Med Bo Xilais afgang er den politiske magtkamp brudt ud i lys lue. Det er den største ideologiske kamp i Kina i to årtier, der handler om den politiske og økonomiske kurs for Kina i de kommende år, og hvem der skal stå i spidsen for landet i det næste årti. Her er en hurtig opsamling med links. Du kan også læse den første opsamling og den anden.
Bloomberg skriver om de rygter, der har været om et militærkup i Beijing i de seneste dage. Hvordan kan den slags vilde rygter opstå? Det er manglen på demokrati, åbenhed og en fri presse. Og det har økonomiske konsekvenser.
The lack of a free press and democracy in China, as well as the absence of a transparent mechanism to pick new leaders in the second-biggest economy and the world’s biggest online population, escalate the risk of rumors and their potential impact.
“Chinese politics are a complete black box,” said Zhang Ming, a political science professor at Renmin University in Beijing. “It’s inevitable that this would have global financial and economic impact, and it’s possible that some investors want to amplify the issue and make profits. It’s an opportunity.”
The coup rumor was spread in part by the Epoch Times, a New York newspaper linked with the banned Falun Gong spiritual group. After publication of the report, the cost of insuring Chinese government debt using credit-default swaps jumped 10 basis points to 107, set for the biggest daily gain in basis points since Nov. 9, according to data provider CMA. Today, contracts to insure China’s sovereign debt for five years against non- payment fell 1 basis point to 106 as of 12:11 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc prices.
China Beat har fået Xujun Eberlein, der selv er fra i Chongqing, til at skrive om, hvorvidt Bo Xilai nu også er så populær derovre. For hvordan måler man en politikers popularitet i Kina, hvor det er forbudt at lave meningsmålinger.
China is the most populous country in the world, and Chongqing is the most populous metropolis in China. With that many people, one can find any and all kinds of opinions among them, certainly including the ones quoted above. But when we assess Chinese public opinion about a leader, a crucial factor that should never be forgotten is the opacity of China’s politics. Under this condition, there is only so much one can read into either love or hatred of a leader by the masses. Mao was the most loved in the 1950s and 60s, but it was Mao’s policies that caused tens of millions of deaths during that period. Deng Xiaoping was one of the most hated during the Cultural Revolution (as “China’s second biggest capitalist roader”), but he went on to make China richer with his “reform and opening” policies. As I wrote in a dual book review of Mao’s Great Famine and Tombstone, an information blackout during the 1959-61 famine had caused millions of peasants to quietly die with no complaints about Mao and the Communist Party. Today, the Internet has greatly increased information accessibility (often in the form of rumors), but that is still largely beyond people at the bottom of the society who struggle to make a daily living, people like the “stick men.”
Council on Foreign Relations skriver også om den offentlige mening om Bo Xilai, der nu er blevet censureret på mikrobloggene. Meningerne er delte, skriver Elizabeth Economy. Hun mener også, at det her kan ses som en sejr for de dele i partiet, der går ind for reformer, som hun skriver her.
The broader Chinese public is divided on the merits of Bo’s ouster. Despite Weibo’s blocking of Bo Xilai’s name, Chinese voices on the Internet have gone wild. Some decry Bo’s departure: “Bo Xilai leaves, the masses cry. The dream of common prosperity is shattered! Corrupt officials laugh, they can keep squeezing the masses and extorting their money.” Others have taken up Wen Jiabao’s call: “Now it is the 21st century. 1.3 billion Chinese people have entered the modern era . . . yet unexpectedly people are still crying out for a Savior, for a good emperor. What we need is exactly as premier Wen said. We need to wake up! We need a good system not a good man. We need rule of law not rule of man. We need openness and transparency! Do you agree?”
In Beijing, itself, political life is in flux. Bo is in limbo—deprived of his position in Chongqing but not of his seat on the Politburo. It appears to be a real victory for the more reform-oriented officials within China’s senior leadership, but whether they can capitalize on it over the next six months by ensuring that the next Standing Committee looks more like Wen Jiabao and less like Wu Bangguo remains to be seen. In the near term, however, they must be busy struggling to develop a politically viable narrative to explain Bo’s downfall. Based on the voices of the people, the truth would be a good place to start.
NPR har interview med Rob Gifford, der er Kina redaktør for The Economist. Og han har flere gode pointer i interviewet, som du kan læse en udskrift af eller lytte til i det 30 minutter lange indslag. Hvis man for eksempel stadig ikke helt har forstået, hvor vigtig sagen om Bo Xilai er, så kommer Rob Gifford med en god forklaring, hvor han også perspektiverer det i forhold til den amerikanske valgkamp.
GIFFORD: Well, it is a big deal for several reasons. I think especially because since 1989, since the suppression of the pro-democracy movement in June, 1989, what we’ve had in Beijing as the economy has expanded to become the second-largest in the world, as the China story has expanded to become one of the biggest stories in the world, is you’ve had political unity, apparently, at the center, or at least when you didn’t, and you had some minor differences or even major differences, nobody knew about them.
And so this brings to mind, to many people, what happened in those fateful days, what happened in the middle of 1989 when there was a split in the standing committee of the Politburo, and that was, we all say the bloody denouement that happened in Tiananmen Square, as Zhao Ziyang was purged.
The circumstances here are very different, but they are very crucial because they say a lot about where China is. It’s had these 23 incredible years of growth – 30 years of growth – more than that since Deng Xiaoping started it all in the late ’70s. And now, we’re starting to see these new visions of how China should go forward, these power struggles, the loss of unanimity at the center coming to the fore.