China: From Hu to Xi

On Thursday, the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China appointed Xi Jinping on the position of the General Secretary of the ruling party of China. The new Secretary has also become the chairman of the Military Commission and the leader of the country. He is a representative of the so-called Crown Prince Party - the descendants of prominent officials of the communist country. Jinping is considered a reformer, but he will not destroy his country in the name of "universal values" and "democracy."

The founder of the elite "princelings" is Deng Xiaoping - the author of the theory of the Chinese socialism and the current system of full rotation of senior management of the country once every 10 years. However, the position of the chairman of the Military Council of the CPC Central Committee is usually transferred with a delay to ensure continuity of government in such a difficult matter as the leadership of the most powerful army in the world. On Tuesday, Hu Jintao announced that he intends to leave the position immediately after the congress.

Xi will become General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Chairman of the Military Council of the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of China, and the Chinese President. Hu's decision to leave the position of Minister surprised many analysts. This will be the first one-time transfer of power since the time of Deng Xiaoping. It will give a good start to a young (59 years old) by Chinese standards politician, who has a reputation of a reformer, and at the same time is a very flexible person able to compromise.

Xi's father was an associate of Mao Zedong, but during the "cultural revolution" he fell in disgrace. The 16- year-old boy was sent to a remote village to "learn from the masses." There he joined the Young Communist League, and later the Communist Party. In 1975, Xi Jinping returned to Beijing and joined the elite Tsinghua University, where he studied chemistry. Along with an engineering degree, he earned a master's degree in the theory of Marxism-Leninism. Then he moved up through the ranks, holding provincial public office. He was the governor of Fujian Province in 1999, and the party leader of Zhejiang Province in 2003. In 2007, he became the chairman of the city committee of the CPC in the business capital of China, Shanghai, after his predecessor was charged in corruption. In the same year, Xi entered the highest power structure of China, the CPC Central Committee, and became vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission. He demonstrated exceptional business acumen as the curator of the Beijing Olympics preparation.

His wife, a popular singer and a Major General of the Chinese army Peng Liyuan, is well liked in China. Comrade Xi impressed Chinese journalists with his arguments about Chinese pop culture. The only child of Xi, his daughter Mintsze, is studying at Harvard University in the U.S. under a false name.

The Congress is taking place in a difficult time. Media is discussing corruption scandals and abuses of power, including the November murder of a British businessman and informer of British secret service MI6 by the wife of Bo Xilai - at the time a rising star in the ranks of the CCP. Now he is under investigation for corruption. Hu Jintao in his speech at the opening of the 18th Congress acknowledged the scale of the problem. He said that, left unsolved, it could be fatal for the party and even cause its collapse and fall of the state.

In domestic policy, Xi Jinping is facing a complex task of finding a way to adapt the government system to the development of private business and growing consumption. He needs to find a compromise with media and the young generation demanding more freedom. Perhaps the state's share in the economy will shrink. There is a plan to build four huge metropolises, which would increase the number of consumers and boost the economy. The appetites of local corrupt officials will be limited. China still has no pension system and universal access to social benefits, so these issues will likely need to be reviewed.

In foreign policy, China faces rising tensions with its neighbors over disputed territories. As a follower of Deng Xiaoping, Xi will maintain the position "do not touch me and I will not touch you," but he will also be able to answer. In 2009 Jinping told members of the Chinese community in Mexico City that some foreigners with full bellies have nothing better to do than point fingers at China, but China does not export revolution, hunger and poverty.

In any case, it is unlikely that the new management will endeavor to carry out major reforms immediately. It is not in the tradition of the Chinese leadership, and the wisdom of this policy is evident. Head of the Central Bank of China, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who is a supporter of financial liberalization, recently warned that he did not expect to launch major reforms at least until October of next year.

The new Chinese leader in an interview in 2000 said that it was necessary to exclude any ambitions in promotion. "You always want to do something new in the first year. But everything should be done on the foundation of its predecessor. This is similar to passing a baton. If the baton is not accepted properly, you lose."

Indeed, in the 1980's, the then leaders Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang (Soviet Yeltsin and Gorbachev) tried to liberalize the country Soviet-style, but it ended in the bloody events in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The Old Guard, remembering the end of China's "Cultural Revolution" of the Red Guards, brutally suppressed the revolt.

It was the right choice. The Chinese did not allow destroying their country in the name of the "universal values" nor did they allow turning the country into the ground base for implementation of questionable projects. Today it is the most powerful and promising country in the world.

Lyuba Lulko


Read the original in Russian


Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov