Kina er måske på vej mod en af de største politiske magtkampe i flere år, der involverer landets mest fremtrædende politikere og de 20 mest magtfulde mænd i landet. Du kan læse baggrunden i denne artikel på Kinablog. Her nedenunder får du en opsummering med links og nyheder.
John Garnaut, der er korrespondent for Sydney Morning Herald, har – endnu en gang – skrevet en glimrende artikel. Han citerer centralt placerede, anonyme kilder i Chongqing for, at det måske er Bo Xilai selv, der er mål for en efterforskning om korruption.
Mr Bo’s relationship with Mr Wang collapsed last month under the pressure of an investigation team from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, according to a Chongqing source who has had recent dealings with both Mr Wang and the commission.
Several of Mr Wang’s close associates from his home base of Dalian have also been taken into custody, according to Chongqing sources.
Speculation was swirling last night that Mr Bo himself was a target of the central investigation, after he had unsettled senior figures in the Party, and that Mr Wang sought refuge in the US consulate after turning witness against him.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/china-power-play-anticorruption-officials-vanish-20120208-1rf58.html#ixzz1lrWRDtVy
Garnaut skriver videre, at efterforskningen eventuelt også var gengæld rettet mod Bo og hans allierede:
Two close political watchers, with connections with Party and military investigators respectively, speculated that the Chongqing corruption probe might involve a degree of payback from a separate probe initiated by Mr Bo’s close friend and “princeling” ally, Liu Yuan, inside the People’s Liberation Army.
On January 19 the Herald/Age first reported that General Liu Yuan had staked his career on a “do-or-die” corruption campaign.
He told officers he would pursue his investigation to the end regardless of “how high one’s position is or how powerful the background”.
The deputy director of Gen Liu’s General Logistics Department, Gu Junshan, was taken by the PLA’s internal discipline officers on the same day of the Herald/Age report, making him the most senior PLA corruption target in six years.
Investigators are said to be interested in Gen Gu’s alleged involvement in massive real estate transactions in Beijing and Shanghai – and also an unnamed patron that had sheltered him further up the chain of command.
South China Morning Post har en fin artikel (paywall), der argumenter for at magtkampen er på vej til at blive markant optrappet. Og at det ligner sagen fra den sidste partikongres for seks år siden, hvor Shanghais borgmester Chen Liangyu også blev ryddet af vejen af en korruptionsskandale. Men at det denne gang har langt større konsekvenser.
Like the removal of Chen in 2006, Wang’s detention will have political ramifications and looks set to usher in a period of intense jockeying for position and power in the run-up to the next leadership transition at the party congress later this year.
Analysts said that if confirmed, rumours that Wang, 52, had attempted to turn Bo, 63, in to the top disciplinary watchdog would be devastating news for Bo, the son of a party elder, and a top contender for a seat on the Politburo Standing Committee.
Zhang Ming , from Renmin University in Beijing, said he believed the rumours were largely true. “Although no one expected the day to come so quickly, it will virtually mean the end of Bo’s political future and the bankruptcy of the so-called Chongqing model,” he said.
Her er det også værd at lægge mærke til, at en kinesisk akademiker udtaler sig til et vestligt medie. Normalt ved den slags følsomme sager vil eksperter være varsomme med at give interviews og helst tale udenfor citat.
David Bandurski fra China Media Project har en gennemgang af, hvad de kinesiske medier skriver om sagen i dag. Eller rettere, ikke skriver. På en af forsidehistorierne på Chongqing Ribao – du kan se deres e-avis her – lyder overskriften “Fredelige Chongqing, alle indbyggere nyder den lykkelige hjemby.” For stort set ingen kinesiske medier nævner den enorme skandale, der nok er det mest omdiskuterede i dag i Kina på for eksempel internettet. Som der står på CMPHKU:
Chinese media today are reporting nothing.
A keyword search for “Wang Lijun” through the WiseNews database of Chinese newspapers returns just seven articles today, all reports sticking to yesterday’s notice from the Information Office of the Chongqing Municipal Government (via Weibo) saying that Wang was on voluntary stress leave.
But there is still a great deal of activity on Sina Weibo today. Chinese users are actively sharing foreign news, from the AP and others, confirming Wang Lijun’s meeting with U.S. officials. And users are actively pulling out old news coverage and video that helps to put the story in context.
Artiklen med den harmløse oveskrift i Chongqing Ribao er også et forsvar for det politiske projekt i Chongqing, der opsummerer de seneste tre års arbejde. Den har en kommentar fra Zhou Yongkan, der er medlem af Politburauets Stående Komite. Den skal derfor ses som et forsvar for Chongqing modellen men måske ikke af Bo Xilai.
Den mærkværdige frase om, at Wang er på »ferie-agtig sygeorlov« (休假式的治疗) lyder lige så mærkelig på kinesisk som på dansk, og den lugter af gamle dage, hvor Kommunistpartiet offentliggjorde den slags informationer mod ledere, der skulle renses ud. Derfor er det også hurtigt blevet et af de største memer på det kinesiske internet lige nu, som Josh Chin skriver her på China Real Time:
Among the most notable figures to seize on the phrase was Li Zhuang, a lawyer sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2010 after defending a Chongqing mob boss nabbed in an organized crime crackdown orchestrated by Mr. Wang. “I’m offering free legal advice for ‘sick people’ seeking vacation-style treatments,” he wrote on his verified Weibo account. “Here I’d like to remind the interrogators to conduct their interrogations according to law – you absolutely cannot use torture against ‘sick people.’”
China Digital Times har flere eksempler på ferie-agtige slagord, som der cirkulerer på kinesiske mikroblogs, Google Plus og Twitter:
@ZhouXingxing: Maintenance-style demolition, vacation-style therapy, let’s continue: consoling-style rape, harmony-style looting, environmental-style murder, scientific-style theft…
@ChangCheng: What gives? Protective-style demolition, vacation-style therapy, condom-wearing rape, suicidal dismemberment.
@SnowInChina: Top couplet: Beijing–”Maintenance-style demolition,” Bottom couplet: Chongqing: “Vacation-style therapy.”
I nat kom det amerikanske udenrigsministerium med en bekræftelse på, at Wang havde besøgt konsulatet i Chengdu. Men ikke hvorfor:
QUESTION: — specifically these reports coming out of China that a deputy mayor of Chongqing had sought refuge at the consulate in Chengdu and that there had been an unexpected increase in security personnel around the consulate for a while. What can you tell us about any of this?
MS. NULAND: Well, I think you’re referring to reports about the vice mayor of Chongqing – right – City. So his name is Wang Lijun. Wang Lijun did request a meeting at the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu earlier this week in his capacity as vice mayor. The meeting was scheduled, our folks met with him, he did visit the consulate and he later left the consulate of his own volition. So – and obviously, we don’t talk about issues having to do with refugee status, asylum, et cetera.
QUESTION: Okay. But – so can you tell us exactly when that meeting took place?
MS. NULAND: I believe – we’re here on Wednesday – I believe it was Monday, but if that is not right, we will get back to you.
QUESTION: Do you have any information about what – have you had any subsequent contact with him? Because there’s some questions about his whereabouts.
MS. NULAND: Yeah. To my knowledge, we have not.
Hvis det er Bo Xilai selv – og ikke Wang – der er det egentlige mål for en efterforskning om korruption, så er det store nyheder. Men det vil ikke være første gang, at Bo er indblandet i korruption. Det var han også, da han var guvernør i Liaoning, som en kritisk journalist, Jiang Weiping, skrev om. Det kostede Jiang otte år i fængsel.
From this perspective, take the case of the Wen Hui Bao reporter Jiang Weiping. Because he revealed the corruption scandals of Bo Xilai, governor of Liaoning and a representative member of the “princelings,” Jiang was imprisoned on fabricated charges. (Recent reports indicate that Jiang has been sentenced by an “internal decision” to nine years in prison.) Measured against the professional responsibilities of a propagandist under an autocratic system, Jiang indeed overstepped his authority by “offending higher authorities” and “airing dirty laundry in public.”
Professor Russel Leigh Moses ser på, hvordan sagen hjælper Wang Yang, der er partisekretær i Guangdon, og står politisk over for Bo Xilai. Han skriver på Wall Street Journals blog:
On the flip side, the commotion in Chongqing should help Guangdong leader Wang Yang in his own grab for a spot in the Communist Party’s inner circle. In contrast to Bo, Wang Yang’s political strategy reflects the view of the reformist wing of the Party that hardline policies are ill-suited to satisfying Chinese society. Wang Yang is now well-positioned to make the argument that a less draconian approach to maintaining order helps keep the walls of the Party apparatus from shaking.
For all the hype here and abroad about how Bo’s rule in Chongqing represents a new China, something got broken in Chongqing — and maybe in China — in the last few days. And there’s no guarantee that Bo and his local allies, or their supporters in Beijing, can put it back together again.
Som altid er kinanørden Charles Custer fremme i mao-skoene, når der sker sådan noget som dette. Blandt opdaterer han Chinageeks om sagen, og følger for eksempel myndighederne, der ikke kan finde ud af, om de skal censurere sagen på mikrobloggene eller ej:
UPDATE 5: At the moment, Wang is back on the Sina Weibo trending topics list twice. “王力军” (an intentional mistyping of his name is #2 on the trending topics list, and the phrase “vacation-style medical treatment” is #7. Searches for “Wang Lijun” (typed correctly) remain uncensored. It’s quite clear that Sina is not trying to suppress this story at all, which begs the question: is someone at Sina trying to damage Bo Xilai?
:: (Opdateret 20.30 lokal tid Beijing med links til WSJ og Chinageeks.)