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Beet
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« on: March 14, 2012, 09:56:11 pm »
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A rare crack in the facade of unity of the CCP.

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Not sure yet what this merits yet... The Financial Times' coverage thus far is the best, although it's behind firewall, so you'll have to search Google News to get the links.
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Judäischen Volksfront
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 10:54:45 pm »
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Yep, this is very, very big news. I won't be surprised if he gets detained and charged with corruption. There's a tradition that every time a new batch of leadership ascends, they must throw a regional party boss under the bus. My gut's been telling me this has been coming for a while, but I didn't expect this immediately after the closing of the NPC. It's too early to say what specifically will happen, but expect a purge of anyone associated with him in the next few months.

Also, can we have a "China General Discussion" thread here? It's partially out of narcissism since I'll be hogging it, but we can't not have one.

EDIT: The official media reports that Bo is "no longer serving", and not "fired" as Chongqing Party Chief. He needs some face after all.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 10:57:01 pm by EternalCynic »Logged

Sibboleth
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 06:43:59 am »
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Oh, wow.

Also, can we have a "China General Discussion" thread here? It's partially out of narcissism since I'll be hogging it, but we can't not have one.

I think the general rule is that if someone wants to set up such a thread they can do.
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 08:09:56 am »
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Oh, wow.

You are impressed by this?

There's a tradition that every time a new batch of leadership ascends, they must throw a regional party boss under the bus.

Who was thrown under the bus in 2002-2003?
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 09:21:22 am »
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I'm not sure if that's quite the right word. It's more a use of 'oh wow' to mean 'this seems to be somewhat on the important side'.
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 09:56:24 am »
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For discussion of politics and general social and economic issues regarding China.
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Judäischen Volksfront
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 10:34:27 am »
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Who was thrown under the bus in 2002-2003?

Chen Xitong was Mayor of Beijing and Politburo member until he was ousted in 1995 and accused of massive corruption. He was a rival of Jiang Zemin who was consolidating power from Deng, who was slowly fading after 1992. Of course, Jiang's people made bigger takings than Chen, but that doesn't matter.

Chen Liangyu (no relation) was Mayor and Party Chief of Shanghai until 2006, when he was accused of misusing pension money on real estate developments. Hu Jintao had only finished receiving all official titles from Jiang in 2005, and Chen was a protege of Jiang. Best to get him jailed.

Some people are now speculating Bo will retain his Politburo membership and get appointed to a sinecure, to allow him some face, and perhaps he's too powerful to officially throw under the bus. But since he was fired so dramatically I won't be surprised if he meets the same fate of both Chens.
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 12:26:43 pm »
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Projecting China's collapse is fashionable among political journalists.
Obviously it's a good story. But how realistic is it?

The Coming China Collapse: Economic, Political Or Both?
http://seekingalpha.com/article/308830-the-coming-china-collapse-economic-political-or-both

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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 01:04:20 pm »
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Projecting China's collapse is fashionable among political journalists.
Obviously it's a good story. But how realistic is it?

The Coming China Collapse: Economic, Political Or Both?
http://seekingalpha.com/article/308830-the-coming-china-collapse-economic-political-or-both



I bet none of the western pundits who constantly predict a "Chinese collapse" have ever spoke with any ordinary people who are supposedly deeply disgusted at everything.
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 04:19:36 pm »
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Can somebody merge this thread into the new China general discussion thread for me?
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Judäischen Volksfront
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 08:40:45 pm »
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Simply put, Bo had annoyed too many Politburo members with his populist, semi-neo-Maoist propaganda campaigns. He also built a Machiavellian reputation and, apparently, engages in corruption on a whole other dimension. A Politburo member's salary can't pay for his son's studies at Harrow and Oxford, and then for his red Ferrari.

Most alarmingly, Bo had acted like a warlord by ordering a 70-vehicle police convoy to drive from Chongqing to Chengdu to surround the US Consulate when Wang was inside. Reportedly he was furious when Wang surrendered to centrally-controlled Ministry of State Security personnel rather than his people. Anyone who's learnt about 20th century Chinese history understands how scary that episode was. It also reveals how China's most important problem, and what scares the Party leadership the most, is warlord-like behavior of regional bosses and not Tibetans, Falun Gong, or democracy dissidents.
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2012, 12:39:10 am »
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I know not much about Chinese politics but the impression I get from Hu Jintao is that he does not have the control his predecessors did... can some one speak to the power of the Chinese leader nowadays
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2012, 11:03:50 pm »
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I know not much about Chinese politics but the impression I get from Hu Jintao is that he does not have the control his predecessors did... can some one speak to the power of the Chinese leader nowadays

Since Mao's death, there's the understandable aversion to one-man rule. During the 1980s, the three highest positions (General Secretary of the Party Central Committee, President of the State, and Chairman of the Central Military Committee) were held by three separate people, with Deng exerting paramount influence. This arrangement came undone during the Tiananmen Square crisis when infighting erupted. Since then the three highest positions have been held by one person.

Out of the 20-something strong Politburo, the nine member Standing Committee generally makes top decisions by consensus. The General Secretary/President/Chair of the CMC is first among equals rather than an Emperor. Regional Party bosses and retired Party leaders also exert behind the scenes influence.
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2012, 11:28:36 pm »
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An update on this fast-moving situation: the PLA Garrison Command in Chongqing, as well as the Chongqing City Party Committee Office, the local Party Orgburo, the local Party Propaganda Department, the local Party United Front Bureau, and the local Party Political and Legal Bureau have all pledged strong support for the Central Committee's decision, and stands beside them politically, ideologically, and materially. In particular, the PLA Garrison Command has promised the cleanliness, stability, and unity with the Central Committee and the CMC.

In plain language, this means the Central Committee is/was nervous about Bo loyalists in the Chongqing local Party and government apparatus. The fact that military units stationed in the city are pledging loyalty to the Central Committee is unsettling. Bo is being thrown under the bus which is driving back and forth over his corpse.
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 07:45:51 pm »
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link
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Thousands of Tibetans gathered to mourn a farmer who died after setting himself on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibetan areas, a U.S. broadcaster said.

A London-based rights group said the funeral Saturday turned into a protest march, with thousands calling for freedom and the return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader. The incident, as with most reported unrest in Tibetan areas, could not be independently verified.

Nearly 30 Tibetans have set themselves on fire over the past year to protest the suppression of their religion and culture and to call for the return the Dalai Lama, who fled the Himalayan region in 1959 during a failed uprising against Chinese rule and is reviled by Beijing.

<snip>
Of course nothing will come of this, still F-ed up.
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 05:25:55 am »
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U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring China’s Internet say that from March 14 to Wednesday bloggers circulated alarming reports of tanks entering Beijing and shots being fired in the city as part of what is said to have been a high-level political battle among party leaders - and even a possible military coup.

The Internet discussions included photos posted online of tanks and other military vehicles moving around Beijing.

The reports followed the ouster last week of senior Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, who was linked to corruption, but who is said to remain close to China’s increasingly nationalistic military.

<snip>

The comments included rumors of the downfall of the Shanghai leadership faction and a possible “military coup,” along with reports of gunfire on Beijing’s Changan Street. The reports were quickly removed by Chinese censors shortly after postings and could no longer be accessed by Wednesday.

The unusual postings included reports that military vehicles were sent to control Changan Street, along with plainclothes police officers and metal barriers.

Another posting quoted internal sources as saying senior Communist Party leaders are divided over the ouster of Mr. Bo. The divide was said to pit Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and against party security forces and Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang.

Late Wednesday, another alarming indicator came when Beijing authorities ordered all levels of public-security and internal-security forces under Mr. Zhou to conduct nationwide study sessions, although Mr. Zhou’s name was not on the order - a sign his future may be in doubt.

<snip>
The article then goes on and on (and on) about the DoD's lack of cybersecurity for some reason.  Weird article all around.  Weird that news of a possible coup in the capital of one of the most important countries in the world took so long to get "out".  Weird that nobody is making a bigger deal out of this.  Weird that the article itself doesn't seem to make a big deal out of it.
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 10:28:22 am »
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U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring China’s Internet say that from March 14 to Wednesday bloggers circulated alarming reports of tanks entering Beijing and shots being fired in the city as part of what is said to have been a high-level political battle among party leaders - and even a possible military coup.

The Internet discussions included photos posted online of tanks and other military vehicles moving around Beijing.

The reports followed the ouster last week of senior Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, who was linked to corruption, but who is said to remain close to China’s increasingly nationalistic military.

<snip>

The comments included rumors of the downfall of the Shanghai leadership faction and a possible “military coup,” along with reports of gunfire on Beijing’s Changan Street. The reports were quickly removed by Chinese censors shortly after postings and could no longer be accessed by Wednesday.

The unusual postings included reports that military vehicles were sent to control Changan Street, along with plainclothes police officers and metal barriers.

Another posting quoted internal sources as saying senior Communist Party leaders are divided over the ouster of Mr. Bo. The divide was said to pit Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and against party security forces and Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang.

Late Wednesday, another alarming indicator came when Beijing authorities ordered all levels of public-security and internal-security forces under Mr. Zhou to conduct nationwide study sessions, although Mr. Zhou’s name was not on the order - a sign his future may be in doubt.

<snip>
The article then goes on and on (and on) about the DoD's lack of cybersecurity for some reason.  Weird article all around.  Weird that news of a possible coup in the capital of one of the most important countries in the world took so long to get "out".  Weird that nobody is making a bigger deal out of this.  Weird that the article itself doesn't seem to make a big deal out of it.

I call BS on these "rumours". The photos supposedly showing tanks in Beijing were quickly found to be shopped. It appears that while some increased security exists, it seems to be due to a visit by a North Korean delegation and isn't any more than during regular "sensitive" periods. Besides, wouldn't foreign media immediately broadcast live pictures if there really was a coup going on?

IIRC, the last time the Party has abruptly conducted mandatory study sessions was immediately after the Tiananmen Square thingy.
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 11:54:57 pm »
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In sorta PRC related news, Japan is preparing for the possibility of shooting down the Norks missile they (the Norks) plan on testing next month.  A PAC-3* is on it's way to Okinawa as we speak.


*modern Patriot missile defense system....much more advanced than the one that made the name (in)famous in Gulf War I


In other, sorta related to PRC news, the S.Koreans and the US are looking at increasing the range of offensive missiles the S.Koreans posses.  Apparently they are currently limited to the 300km range and will likely soon change the agreement to allow them to have a 1000km range.  The reason given is that the Norks posses weapons that can reach all of S.Korea so they feel the S.Koreans should have the same ability against the north.
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2012, 02:47:39 am »
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It's strange this thread isn't more active when China is at this very moment in the most significant upheaval since at least the Tiananmen Square thingy. The details are something beyond Tom Clancy's imagination.
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 04:38:21 am »
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I concur.  I've heard talk of purges.  A guy on another MB I read suggested as many as 52, including Bo.  Do you have any new details?
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 11:57:38 pm »
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It gets even more bizarre. Now Britain has demanded an investigation into the death of its citizen Neil Heywood, who officially died of alcohol overdose and was cremated without an autopsy. Reports say he was either a businessman too well connected to Bo Xilai, or the personal butler of Bo Xilai's son, Bo Guagua. By the way, Guagua hasn't been seen at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government since his dad was fired.

The Chongqing government and party apparatus is being purged of Bo's people and the effect seems to be immediate. The local TV station has cut a show of communist patriotic songs and has resumed commercial advertising for the first time in a year. Signs have appeared in city parks warning residents not to "disturb the enjoyment of others", putting an immediate end to Bo's trademark campaign to have residents sing communist songs (and in any case only older people have participated). People who held signs in support of Bo in public have been rounded up by plainclothes police (yes, China is now cracking down on real, genuine communists). The city's mafia and pimps have become active again.

Elsewhere there's infighting in the Politburo and my guess is that last week's "coup attempt" was actually a BS rumor spread by Zhou Yongkang (the Politburo person for security) to rattle Hu and Wen. It was earlier rumored he was detained, but then he met with Indonesia's Foreign Minister which puts an end to these rumors. The Great Firewall sporadically unblocked information about Tiananmen Square and overseas dissidents. An online tribute to Zhao Ziyang isn't being shut down.

Wang Yang, the Party Chief of Guangdong and a liberal counterpart to Bo, has spoken about the importance of open communication with the public, and announced a crackdown on the mafia in the province. Meanwhile, Hu Jintao met as CPC General Secretary with Wo Boxiong, the Honorary Chairman of the KMT. They came to the conclusion that China is "one nation" with Taiwan and the mainland as "two regions". What this will mean is unclear.

It's overused to call things historic, but I do think this is an historic time for China.
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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2012, 12:07:00 am »
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Weird that the "hardliners" are bing purged by, at least in theory, the more....liberal group.  Usually it works the other way around.  Those with the pull know who butters their bread, and it ain't old Reds (or new Reds trying to bring Red back in fashion).
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2012, 12:11:44 am »
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Uh, all I see so far is a lot of rumors and innuendo. Bo Xilai hasn't even been kicked out of the Politburo, has he? Given the inaccurate rumors that have flown around weibo, and how little in China has changed for the past twenty years, one can forgive us outside observers for a little skepticism here. Arguably, it shows how hungry people are for change that they'll grasp on anything to try to make it blow up into something bigger than it is.
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« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2012, 12:38:20 am »
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Weird that the "hardliners" are bing purged by, at least in theory, the more....liberal group.  Usually it works the other way around.  Those with the pull know who butters their bread, and it ain't old Reds (or new Reds trying to bring Red back in fashion).
Which is why even the "liberal" people know they must occasionally be nasty. Hu and Wen haven't forgotten Mao's saying that power flows from the gun.

Uh, all I see so far is a lot of rumors and innuendo. Bo Xilai hasn't even been kicked out of the Politburo, has he? Given the inaccurate rumors that have flown around weibo, and how little in China has changed for the past twenty years, one can forgive us outside observers for a little skepticism here. Arguably, it shows how hungry people are for change that they'll grasp on anything to try to make it blow up into something bigger than it is.

I think there's too much on the ground change in Chongqing for this to be nothing. And, especially since the Central Committee is nervously trying to ensure everyone with guns is on their side, it's proof that some people with the power to command troops are upset at whatever's going on.

Whether Bo is still in the Politburo seems academic by now. It's not unprecedented that someone can be purged while retaining a token space in the Politburo, but that window has probably passed for him. A lot of muckraking is going on, but a lot of concrete things are happening, which can't be ignored.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 01:11:46 am by EternalCynic »Logged

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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2012, 12:08:41 am »
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Philippine, Chinese ships face off near Spratlys
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A senior Philippine military officer has revealed that Philippine and Chinese naval ships faced off near the disputed islands in the South China Sea in mid-March.

The military officer told NHK that a Chinese naval vessel approached a Philippine naval frigate on patrol in waters near the Spratly Islands.

The officer said tensions mounted between the 2 ships when they remained so close for some time as to be able to visually confirm each other's existence.

The officer said the face-off ended when the Chinese vessel left the scene.

The Philippines and China have territorial disputes over the Spratlys. The Philippines is conducting oil explorations in the waters called the Reed Bank near the islands. The country claims that the waters are within its exclusive economic zone. However, China strongly disputes this, arguing that the waters are within its EEZ.

Meanwhile, another Philippine military officer said his country agreed with Vietnam to stage a joint military exercise near the Spratlys.

Vietnam is also engaging in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. The Philippines and Vietnam are apparently boosting their military collaboration to keep China in check.
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