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dead0man
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« Reply #75 on: September 19, 2012, 06:29:42 am »
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Indian, Chinese soldiers face off
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Indian and Chinese soldiers came face to face in eastern Ladhakh in July when the latter tried to transgress into the Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Indian side is not calling it an “incursion”, but an attempt of transgression by the Chinese PLA. The Indian army has brought the matter to the notice of authorities concerned through established mechanism.

According to the army, the incident happened on July 29 when patrolling teams of both countries came face-to face at Chumar Sector in Eastern Ladhakh. From India’s side it was a joint patrolling by the army and the ITBP, while the PLA was on the other side.

“Both patrolling teams came close to each other and had some kind of face off. As per established norms, the ‘Banner drill’ was carried out by both teams to mark their presence in the territory and expressed protest. Immediately, both patrolling sides moved back to their respective positions,” an army official said.
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dead0man
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« Reply #76 on: September 19, 2012, 06:32:45 am »
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Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan
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Jin Baisong from the Chinese Academy of International Trade – a branch of the commerce ministry – said China should use its power as Japan’s biggest creditor with $230bn (£141bn) of bonds to “impose sanctions on Japan in the most effective manner” and bring Tokyo’s festering fiscal crisis to a head.

Writing in the Communist Party newspaper China Daily, Mr Jin called on China to invoke the “security exception” rule under the World Trade Organisation to punish Japan, rejecting arguments that a trade war between the two Pacific giants would be mutually destructive.

Separately, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported that China is drawing up plans to cut off Japan’s supplies of rare earth metals needed for hi-tech industry.

The warnings came as anti-Japanese protests spread to 85 cities across China, forcing Japanese companies to shutter factories and suspend operations.

<snip>
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« Reply #77 on: September 19, 2012, 09:04:41 am »
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So Xi hasn't been killed or sidelined...

Is this only another proof of Chian regime's lack of transparency ?
Or was this an attempt to counter-attack from conservatives/maoists after Bo Xilai's fall ?

I mus say that, while Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao were said to be "reformers", they were disappointing (especially Hu).
This time round, I feel that there may be some reformist changes and not only from the PM (it's almost a tradition now to have a "reformist-liberal" PM: Zhao Ziyang, Zhu Rongji, Wen Jiabao, Li Keqiang probably), but also from the Nr.1.

And with the end of Zhou Yongkang and the likely promoting of Wang Yang, Wang Qishan and Meng Jianzhu (a more moderate security man), maybe it's time to be mildly optimistic about Chian politics.
The problem seems to lie in the army, currently...
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dead0man
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« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2012, 11:43:20 pm »
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China warns Philippines against shooting down drones
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China on Thursday warned the Philippines against taking any military action against its drones deployed to monitor the disputed islands in the resource-rich South China Sea.

Reacting to remarks by a spokesman of the Philippine Department of National Defence (DND) warning that Chinese drones may be shot at if they enter airspace of Huangyan island called by Manila as Scarborough Shoal, Chinese defence ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun said "China is opposed to any military provocation in the South China Sea."

Yang defended China using drones to monitor disputed islands saying that move is "justified and legal,", state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China has indisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Island, the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, it said.

"Therefore, Chinese aircraft flying in the airspace in question is justified and legal," he said.

<snip>
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« Reply #79 on: September 28, 2012, 08:36:07 pm »
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Two big pieces of news:

Bo Xilai has been stripped of Party membership and a criminal investigation into abuses of power, bribery, and being a playboy (which is illegal for civil servants). The charges go back to his time not only as Chongqing Party Secretary but far before that, as Minister of Commerce and Mayor of Dalian. It's an open admission that the Party itself has been condoning corruption among its top ranks.

Also the Politburo has decided to start the 18th Party Congress on November 8. It's expected that Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will become General Secretary and Prime Minister, and that the military and Politburo will experience high turnover. Everything else is still up for speculation, though presumably Bo supporters won't be going anywhere.
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« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2012, 08:45:13 pm »
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So Xi hasn't been killed or sidelined...

Is this only another proof of Chian regime's lack of transparency ?
Or was this an attempt to counter-attack from conservatives/maoists after Bo Xilai's fall ?

I mus say that, while Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao were said to be "reformers", they were disappointing (especially Hu).
This time round, I feel that there may be some reformist changes and not only from the PM (it's almost a tradition now to have a "reformist-liberal" PM: Zhao Ziyang, Zhu Rongji, Wen Jiabao, Li Keqiang probably), but also from the Nr.1.

And with the end of Zhou Yongkang and the likely promoting of Wang Yang, Wang Qishan and Meng Jianzhu (a more moderate security man), maybe it's time to be mildly optimistic about Chian politics.
The problem seems to lie in the army, currently...

I continue to hold out hope that the CCP will decide that political reform is in its interest. The Arab Spring has shown that forcible revolution from below is unpredictable and can arise at any time, and that ideologically vacuous authoritarian regimes cannot hold effective power in the face of such a sustained uprising. At least, without destroying the country in the process, and even the PLA is not likely to accept such an outcome. On the other hand, the CCP can look at democratic transitions in Spain, Latin America, the former communist bloc, and even Taiwan as examples where top-led political reform led to positive outcomes for the incumbents. They were still politically privileged after the transitions and in many cases led majority parties and even ruled the country.

In foreign relations, the relation between the US and China will be the most important of the next 50 years. In the worst case scenario, world war or a repeat of the 20th century in Asia. In the best case scenario, the two countries learn to accomodate and cooperate with one another. The relationship will be much easier to manage if China becomes democratic. Currently, ideological considerations prevent the US from ceding power in the western Pacific to China, as it views China's authoritarian regime as a potential threat. A democratic China that embraced liberal values would be more like Japan or South Korea. It would mean the US would probably give China more breathing space in the western Pacific. In that sense, it would be worth more than 10 aircraft carriers...
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« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2012, 09:23:54 pm »
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The only big question now is how many members on the standing committee. If seven, the most likely lineup would be Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Wang Qishan, Li Yuanchao, Zhang Dejiang, Liu Yunshan and Wang Yang. Chances of a nine-member committee seem low. Wang Yang may be replaced by Zhang Gaoli.

Of the eight mentioned above, Li Keqiang, Li Yuanchao, Liu Yuanshan and Wang Yang are followers of Hu from his Communist Youth League days. Zhang Dejiang and Zhang Gaoli are followers of Jiang Zemin. Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan are nominally pro-Jiang, but are politically versatile "princelings".


People on this forum should know the CPC has tried to establish "intra-party democracy" for decades. Ever since they were almost pounded to oblivion during the Mao days, the elite have always been afraid of charismatic, totalitarian rule. Intra-party democracy - including secret ballot voting and increased influence of local delegations - is intended to maintain a balance among the elite and to demand compromise.

With that said, such compromise means a charismatic leader, liberal or otherwise, will get shot down very quickly. Even if he makes it to the top, he will find himself in the struggle between the centre and the regional party bosses. It is that struggle which is becoming the big deal in Chinese politics, as a self-perpetuating elite tries to keep the rabble down (particularly when it comes to foreign relations).
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« Reply #82 on: October 04, 2012, 05:39:44 pm »
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What I can't understand in these speculations, now widely spread, is that who will be in charge of Security matters.
Or they don't want a military or police guy in the Standing Committee ? Weird.
Or Xi will be in charge himself ? Or Liu Yunshan ?
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« Reply #83 on: October 04, 2012, 11:19:29 pm »
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What I can't understand in these speculations, now widely spread, is that who will be in charge of Security matters.

That's the burning question, isn't it? Nobody can even speculate because the answer's in flux.
  • Jiang Zemin has had a voice in public safety - with his protégé Zhou Yongkang - and in the military. China's Central Military Commission is, in fact, still stacked with mostly Jiang appointees. Many of them are retiring this year, but they have lasted long enough to force the fourth generation's hand during its reign. Could they last longer?
  • Hu Jintao is still trying to establish military support before he gives up his title as head of the Military Commission. Whether this means he delays passing army leadership to Xi Jinping remains to be seen. If rumours of Zhang Dejiang being appointed public safety czar is true, Hu has to do even more sleights of hand behind the scenes.
  • Xi Jinping, though he's a compromise candidate, has good relations with the military. The problem is he takes the throne as Jiang and Hu continue to battle for the military. Once Xi becomes head of the military, he needs to figure out who to appoint as to not upset either wing of the Standing Committee.
  • Let's not forget the generals themselves. Their education has made them believe China is constantly under threat from the myriad of nations on China's borders. Some of them adhere to the aggressive rhetoric of Mao's era. Few want to concede their influence in the leadership.

There are also party bosses in the provinces and the cities, who have their own attitudes when it comes to domestic safety. A good performance brings them closer to the top, even if there runs the risk of a PR disaster.
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« Reply #84 on: October 13, 2012, 05:15:32 pm »
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This thread could be a lot more interesting if we had some idea of whether Xi Jinping is a Mikhael Gorbachev-in waiting. 
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« Reply #85 on: October 13, 2012, 10:05:20 pm »
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This thread could be a lot more interesting if we had some idea of whether Xi Jinping is a Mikhael Gorbachev-in waiting. 

Mikhael Gorbachev? Gimme a break. Chiang Ching-kuo or Lee Kwan Yew? Maybe.
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« Reply #86 on: November 14, 2012, 11:04:06 pm »
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The seven members of the new Politburo Standing Committee have just emerged and Xi Jinping is  speaking. He speaks in plain Chinese avoiding the staid and wooden language of Hu Jintao. He pays necessary lip service to Party talking points but is like night and day compared to the past two General Secretaries. Hopefully he'll also avoid the cringe-inducing antics of Jiang Zemin. The other members are:

Li Keqiang
Zhang Dejiang
Yu Zhengsheng
Liu Yunshan
Wang Qishan
Zhang Gaoli

Seems like a list which ruffles as few feathers as possible and which satisfies both major factions.
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« Reply #87 on: November 14, 2012, 11:09:44 pm »
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Wang Yang isn't there? All the press reports are saying the progressive reformist faction got crushed by the dead hand of Jiang. China may really need an Arab-Spring like event to get political change.
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« Reply #88 on: November 14, 2012, 11:16:38 pm »
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I don't think even Wang Yang desires real political change. At most he would support a Singapore-like regime.

It's especially noteworthy that Zhang Dejiang (who studied economics at Kim Il Sung University in North Korea Roll Eyes) is third (!!) on the Standing Committee.

Looks like Jiang had his way as much as he could.
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« Reply #89 on: November 14, 2012, 11:42:53 pm »
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A fantastically staid new generation. Signs, perhaps, of the party elites wanting to create as much consensus as possible at the highest level. It's surprising how little influence Hu ended up wielding; so much that one may think he consented to this. Xi has also been appointed as the leader of the Party Military Commission.

Liu Yunshan will maintain China's censorship infrastructure, and probably will reflect a belief that domestic unrest, unable to be quelled within the following five years, needs to be hidden. Zhang Gaoli should be the ranking vice-premier, Wang Qishan in charge of party discipline and Yu Zhengsheng head of the Political Consultative Conference. Li Keqiang ought to be premier, but the no.2 position has usually been head of the People's Congress and all. I suppose Zhang Dejiang being premier is not entirely out of the question, if that means Xi Jinping was decided to take a more prominent role in public media.

We knew Hu's policies of indigenous innovation and heavy investments in modernization will continue, but members of this group have a strong interest on coercing local party bosses and encouraging foreign investment/trade. You could say this is the Chinese liberals' most despised outcome, or you could say all five new members will retire at the next congress - and maybe Hu is focusing on that battle.
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« Reply #90 on: November 15, 2012, 06:22:36 pm »
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What is also surprising is that, with only 7 members and all with the same age and similar careers, we don't have any clue on who is supposed to be part of the "next generation" of leaders.
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« Reply #91 on: November 15, 2012, 08:26:23 pm »
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What is also surprising is that, with only 7 members and all with the same age and similar careers, we don't have any clue on who is supposed to be part of the "next generation" of leaders.

Not certain, but there may be a new age limit of 67 years for Politburo Standing Committee members. This means in 2017, all but Xi and Li would be required to step aside. Hopefully by then Jiang or his ghost won't be able to stack the new Politburo with his cronies again.

There's speculation that current Inner Mongolia Party Chief and Hu Jintao protege (no relation) Hu Chunhua would be in a good position to be the sixth PRC leader. We've just witnessed the second non-violent transfer of power in China in the past century. Since Deng Xiaoping decided Hu Jintao would succeed Jiang Zemin, this is also the first transfer of power without Deng Xiaoping's involvement.
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« Reply #92 on: November 15, 2012, 08:32:04 pm »
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A violent transfer of power might be preferable, if it gets rid if the CCP
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« Reply #93 on: November 15, 2012, 10:40:26 pm »
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A violent transfer of power might be preferable, if it gets rid if the CCP
Not if it brings back the 1910s, 20s, and 30s. Or the 60s.
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« Reply #94 on: November 16, 2012, 05:08:04 pm »
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What is also surprising is that, with only 7 members and all with the same age and similar careers, we don't have any clue on who is supposed to be part of the "next generation" of leaders.

Not certain, but there may be a new age limit of 67 years for Politburo Standing Committee members. This means in 2017, all but Xi and Li would be required to step aside. Hopefully by then Jiang or his ghost won't be able to stack the new Politburo with his cronies again.

There's speculation that current Inner Mongolia Party Chief and Hu Jintao protege (no relation) Hu Chunhua would be in a good position to be the sixth PRC leader. We've just witnessed the second non-violent transfer of power in China in the past century. Since Deng Xiaoping decided Hu Jintao would succeed Jiang Zemin, this is also the first transfer of power without Deng Xiaoping's involvement.

Yeah, Hu Chunhua, for something like 2 years now. Praise all the stupid Westerners with their smartphones for this Tongue After all, the rare earths have made this region richer and richer...

You're right, we'll see in 2017 who is scheduled to take the lead in 2022.

OMG, I've just realized that our French presidential election is now on the same years as "transitions of power" in PRC. Cheesy
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« Reply #95 on: November 16, 2012, 05:30:48 pm »
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A violent transfer of power might be preferable, if it gets rid if the CCP
Not if it brings back the 1910s, 20s, and 30s. Or the 60s.
Thats not necessarily the most likely scenario(s) and an ever stronger and richer China under authoritarian leadership is not an attractive development.
Communist one-party states gone capitalist seems much less likely to develop into democracies than right wing dictatorships, so violence of some kind might be the only way to topple the regime.
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« Reply #96 on: November 16, 2012, 09:48:38 pm »
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Chinese civil wars generally cost tens, hundreds of millions of lives.  It's easy for us sitting in comfy chairs by the glowing lights of our computer screens to wish for the overthrow of a regime, especially when we don't have to suffer the costs.  Sometimes the satisfaction of fulfilling our own political ideals comes at too great a cost for others.  Just a thought.
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« Reply #97 on: November 16, 2012, 10:22:38 pm »
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Chinese civil wars generally cost tens, hundreds of millions of lives.  It's easy for us sitting in comfy chairs by the glowing lights of our computer screens to wish for the overthrow of a regime, especially when we don't have to suffer the costs.  Sometimes the satisfaction of fulfilling our own political ideals comes at too great a cost for others.  Just a thought.

Was the Syrian uprising a mistake then? Should the opposition of that country simply surrender to Assad, for the sake of preserving a harmonious society?
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« Reply #98 on: November 16, 2012, 10:37:14 pm »
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Beet, China and Syria are two different situations, their political circumstances and demographics and recent histories are quite distinct--I don't think the same dynamics obtain in both societies. 
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« Reply #99 on: November 16, 2012, 10:45:58 pm »
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It's kind of ironic that the last Chinese leader who didn't care if tens of millions of people had to die to satisfy a higher ideal was Mao.
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