Chinese leadership transition; don’t hold your hopes too high

Xi Jinping

“Inside the party, there are many problems that need be addressed, especially the problems among party members and officials of corruption and taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, undue emphasis on formalities and bureaucracy and other issues,” said Mr. Xi, the new Chinese leader who will be ruling China for another ten years.

Western media happily quote it as a beaming sign of change, they heard what Xi had said last week, but they did not know that such cliches have been said again and again, in meetings of all kinds, for many, many years.

Certainly many key problems are addressed. For example, Facebook and Twitter have been blocked, Google has been driven out of China, food has become poisonous, air more polluted. More Tibetans set themselves on fire last month than ever, but the figure is simply nothing compared with the roaring Chinese tourists to Tibet. Western media generally kept quiet on the matter, and the few voices the spoke out were soon pushed behind headlines featuring Obama hugging his wife with a happy smile, or the 18th Congress held in bright red meeting halls. The poor got poorer, and the deprived were ran over by bulldozers.

I might be too pessimistic on this. A very common thing in China is: the official who makes public speech about his (yes, it must be a he, never a she) determination to tackle corruption on Monday will be discovered having taken millions of dollars bribes on Tuesday. Like the Communist Party Manifesto, something are only to be said, but not to be believed.

So for those who are cheering for the leadership transition, or those who are expecting changes, I would say, do not hold your hopes too high. Most likely Xi did not write his speech, and most likely those who wrote the speech were dreamers.

Categories: Politics & Law

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