Trump’s policy toward North Korea is founded on false assumptions that the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, will give up his nuclear weapons, that China can save the day and that military options are real...... a war here would be not just a regional disaster but a nuclear cataclysm. ....... the American military estimated back in 1994 that another Korean war would cause one million casualties and $1 trillion in damage. Today, with the possibility of an exchange of nuclear weapons, the toll could be far greater: One recent study suggested that if North Korea detonated nuclear weapons over Tokyo and Seoul, deaths in those two cities alone could exceed two million........ both sides are fearful of appearing weak and are trying to intimidate the other with military bluster, but that each would prefer a peaceful resolution — yet doesn’t know how to get there politically.How about Trump and Kim holding summit talks Reagan Gorbachev style? That is better than the military option that is not even an option. This is not about political ideology. This is about avoiding nuclear catastrophe.
Sunday, October 08, 2017
Friday, November 21, 2014
Barack Obama was the most exciting politician on the planet in 2009. Today that person is Modi. But Modi is also that Jupiter around which Obama can give himself additional momentum through the sling shot effect. In getting close to Modi, Obama can give his final two years in office new life. He need not be a lame duck. He can approach his final two years in office with renewed vigor. And proximity to Modi can help.
Obama's act on immigration reminds me of the guy I volunteered for in the 2007-08 cycle. The guy I volunteered for was, is bold. He need not go quietly into the sunset.
India is the new Britain. Britain being America's closest ally served the Cold War purposes. That era ended a while ago. In the current struggle known as the War On Terror, India is the new Britain. India is America's new best friend. This War only ends after every Muslim country has been turned into a vibrant democracy. And India is the laboratory that can make it happen. The separation between mosque and state has to be first established fully in India. And then it can be taken to the rest of the Islamic world.
Obama going to be Chief Guest at India's Republic Day celebrations in January is a great sign. He will come back to America after that trip as if he just won an election.
We must live in a decidedly post-colonial world where the rulers of the two largest democracies look like Gandhi and MLK.
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Saturday, September 15, 2012
|Xi Jinping 习近平 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The succession process in China is kind of like General Electric's.
This "disapperance" by Xi I see as a good sign for someone who wishes major political reforms in China. If Xi were the same old, same old, the transition would not be dramatic. He has already unruffled feathers, it seems like. That is a good sign. But I'd not read too much into it.
China as an economy is at a point where unless it opens up politically, unless it becomes more welcoming of critical thought, it can not make its next big leap. A slowing Chinese economy necessarily asks for political reform.
New Chinese Communist Leader May Be Closet Reformist
there are signs that when he takes the helm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) this fall he may push for political and economic reform in the country–possibly with some vigor..... The problems include failing to make adjustments to the economic structure, and not making progress in political reform and democratization. .... “The solution to all these problems ultimately lies in political reform and the depth of political reform. Therefore, the leaders should be courageous in taking the first step to push for political reform and democratization,” Deng said ...... Deng wrote that the Party should have a sense of urgency about political reform, and shouldn’t have an ostrich mentality; the goal of political reform is to establish freedom and democracy ..... “We’ve got to hold high the banner of reform, including political system reform,” a source said, paraphrasing Xi. ..... political reform will come sooner than people have expected, and economic reform will be pushed forward at an accelerated pace. ...... Xi’s special background and experience have enabled him to get in touch with controversial people. .... “He listens to different opinions from a wide variety of sources… This is Xi’s political trait.” .... “Xi’s opponents can use it as an excuse to portray him as someone who has a dangerous motive like Gorbachev, thereby urging more hardliners to oppose him.” .... “The reality in China is, politics and economics are controlled by vested interest groups. Any kind of substantial reform will run a great risk.
Paging Mr. Xi Jinping
He’s about five feet ten, dark hair, dark suit, red tie, Mona Lisa smile...... Online, the Chinese rumor mills went berserk, with explanations ranging from an injury sustained while swimming or playing soccer to the suggestion (later withdrawn) that he may have been injured in a traffic accident related to a revenge attack by supporters of purged leader Bo Xilai. The Times has a blind quote from a political analyst who says he was told that Xi “had suffered a mild heart attack.” .... Another theory, the most mundane, is that he is simply buried in work in the weeks ahead of the upcoming 18th Party Congress, China’s political bar mitzvah, in which Xi will be formally designated as the supreme ruler for the next ten years. ...... 1984, when a Washington Post correspondent scooped his colleagues on the fact that Yuri Andropov had died. How did he do it? Among the constellation of clues, he noticed that the lights at the Defense Ministry were burning all night. And, the clincher: a jazz concert scheduled to be on the radio was replaced at the last minute by classical music.For Xi Jinping, set to become China’s next leader, father’s past is sensitive
After years of persecution by a Communist Party he helped bring to power, Xi Zhongxun was hauled from solitary confinement and taken to see his family. The purged revolutionary could barely recognize his own offspring and recalled a melancholy Tang Dynasty poem: “My children do not know me. They smile and say: ‘Stranger, where do you come from?’ ” ..... More than three decades later, his son is set to become China’s next leader. .... Xi’s illustrious father, who commanded communist guerrillas in northwest China, rose to the rank of deputy prime minister after the 1949 revolution, got ousted by Mao Zedong in 1962 and, after 16 years in disgrace, reemerged to pioneer some of China’s boldest economic reforms. ..... a one-party state where history is shaped to serve the present. ..... Xi’s daughter, like the offspring of many senior Communist officials, studies in the United States, at Harvard. .... Xi nonetheless has a reputation for probity, and his close relatives are not known to be multimillionaires. .... He was raised, according to biographer Jia, on frugal values: The elder Xi, after taking a bath, made his son bathe in the same water. In an interview with Chinese television, Xi Jinping recalled having to wear flowery hand-me-down clothes from his sisters. As a teenager, after his father’s fall, he was banished to a poor village in Shaanxi. .... Xi senior is particularly popular with many liberals, who remember him as unusually open-minded and tolerant ..... There is no sign that China is about to get its own Mikhail Gorbachev, a seemingly conventional apparatchik who rose to the summit of the Soviet party and then destroyed it. Xi does not have to deal with a calamity that drove dramatic change in Moscow: China’s economy is not dying. ..... When Deng Xiaoping ordered tanks into Tiananmen Square to clear protesters in 1989, Xi said nothing publicly but is widely thought to have been appalled. ..... the vicious internal struggles that led to the elder Xi’s arrest by a rival faction in 1935, the purge of his close comrade-in-arms Gao Gang in 1953 (Gao killed himself and is still in the party’s bad books), his ouster by Mao in 1962, and the toppling of another ally, the relatively liberal party secretary Hu Yaobang, in 1987Xi Jinping: The Mystery Man In Line To Lead China
a man "full of contradictions" .... He was born into affluence, a Communist Party "princeling" whose father, a hero of the Communist Revolution, rose to the post of vice premier before running afoul of Chairman Mao in 1962. When his father was purged, 15-year-old Xi was sent to a poor, remote village, where he lived in a cave and labored in the field for seven years. He later worked his way up in the party, attaining senior positions in several wealthy, relatively business-friendly coastal provinces. Until very recently, Xi's wife, famed folk singer Peng Liyuan, was the most famous member of his family. ..... The poor are hopeful that Xi, sensitized by his years as a laborer, will tackle China's huge income disparity. But wealthy capitalists are also optimistic, because of his leadership in Shanghai and other coastal provinces. "Xi spoke up for private businesses, saying they are a crucial component of the economy," businessman Zhou Dewen tells the BBC. "Xi Jinping created an environment for private and state businesses to compete fairly." In other words, he's a consensus candidate "who can appeal to almost everyone, but who seems to have alienated almost no one in his rise through the ranks" ..... he's not about to throw communism out the window. ..... Xi is more personable than Hu, or any recent Chinese leader, and seemed very comfortable in his meeting with Obama and other top officials, embodying his country's newfound confidence. "The world hasn't seen a leader like him in China before" ...... Many Chinese in his generation hold respect for the U.S., but no longer feel as indebted nor, perhaps, as grateful." Still, Xi feels comfortable enough about the U.S. that he's sending his daughter to Harvard. ...... Xi flies to Muscatine, Iowa, on Wednesday to reunite with the family that hosted him during his first visit to the U.S. (He came here to study advanced hog-raising techniques in 1985.) He then travels to Los Angeles to meet business leaders and, reportedly, attend a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game.The princeling set to ascend the Chinese throne
When Xi Jinping was catapulted to the top of the Communist party hierarchy in 2007 the only thing most people in China knew about him was that he was married to a hugely popular military folk singer called Peng Liyuan...... Ms Peng, a major general in the People’s Liberation Army .... “The first time I met him my heart pounded and I felt immediately that this was my ideal husband, he was so pure and thoughtful,” she said in an interview with Chinese state media. Ms Peng also described him as humble and dedicated to his work as a party official. ..... Some say he is a strong nationalist leader who could try to confront the west, others argue he is pro-western but isolated and some hopeful liberals even quietly speculate that he could be a Chinese Gorbachev, itching to introduce democracy the first chance he gets. ....... appeared confident if somewhat colourless. .... Born the “princeling” son of a revolutionary general in 1953, he was surrounded by privilege from a young age, living in a compound for top Chinese leaders with the kind of comforts – servants, telephones and a steady food supply – that most citizens in the impoverished nation couldn’t dream of. ...... the young Xi, who for the next 15 years would be branded the son of a counter-revolutionary...... “I ate a lot of bitterness at that time,” Mr Xi later wrote. “But my experience there had a profound influence on me and formed my down-to-earth, striving character.” ..... While his father languished in prison he tried 10 times to join the same party that had brought so much suffering to his family but was refused because of his “bad class background”. He finally convinced the party to admit him in 1974 and a year later he was accepted to Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University. ..... he studied chemical engineering .... Mr Xi’s father was rehabilitated before being sent by Deng to rule Guangdong Province. In 1979 Mr Xi was given a plum job as assistant to Geng Biao, China’s defence minister and an old comrade of his father. ...... made a “calculated” decision in 1982 to head back out to the countryside in order to build his resumé as a grassroots official. He was eventually appointed governor of Fujian, the province that lies just across the strait from Taiwan, in 2000 and then party secretary of prosperous Zhejiang Province in 2003...... His elevation to vice-president and presumptive heir to Mr Hu in 2007 came just months after he was parachuted into Shanghai to replace disgraced former party secretary Chen Liangyu, the most senior official to be arrested for corruption in more than a decade...... This leap from obscurity to centre stage came partly thanks to his efforts carefully to cultivate his own image as a humble, down-to-earth public servant, after he suffered a major setback a decade earlier. ...... In 1997, amid a backlash against the “princelings”, he came last in an internal vote by Communist elites to select the party’s 344-member Central Committee. .... In an opaque system known for endemic graft and corruption, Mr Xi is regarded as “clean” ...... His and Ms Peng’s only child, a daughter, is studying as an undergraduate under an assumed name at Harvard .... “To a certain extent Xi may not know himself which way he will go.”Xi Jinping
Xi is a princeling, the son of Xi Zhongxun, a former Politburo member and vice premier who was one of the architects of China's Special Economic Zones in the early 1980s. ..... Xi has long been know for his market-friendly approach to economic development. Yet he has also displayed strong support for "big companies," especially China's flagship state-owned enterprises, which monopolize many major industrial sectors in the country. Xi's experience in the military—serving as a personal assistant to the minister of defence early in his career—also makes him stand out among his peers. Xi's views concerning China's political reforms appear to be remarkably conservative, seemingly in ling with old-fashioned Marxist doctrines.Little-known past of China's 'next leader'
Though his official biography extolls his virtues as a good party official with a strong work ethic who comes from a family with solid revolutionary credentials, little else is known about him.The Guardian profile: Xi Jinping
His name is becoming more familiar but his face is still unknown to most and his opinions and intentions are an enigma. .... return to Muscatine, the tiny Iowa town he visited in 1985 as head of an animal feed delegation. .... While Hu is determinedly anonymous, Xi is "a big personality" .... confident and affable. He boasts a ready smile and a glamorous second wife – the renowned People's Liberation Army singer Peng Liyuan. He has expressed his fondness for US war movies and, perhaps more surprisingly, praised the edgy independent film-maker Jia Zhangke. .... grew up in the era of reform and opening .... Xi's daughter is studying at Harvard and a sister is thought to live in Canada ..... He grew up in the relative comfort of Zhongnanhai, the party elite's red-walled Beijing compound ..... young Xi was dispatched to the dusty, impoverished north-western province of Shaanxi to "learn from the masses". .... He spent seven years living in a cave home in Liangjiahe village. "I ate a lot more bitterness than most people," he once told a Chinese magazine. He has described struggling with the fleas, the hard physical labour and the sheer loneliness. ..... Although he has openly criticised the cultural revolution, Xi embraced the party; in a WikiLeaks cable an academic who knew Xi as a young man suggested he "chose to survive by becoming redder than red". .... "He was a very polite and kind guy. I could see someone very devoted to his work – there was no golfing on that trip, that's for sure," said Eleanor Dvorchak, who hosted Xi in her son's old room, where he slept amid football wallpaper and Star Trek figurines. "He was serious. He was a man on a mission." ...... "You could tell he was in charge … he seemed relaxed and welcoming and able to handle things," she said. "He had the words he wanted to express himself easily." ..... Xi always had his "eye on the prize" of a major party post. He transferred to southern Fujian province in 1985, climbing steadily upwards over 17 years. Most of his experience has been earned in China's relatively prosperous, entrepreneurial coastal areas, where he courted investors and built up business, proving willing to adopt new ideas. The former US treasury secretary Hank Paulson called him "the kind of guy who knows how to get things over the goal line". ...... He describes his own thinking as pragmatic and throughout his rise he has cultivated a down-to-earth image; in the provinces he ate in government canteens and often dressed down. ..... on their second date he warned her he would not have much time for family life. And in a system known for corruption, he also has a clean reputation. One friend told the LA Times the worst the paper was likely to find were overdue library books. ..... Xi is well-liked and adept at glad-handing, he appears to give little of importance away .... Becoming general secretary of the party, and thus leader of China, is "an issue of who opposes you rather than who supports you" ..... "In recent years he has taken care of large-scale events, including Olympics and anniversaries, and there haven't been any big mistakes ..... In 2007 he leapfrogged Li Keqiang – until then seen as likely to succeed Hu, but seen perhaps as too much Hu's protege – as the consensus candidate in a system built on collective decision making. ..... Xi's networks are unusually broad ..... His elevation is in the interests of the widest group of people and opposed by the smallest group." It is the same relatively small elite who will determine what he can do with the job. ..... grassroots organisations burgeoned during the vice-president's stint in Zhejiang, and there was progress in the election of independent candidates at local polls .... the province also saw "zealous persecution" of dissidents, underground Christians and activists .... shattered hopes that Hu might prove politically liberal. .... His most-quoted remark to date was made on a trip to Mexico in 2009: "There are some well-fed foreigners who have nothing better to do than point fingers at our affairs. China does not, first, export revolution; second, export poverty and hunger; third, cause troubles for you. What else is there to say?" ..... to read Xi as a man in sole control of the agenda is to fundamentally misunderstand the Chinese political system. He will be "first among equals" in the nine-member standing committee, say analysts. Hu and other former leaders will still exert influence; and 2011's five-year plan has plotted the immediate course. ..... The system "is in favour of moderation, and nothing can change quickly. Steady as it goes. The political rhythm first has to be installed … significant shifts will come later" ...... "I think he's a more instinctive and gut-driven politician and may surprise us. Others say the system and the vested interests around him are too strong" ..... "He himself probably does not know what he will do." .... "Are you trying to give me a fright?" (when asked by a reporter, in 2002, whether he would be a top leader within the decade). ..... "He's more assertive than Hu Jintao. When he enters the room, you know there is a significant presence here … [But] when they rise through their hierarchy, it serves no purpose to indicate differences or even alternative directions." (Henry Kissinger)Xi Jinping Millionaire Relations Reveal Fortunes of Elite
Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China’s next president, warned officials on a 2004 anti-graft conference call: “Rein in your spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use power for personal gain.” ..... As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment .... Those interests include investments in companies with total assets of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company ..... No assets were traced to Xi, who turns 59 this month; his wife Peng Liyuan, 49, a famous People’s Liberation Army singer; or their daughter ..... There is no indication Xi intervened to advance his relatives’ business transactions, or of any wrongdoing by Xi or his extended family. ...... In Shanghai, he was brought in as party chief after a 3.7 billion- yuan ($582 million) scandal. ...... Increasing resentment over China’s most powerful families carving up the spoils of economic growth poses a challenge for the Communist Party. The income gap in urban China has widened more than in any other country in Asia over the past 20 years ..... Most of the extended Xi family’s assets .. were owned by Xi’s older sister,Qi Qiaoqiao, 63; her husband Deng Jiagui, 61; and Qi’s daughter Zhang Yannan, 33 ..... Another brother-in-law of Xi Jinping, Wu Long, ran a telecommunications company named New Postcom Equipment Co ..... New Postcom won hundreds of millions of yuan in contracts from state-owned China Mobile Communications Corp., the world’s biggest phone company by number of users ..... In October 2000, Xi Zhongxun’s family gathered on his 87th birthday for a photograph at a state guest house in Shenzhen, two years before the patriarch’s death. The southern metropolis bordering Hong Kong is now one of China’s richest, thanks in part to the elder Xi. He persuaded former leader Deng Xiaoping to pioneer China’s experiment with open markets in what was a fishing village. ...... Premier Wen Jiabao’s son co-founded a private-equity company. The son of Wen’s predecessor, Zhu Rongji, heads a Chinese investment bank. ..... “What I’m really concerned about is the alliance between the rich and powerful,” said Wan Guanghua, principal economist at the Asian Development Bank. “It makes corruption and inequality self-reinforcing and persistent.” ..... While officials in China must report their income and assets to authorities, as well as personal information about their immediate family, the disclosures aren’t public. ...... as a Chinese proverb puts it: When a man gets power, even his chickens and dogs rise to heaven. ..... Lyndon B. Johnson was so poor starting out in life that he borrowed $75 to enroll in Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1927 ..... After almost three decades of elective office, he and his family had media and real-estate holdings worth $14 million in 1964 ...... It was after her father’s death in 2002 that Qi said she decided to go into business, according to the Tsinghua interview. She graduated from Tsinghua’s executive master’s degree in business administration program in 2006 ..... Complex ownership structures are common in China .... Princelings engage people they trust, often members of their extended families, to open companies on their behalf that bid for contracts from state-owned enterprisesProfile: Xi Jinping - China's next leader?
the son of revolutionary veteran Xi Zhongxun, one of the Communist Party's founding fathers..... He was named party chief of Shanghai in 2007 when its former chief, Chen Liangyu, was sacked over corruption charges. Shortly after, he was promoted to the party's Standing Committee and, in 2008, became vice-president. .... In 2005, when he was the Communist Party secretary in Zhejiang, he told media that "government should be a limited government". .... Seen as having a zero-tolerance attitude to corrupt officials .... When, in June 2012, a Bloomberg investigative report examined the finances of his relatives, the company's website was blocked in China - even though the report said there was no indication of wrongdoing by him or his family. ..... Xi Jinping is also known as a straight talker .... vowing to "smash" any attempts to destabilise Tibet ..... Peng Liyuan has described her husband as frugal, hardworking and down-to-earth. "In my eyes, he's just my husband" ..... And he called Sino-US relations an "unstoppable river that keeps surging ahead", emphasising that a prosperous China was a positive force for global peace.Xi Jinping: Cave dweller or princeling?
His wife, Peng Liyuan, a singer, has, for most of his career, been far more famous than he has. ...... When he was first announced as China's next leader-in-waiting, he was already vice-president, but people still joked: "Who is Xi Jinping? He is Peng Liyuan's husband." ..... He appears confident and open while giving away little. ..... Villagers turned us away when we asked to see the cave dwelling Xi lived in: digging too deep into the past of the man who might be president is not welcomed. ....... for most of his career Xi Jinping has been notable for the way he has avoided making enemies while being promoted by Party leaders. ..... "The party elders like him because he is steady and solid. But he is prepared to innovate too." .... Xi Jinping's strength is his broad CVTracing the Myth of a Chinese Leader to Its Roots
“He liked reading books,” said Lü Nengzhong, 80, a farmer who housed the boy, Xi Jinping, for three years. “They were thick books, but I don’t know what they were about. He read until he fell asleep.” ..... In an essay for a 2003 book Mr. Xi said his seven years here led to a life transformation. Using standard Marxist-Leninist-Maoist language, he wrote about learning to serve the people. ..... We “mustn’t stand high above the masses nor consider the masses as our fish and meat,” he said. He went on: “The hard life of the grass roots can cultivate one’s will. With that kind of experience, whatever difficulties I would encounter in the future, I am fully charged with courage to take on any challenge, to believe in the impossible and to conquer obstacles without panic.” ..... The village is in a narrow valley about 70 miles from Yan’an, the city in the northern province of Shaanxi that served as the Communist Party’s revolutionary base for 12 years during the Chinese civil war. Mr. Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, a native of Shaanxi, helped build the base and became a venerated party leader. ..... The village comprises 100 households, twice as big as in Mr. Xi’s day. The people’s homes are caves built into the dry hillsides. The elders farm fields of corn, pumpkins and potatoes; younger people have left for cities seeking work. A fine yellow silt covers the landscape, the signature feature of the Loess Plateau. Mr. Xi once wrote that he was “a son of the yellow earth.” Donkey carts plod down the road. Women shuffle home with bundles of wood lashed to their backs. ....... Farming was not in Mr. Xi’s blood. Even after one year here, he struggled to balance two buckets of water on a bamboo pole across his shoulders, Mr. Lü said. “He slid down hills on his butt instead of walking down them,” he added. ...... “But after I got used to the local life, especially after I lost myself in the local people, I felt happiness in life.” ..... Like many other youths sent to the countryside, Mr. Xi had been allocated corn flour rations. The villagers ate corn husks. Mr. Xi cooked in his cave and ate alone. ...... “More and more people started to visit my cave house, which gradually became the center of our village,” Mr. Xi wrote. “Every night, people of all ages knocked on my door. We talked about nearly everything. Even the local party secretary came to me for advice. He said that young people had seen the bigger world and knew more than he did.” ...... “When Xi Zhongxun’s son was sent here, he was well received even though his father had fallen from power,” said Tan Huwa, a historian at Yan’an University. “The people here welcomed Xi Jinping with open arms because of his father’s time here.” .... “He didn’t talk a lot, but when he did speak, other people couldn’t interrupt him,” Mr. Lü said. “He was a strong speaker, very convincing.” ..... Xi came back once, decades later, when he was party secretary of the coastal province of Zhejiang, which was booming. He brought watches to hand out. “He was shocked by how poor the village was” ..... Xi had intended to stay for three days, Mr. Lü said. He left after an hour.
Xi Jinping 'under huge pressure' from inside the Communist party
Xi Jinping, 59, came under attack from party elders, who described him as "unreliable" and questioned whether he should be elevated to the pinnacle of Chinese power. .... The attacks came at the beginning of August at a short and bad-tempered meeting in Beidaihe, a Chinese seaside resort, when senior party members gathered to negotiate and plan their once-in-a-decade leadership change. ..... As China begins to count down the weeks to the 18th party congress, factions are again vying for power in process is still clad in Soviet-era secrecy. ..... "At the Beidaihe meeting, no decisions were made but the old gang criticised Xi harshly, especially Qiao Shi and Song Ping" ...... The elders allegedly accused Mr Xi of not sticking to the rules by meeting twice with members of the Central Military Commission, which controls the People's Liberation Army, while Mr Hu was visiting Hong Kong in early July. ..... "They called him unreliable and even brought up the idea of significantly delaying the party congress," said the source. "The fight was so harsh that Jiang Zemin [the former president] had to mediate." ...... With Hu Jintao preparing to step down from power, and hand over to Mr Xi, he faces the uncertainty of whether his successor will continue his legacy, or turn against him, a perennial fear for a Chinese politician. ........ A new rift appears to have emerged between the two main factions in the Communist Party: the "red" princelings, the up-and-coming children of Communist Party heroes, and the technocrats. ...... "Song Ping and the other elders are suspicious of Mr Xi and the other princelings because they are not obedient. ..... Xi has been occupied with trying to consolidate his position as he prepares for power. ..... he still expected him to take control. "No one would risk ruining the stability of the party at such a late point," he said. He added that physical illness was also no barrier to Mr Xi's ascendancy. "Who on the Politburo is not nursing some sort of chronic illness?"
Off-Script Scramble for Power in a Chinese Leader’s Absence
analysts say the Chinese political ship is adrift, with factions jockeying to shape an impending Communist Party conclave. ..... After an initial burst of chatter, blog posts alluding to Mr. Xi have been effectively smothered on China’s social media platforms ..... he will be re-entering an unexpectedly contentious political arena. ..... Planned years in advance, the 18th Party Congress is slated to be the most sweeping government reorganization in a decade, with scores of leaders scheduled to retire ..... The Communist Party has numerous factions, but the overall framework of the transfer was thought to have been mostly ironed out over the past year. ..... But recent developments, including Mr. Xi’s mysterious cancellation of several public appearances, suggest that may not be the case. ...... The most obvious sign of discord is that the dates for the congress have not been set ...... various factions: the military, big state enterprises, descendants of revolutionary families, leaders of critical Communist Party organizations and others. The details of the congress were to be finalized at Beidaihe and the dates announced later in August. ..... “The atmosphere was very bad, and the struggles were very intense” ...... Mr. Hu, who has been criticized as having been an overly cautious and ineffective leader during his decade in power, was also seen as defensive and gloomy. ..... the relative told him he did not know Mr. Xi to be sick. The scholar maintained that Mr. Xi’s absence was more likely because of the unsettled political situation. ....... “There is still a struggle; it is not finished” ...... emerged in 2007 as a compromise candidate to lead the party. ...... “It would require a complete rebalancing of all the competing interests.” ..... the powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo will be reduced to seven from nine members in an effort to streamline decision-making, resolve factional fighting over seats and rein in the power of China’s well-financed law enforcement apparatus
China's Next Leader Is Secretly Hinting At Reforms
hints at political and economic reform .... paraphrase some of Xi's comments: .... "The problems that China has accumulated are unprecedented.".."We must seek progress and change while remaining steady."..China needs to deal with "corruption and ill-discipline in the party" as a top priority..."We've got to hold high the banner of reform, including political system reform."......... Crucially, Xi apparently hinted that private businesses may get a tax break and other incentives.
Absence of Chinese vice president fuels intrigue before power transition
For ten days, Vice President Xi Jinping has dropped off the radar of state-run domestic news media, which usually meticulously record official activities of senior leaders. ..... Party chiefs jockey for power ahead of leadership jamboree .... Monday has come and gone -- and Xi remains nowhere to be seen, adding fuel to an Internet firestorm running on rumors and gossip. .... Rather than deflate the speculation with an official explanation, the Chinese authorities have so far remained silent.China’s Heir Apparent Xi Jinping Reappears in Public After A Two-Week Absence
The mysterious and sudden invisibility of the man who would rule China set countless tongues wagging. Only the markets seemed unperturbed by the rumors and speculation...... China’s official news service, Xinhua, ran a one-sentence story recording Xi’s participation, an article presumably aimed at quelling intense speculation about the Vice President’s whereabouts after he cancelled several scheduled meetings with top foreign dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The story was accompanied by a photo that showed a smiling Xi standing amid a clutch of dark-jacketed men on what was presumably the college campus. A rare blue sky shone overhead, unusual for a capital often swathed in smog. The caption for the photo was longer than the story itself. ..... Other sources whispered of a last-minute political putsch, perhaps organized by forces loyal to Bo Xilai, a once powerful politician whose downfall (along with his wife’s sentencing this summer for the murder of a British business consultant) had already thrown China’s leadership handover off-script earlier this year...... Perhaps he really had taken to bed with a bad back. Or he has since triumphed in some political battle. One thing is clear: the ruling Communist Party, even if it was compelled to eventually trot out Xi, was content to leave the world guessing for a fortnight...... Even as the Xi rumors reached their most frenzied—including one wild story that he had been injured in a deliberate car crash orchestrated by a political enemy—the Chinese stock markets hummed along. The thinking among some foreign investors went like this: the Chinese bureaucracy is so entrenched and extensive that it hardly matters who’s at the top...... we know almost nothing about what is happening in the cloistered confines of Zhongnanhai, China’s leadership compound. Our ignorance is deeply concerning.
Xi Jinping, China's next leader, ends 14 day-long vanishing act with visit to farm school
The consensus was that he had suffered a mild heart attack or a stroke, but some other sources said he had been working hard on the agenda ahead of the 18th Party Congress, the big event which will see him take centre-stage. ..... On the streets of Beijing, few were aware that one of the country's top leaders had disappeared, or now reappeared. ..... " ...and I stopped having an interest in politics a long time ago. The government does its job, I do mine." ...... The less the general public knows about its leaders, the less attention they pay to the various contradictions at the heart of Chinese politics; not least that a party that purports to represent the workers and the peasants is stacked with officials who have grasped enormous wealthXi Jinping Health Rumors Fly During China Vice President's Disappearance
Beijing's silence - though in keeping with a Chinese tradition of not discussing the health of senior leaders - could indicate some discord behind the scenes. ..... Europe's debt crisis and China's own economic slowdown ..... China's Internet users have fanned rumours about Xi as Beijing prepares for the 18th Communist Party Congress, likely to take place in October, to usher in a once-in-a-decade transition to a new top leadership team headed by Xi. ...... Beijing has yet to come to terms with its position as the world's second-largest economy and an emerging superpower ...... the secrecy was a function of one-party ruleWikipedia: Xi Jinping
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- China's Xi Jinping reappears in public
Anti-Japanese protests flared in more than a dozen cities across China on Saturday, with some demonstrators trying to storm police barricades outside Japan’s embassy in Beijing as thousands pelted the building with rocks and eggs..... protests in at least 28 cities ... the scale of protests was the largest since the two nations normalized ties in 1972...... Online video and photographs from several cities showed shops and restaurants with damage ranging from broken windows to ransacking. Some buildings were reportedly left in flames..... While the anger toward the Japanese might temporarily deflect attention from China’s internal issues – authorities appeared to have done little to discourage the gatherings, which probably would have had difficulty happening without at least tacit consent – Beijing may well worry about further protests tapping into broader rage and getting out of hand...... It’s been an especially tumultuous period for a Chinese Communist Party that prefers buttoned-down stability. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, the man slated to become the next president of China, resurfaced only on Saturday morning after a two-week disappearance and rampant rumors about health problems and factional infighting