slowing down while over a 100 million people still remain below the poverty line.

    China badly needs political and social reform. To Deng, reform was a continuing process, and he would have moved boldly forward. Among the lessons from Deng:

    In introducing bold reforms, experiment first. Deng thought it wise to try new ideas in areas where leaders supported reforms and conditions were favorable. When new programs worked, Deng brought in leaders to observe the successes and sent those who led the experiments around the country to explain how they succeeded. In Guangdong Province — including Shenzhen and other “special economic zones” — businessmen from Hong Kong flowed in to establish new enterprises and set new standards for efficient management. When they worked, lessons were extended elsewhere.

    Support meritocracy. Deng believed only the best students should be asked to join the Communist Party. To reach the higher levels of the party, cadres had to prove themselves at the lower levels. Leaders were retired at a certain age.

    Avoid polarization. In 1978, many officials opposed ending rural communes, even though the system had proven inadequate at feeding the population. Instead of confronting the opponents of change head on by abolishing communes, Deng told local leaders that if peasants were starving farmers should be allowed to adapt. Some villages then permitted farmers to provide for their own families after meeting production targets. Farms flourished. Surplus food was sold on the market. Deng invited journalists to report on the successes and within a year most of the country had chosen to end communes.

    Establish good relations with all major countries. Deng had pleasant discussions with foreign leaders but was honest about differences. He believed the Soviet Union made a grave mistake by making enemies. He was the first leader in Chinese history to go to Japan, where he met the Japanese emperor. He negotiated and signed a treaty of peace and friendship with Japan, promoted people-to-people exchanges, and expanded imports of Japanese movies, TV programs and novels. He completed the normalization of relations with the United States. He made a triumphant visit to America, where he donned a cowboy hat, demonstrating that it was all right for the Chinese to imbibe American culture. In 1989, he welcomed Mikhail Gorbachev to Beijing to show the world that Sino-Soviet relations, broken since 1963, were back on track.

    Deng presided over a far different China than the one the new leaders are inheriting, and it is not likely they will ever match his prestige and authority. He was part of the original generation of Communist revolutionary leaders who fought together, and a close comrade of Mao and Zhou Enlai. In many ways, today’s Communist Party is still working out the complex consequences of the prosperity and power that Deng brought to the country.

    Where the next generations of leaders can draw a lesson is in Deng’s openness to risk and change, in his rejection of xenophobia, in his pragmatic view of the world, and in his support for meritocracy over privilege.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/o...op/News/World/Countries and Territories/China
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Unless the princelings of China are not removed and there is democratic forms to select the best of the Communists available, China will merely be a Princeling Inc and they will do whatever is good for their family fortunes and disguise it as being done to develop China into a modern superpower.

    The zeal and enthusiasm of the Mao era Communists have faded and disappeared. It is now the realm and rule of the rich Communist political families who have little concern for the people, except to ensure that the situation does not become untenable and the peoples' discontent brims to overthrow the tight leash the Communists have on the people.

    Of course to ensure that the people of China are kept amused and do not think of excessive 'democracy' and capitalist mode of existence, crumbs in the form of more money being available to them than in the Maoist time are thrown like crumbs from the table and which satisfies the people and lulls them into complacency of well being.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Chinese talk a lot about the Indian caste system and decry it (and so do we, but the difference is that we understand it and its place in history).

    What is this princeling taking over and getting preferential treatment to higher offices.

    Father to son.

    That is what is the caste system of India.

    And it is the same a the Guilds of UK!

    Only the nomenclature is different.

    Interestingly, India has abandoned the caste system and China is adopting the same, of course, in the usual sleight of hand weasel like way the Communists in China functions and does it damage!
     
  6. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    A biological phenomenon -
    1st generation - survival of the fittest >>> >inbreeding ( nepotism / cronyism > >> degenerating

    But does Mao provide an answer, by constant "criticism and self-criticism", "mobilizing the masses to monitor the bureacrats" and "purge", repeatedly to keep the organization "pure" and "energetic"?? Note: during Mao era, many of them were thrown out of ranks, incl Xi, who spent 7 years in a village, and Bo, who was a worker after getting out of jail. That religious zeal and fervor was gone, and many were scared of "Sturm and Drang".

    Deng was great, as a pragmatist, amid the fatigue after Mao trauma.

    We don't look to any Messiah or strongmen for answers now but expect a systematic approach - democracy, on which India can shed a lot of light

    Property declaration: pros & cons
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Do you really feel that democracy will visit China?

    The Communists and the princelings are miking China dry.

    Who will kill the Golden Goose or the Milch Cow?

    I am sure not the Communists and the Princelings.

    Property declaration can be fudged.

    I don't think that this will rid any country of corruption.

    It has not rid India from corruption by the political class.
     
  8. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    OOOPS, I supposed u'd come up with solutions after u pinpointed those problems.

    Of course I don't believe democracy is a cure-all and there're so many models of "democracy". But it helps when things are operating under the sunlight. Hopefully India has a lot to share with us.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If I had the solutions, then you would have seen my name doing the rounds instead of Xi :)

    True things have changed from the days of Mao, but democracy is not going to come, not only because of Communist Party, it might be too unmanageable for China being a vast country with different regions having their own inspirations to guide them and wanting their 'pound of flesh'.

    Further, too quick a transition will churn up a huge conundrum of aspirations, greed and negative competitiveness.

    Lastly, anyone who has tasted power is hardly the one to give it up!

    A man eater remains a man eater.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  10. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    who wants indian demonocracy? earlier one crore bribe used to raise a storm....now 10,000+++ crores wont even make a difference.RTI activists, whistle blowers will be hunted down mercilessly!!!
     
  11. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    The reason Chinese decry caste system is that it blocks the route for poors to get in the competition. It is inevitable that people from elite family have some advantage over poors in the competition, no matter it is in US or China.

    How many CCP senior officers are coming from elite family? Less than 10%. The officer promotion system in CCP is designed to make sure that everyone will reach the top position through the same route! Each advance step means you have to beat hundredes competitors and most of them have their own supports from upper level even though they don't have a good name! Do you really believe they will simply give in for your family background?

    Father to son? Father can provide help to son, but he has no say in his own son's promotion!

    If you have a look further, you will find that the sons and daughtors of the current CCP leaders are actually blocked out of political circle deliberately.


    Caste system is only abandoned in law, it still has its influence in indians' mind!
    In China, having a good name usually means you will be watched closer by your enemies! Every small error in your career will be amplified since your name bring more attention and every archievement will be minimized since your condition is far better than others. After all, Chinese doesn't respect your name or your blood traditionally!

    王侯将相宁有种乎 is not only a word, it is in every chinese's blood!
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Given the conditions of the migrant workers and those in the poor provinces, one wonders if China has opened up competition for the poor.

    Social and economic exploitation by any name is the same.

    Americans have a nice nomenclature for the rich and elite who ensure that their preserve is protected. They are called 'fat cats'.



    I don't find it unusual that you are not aware of how many of Chinese Communist elite or fat cats are ensuring that their family are in high position and are financially endowed for many generations. China not being an open society, the common workers and peasants are kept in the dark.

    Check what the international media is writing to include how the princelings are going to dominate the political and economic scene. Xi is of course the archetypal worker and peasant of China, right?

    If you have a look further, you will find that the sons and daughtors of the current CCP leaders are actually blocked out of political circle deliberately.




    I presume that there being so many of what you would call 'low caste' ruling the various States and the Govt is an indicator that caste decides high positions.

    The Chinese not only respect the name and blood, but the cower and shiver at these very names. That is why the Communist princelings run China and its economy.


    The nobilities rather have to plant?

    Which China do you live in?
     
  13. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines and India all claim to be democracies. :thumb: But are their grassroots / havenot's other than the "elite" really included in the game? Then u see fat cats Karzari and Aquino and their likes were elected in the 3rd world democracies. Politicians are not held accountable.

    This world is diversified. Let a hundred kinds of flowers bloom!

    Karl Marx is right here
    Furthermore as usual competence of political parties, across borders, has to be measured against a set of KPI - Key Performance Index Countries | Human Development Reports (HDR) | United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as democracy is but the means, NOT the end.
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    The bad conditions of poors is not the result of their family identities but their families' financial support and their own education. The gov can open the door for everyone, but as any other countries, only few can be winnors. At least, in China, no one is rejected because of his skin color or his family name.





    As I pointed out, CCP's system is not a system exclusive only to rich or elites. Even a son of common workers such Hu or Wen can become a national leader. The reason Xi can be the next leader is not he has a good name or father (who died even before his career started), but he proved his ability in competition just as his procedent-HU who was borned in a normal family.

    Comparing to him, what basic position did Rajiv Ganhdi did? What basic position is Rahul ganhdi doing?


    Yes, just as some of my indian colleagues were rejected by the 5 stars hotel because they looks like "low caste"!

    No one was borned to be nobilities! There is another: 皇帝轮流做,明年到我家!

    A China in a real world.
    A China I have been living for decades.
    A China I don't need to read from an international media.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The origin of democracy is in Athens in the 6th century B.C.

    Any democracy in the world similar to that?

    No.

    It is just that each country has its own form of democracy to suit the local condition.

    However, the basis principle remains the same - democracy is a political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power. In modern representative democracy, this formal equality is embodied primarily in the right to vote.

    Yes, the grassroots are involved - they vote in their representatives including the fat cats. The subtle difference is that they are their fat cats and not fat cats foisted by a totalitarian system of which the people and citizens have no say.

    The world is indeed diversified. In a democracy a 100 flowers do bloom. And all flowers do not smell as good as roses. Yet, those that do not smell good can be cut and thrown away.

    Such a luxury is not there is a totalitarian regime where the 'roses' are thrust on the people and ordered to smell and declared as divine!

    True.

    Some people revere him.

    Though it is said that he had afterthoughts.

    Statistics are instruments for self gratification.

    Statistics is dependent on the inputs. Abstract inputs as religious and spiritual satisfaction, fatalist bent of mind that is a solace and such issues are not factored in.

    Life is not a mathematical model!

    Nor is happiness and contentment.

    Living on $2 is horrifying to the western world.

    Yet, it is fine for many in other parts of the world.

    And all this statistics have a benchmark as per western ideas of life.

    In the West, without a car or an airconditioner, life is not complete or enjoyable.

    In many countries of the world, it is not material.

    In a war, as in Vietnam, it required 50 tons per day to support a US soldier.

    And yet a bag of rice and whatever slung over the shoulder on a stick gave the Viet Cong all the energy and will power to fight.

    US lost.

    The Viet Cong won.

    So that is life!
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is correct.

    However, who did not give the education and the economic parity?

    The State i.e. Communist China.

    The Princelings got education and economic backup because their parent or parents were Communist satraps and hence all doors and avenues to prosper was open to them.

    It was not open to those who had no connections!

    When the Chinese Communist sets up the new regime, check how many are Princeling or somehow connected to the powers that be, including the sychophants.

    Colour?

    Ask that half Chinese half Negro girl how she was treated at the beauty contest.

    Chinese are very colour conscious!


    BO was simply caught out in the internal fights in the Communist Party grappling for power. That is all.

    Deng brought in capitalism and that opened up the avenues for the Communist satraps to dive in and make a quick buck and become fat cats. Wen and Hu were before that times when talent for communist way of life was still recognised.

    Xi has not done anything really remarkable.


    True.

    But where is he?

    An anointed PM of India because of birth?

    No chance.

    He is daily under fire!


    Really?

    That is news.

    In a 5 Star they are only concerned about the weight of your wallet!

    Your Indian colleagues?

    You have any beyond your figment of imagination like "I have many Uighur friends"?

    In my school, you would be labelled as a 'gob gasser'.



    The Chinese love statistics and homilies.

    Both are false and are mere crutches when the debate goes against the thought being pandered.

    Go tell that to the Marines, as the British would say!

    You are making a mistake.

    This is not the Jokes thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012

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