Breaking News – A Warning for the CCP from Premier Wen Jiabao

The BBC World reported that China’s premier Wen Jiabao said China urgently needs to press on with political and economic reforms but added that reforms had to be “gradual and orderly” and were essential for the country’s economy.

“This was the last NPC meeting before a leadership transition begins later this year,” the BBC report continued. “The once-in-a-decade transfer of power will begin in October. Vice-President Xi Jinping is widely expected to take over the party leadership from President Hu Jintao, and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang is tipped to succeed Mr. Wen… He is seen as the people’s champion and is known – in public at least – for his humility, says our correspondent.”

In addition, Xinhua Net.com reported, “Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that China needs not only economic reform but also political structural reform, especially the reform of the leadership system of the Party and the government…”

“Wen warned at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session that historical tragedies like the Cultural Revolution may happen in China again should the country fail to push forward political reform to uproot problems occurring in the society,” Xinhau said.

Time Magazine’s Global Spin added, “The content was similar to that of the past nine times Wen has addressed the media at the end of the NPC, but this time the tone was sharper.

“He warned, for instance, that further delays in political reform increased the risk of Cultural Revolution-type upheavals.

“It was the rhetoric of a man who knows his days in the bully pulpit are numbered… And he expressed hope that the rewards of China’s economic growth could be more evenly spread to poorer regions in the country’s interior, a goal he and President Hu Jintao have advocated since they came to power a decade ago.”

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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7 Responses to Breaking News – A Warning for the CCP from Premier Wen Jiabao

  1. Update to this post:

    This post was motivated by a phone call about a live broadcast of an NPR (National Public Radio) report of Wen Jaibao’s last scheduled briefing before he leaves office for retirement. Since it wasn’t posted on NPR yesterday after the broadcast, I referred to other media sources in the “Breaking News” post that was published March 14.

    The title of the NRP piece was “Chinese Premier Urges Political Reforms.”

    NPR says, “The news conference was his last scheduled briefing before the prim 69-year-old steps down in a year after a decade in office. He said he is “seized by a strong sense of responsibility” to speak out and referred repeatedly to the judgment of history. Corruption, the rich-poor gap and plummeting government credibility that beset China require institutional changes, he said.”

    “To cap his plea,” NPR continued, “he made rare mention of the Cultural Revolution, 10 years of factional battles and radical egalitarianism that spiraled into violence in which millions were persecuted and many reform-minded leaders were jailed, sent into internal exile or left to die.

    “Without successful political reform, it is impossible for us to fully institute economic system reform. The gains we have made in this area may also be lost,” Wen told reporters in the Great Hall of the People. “New problems that have cropped up in China’s society will not be fundamentally resolved and such historical tragedies as the Cultural Revolution may happen again,”

    Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=148564473

    Then, as the US Republican Party wallows in the mud of its own political quagmire of a power struggle between factions within the GOP to find a candidate to run against President Barack Obama, this morning we learn of a similar power struggle within China, but played out on a different stage.

    NPR reported, “In a moment of high political drama, China has removed flamboyant politician Bo Xilai (I wrote about him at http://wp.me/pN4pY-1qt back in October 2010) from his post as party secretary of the major southern city of Chongqing. The sacking comes as Beijing approaches a once-in-a-decade power transition this fall, offering a glimpse of the Machiavellian political struggle behind the scenes…

    “On Wednesday, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao made a thinly veiled attack on Bo during his annual news conference, saying the Chongqing authorities “must seriously reflect on and draw lessons from the Wang Lijun incident.

    “The prime minister also implicitly criticized Bo’s vision for China. Known as the Chongqing model, it involves mass mobilization and a revival of Maoist values. Key elements include singing “red,” or Communist, songs; closing the wealth gap; and attacking corruption and organized crime. A crackdown led to 2,000 arrests and 13 executions but spurred criticism of a disregard for due process or the rule of law.”

    Source: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/15/148654780/china-removes-flamboyant-politician-from-post

  2. merlin says:

    I’m still trying to understand why Xi Jinping visited my small hometown of Muscatine, Iowa (the city most never hear of in the state few can care less about). Was that his way of stating, “I care about the people everyone else doesnt”?

    • I’ve researched Xi Jinping for a future post that will appear in a few weeks. From what I’ve learned, he came to the United States in the 1980s and lived with an American family in that Iowa town. People that have studied his character say he went there to reconnect with that family which befriended him and treated him with respect. It seems that one of his traits is loyalty and he doesn’t forget friends such as these people. His daughter also attends Harvard. It would seem that he may have some positive feelings for the US and its working-class.

      • merlin says:

        That’s why I thought the whole ordeal was strange. Not many political leaders are loyal enough to run to a friend they’ve never seen in 30 years. I’m just waiting to see what major changes (if any) will take place when he goes into office. One thing I’d like to see is an equality on visas. It’s a bit unfair for Americans that already have to pay outrageous airfare costs just to get to Asia.

        So his daughter attends Harvard? Wow. Ivy League. I almost feel sorry for whoever is her boyfriend/husband.

      • Merlin,

        Then again, maybe it’s good PR and a desire to start out with a better image with the United States.

        As for his daughter, depends on who the boyfriend/husband is. What if she marries another Harvard grad from a rich and maybe famous American family or rich and famous in his own right. For example, the Facebook founder has a serious relationship with a Chinese-American woman he met at Harvard.

      • merlin says:

        I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot of effort to change American thought on a communist country. It’s too bad there is not a simple way to explain to people that communist China began with a connection to Russia, but later split off from Russia. Although, I think nowadays most could care less about political affiliations and more about the jobs being outsourced.

        I always think peace is brought about through sharing of culture. Although, the culture today is not a peaceful one. America is full of violence versus the Chinese way to earn money through any means necessary (including selling your mother-in-law, moving in with somebody younger than your kids, and selling fake products laced with lead).

      • Merlin,

        Selling your mother in law!

        That sounds like an interesting concept, which might catch on in the US. :)

        I agree about peace growing through sharing of culture but to work one must be willing to accept most cultural differences, which means those elements one is not comfortable with and I do not believe most Americans (or most of Western culture) are capable of that.

        For example, in America, we accept the concept that everyone is free to believe and practice just about any religious belief but that doesn’t mean we agree with every religious practice. To understand how complex this cultural element of America is, there is this interesting study from the PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life, which is based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid.

        Source: http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

        Another example comes from Adherents.co, which says “In the Americas (especially the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States), there is a large number of people who practice some form of Yoruba diasporan religion, especially forms of Santeria and Vodoun. But it should be noted that many practitioners of Voodoo would name something else, i.e. Catholicism, as their religion. Even those who practice Santeria or Voodoo more often then they practice Catholicism mostly identify themselves as Catholic.”

        Source: http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

        As we can see, there are thousands of religious choices in America while there are only a few legal ones in China (I recall seven) while about 800 million Chinese claim no religious affiliation.

        How many Americans would be willing to accept that and leave China alone when in America religions compete door to door to steal people away from each other?

        Then there is another infamous and vital component of American culture – the religious/political arena, which is a can of snakes where politics and religion mix, which is against the law in China. Tens of millions of Americans cannot stand that, which forms the foundation of some of the harshest criticism of China and was an element of the Opium Wars and why the author of…

        Wrong Book. Sorry! Caught my own mistake.

        The book was “Guns, Sails and Empires” by C. M. Cipolla (an Italian historian that died in 2000), and it was published in 1965. He wrote, “While Buddha came to China on white elephants, Christ was born on cannon balls.” He was referring to the treaty signed after the Opium Wars, which included opening China to Christian missionaries and they could go anywhere in China without restriction and build churches anywhere they wanted.

        Letting Christian missionaries into China did not accomplish much. Today, according to the CIA World Factbook, about 3 to 4% of China’s population are Christians. In fact, The US defeated Japan in World War II and has occupied that country with US troops for more than sixty-six years, yet only 2% of the population are Christians. The West has been more successful in South Korea where 26.3% are Christian – mostly Protestants).

        However, in Taiwan 4.5% of the population is Christian while 93% are Buddhist and Taoist and the US has supported Taiwan for sixty-six years to keep it from being absorbed by China. In Thailand, less than 1% of the population is Christian.

        The very nature of the West, which history shows us, is to force change (the Western way of thought and life) on other cultures and resort to wars if unsuccessful at persuasion.

        After all, if it hadn’t been for American politics, Christian missionaries and Commodore Matthew Perry, Japan would have never been forced to open to world trade and then World War II in the Pacific would have never happened, which means China would have never been invaded by a militant, industrialized Japan and the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek would have ruled China instead of the CCP, and I’m confident that if the Nationalists ruled China today, severe poverty and illiteracy would be equal to that of India today and maybe worse.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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