Krise i Kina: Partiet og reformerne

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Den 1. oktober er nationaldag i Kina, og det er nu 63 år siden, at Folkerepublikken Kina blev grundlagt. Jubilæet kommer kort tid før, at partiet begynder kongressen og det største politiske magtskifte siden 2002. Men de næste ti år bliver måske endnu sværere for Kina, der står over for en mængde problemer. Vil Kinas Kommunistparti, der har stort set slukket for politiske reformer, være i stand til at klare dem?

Det bliver svært, mener Minxin Pei, der er klar med endnu en analyse, hvor han argumenterer for, at etpartistaten i Kina lakker mod enden.

Kinas Kommunistparti står overfor et årti med endeløse og systematiske kriser, som kan ende på to måder. Folkerepublikken vil falde fra hinanden a la Sovjetunionen. Eller partiet kan reformere sig som i Mexico eller Taiwan, mener Minxin:

For all the obvious reasons, China’s ruling elites will do their best in the next few months to project an image of unity and self-confidence, and to convince the rest of the world that the next generation of leaders is capable of maintaining the party’s political monopoly.

That is, unfortunately, a tough sell. Confidence in the party’s internal cohesion and leadership has already been shaken by the Bo affair, endemic corruption, stagnation of reform in the last decade, a slowing economy, deteriorating relations with neighbors and the United States, and growing social unrest. The questions on many people’s minds these days are how long the party can hold on to its power and whether the party can manage a democratic transition to save itself.

These questions are by no means the products of idle minds. By many measures, the party’s rule is about to enter a decade of systemic crisis. Having governed China for 63 years, the party is approaching, within a decade, the recorded longevity of the world’s most durable one-party regimes — the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union (74 years), the Kuomintang (73), and the Revolutionary Institutional Party of Mexico (71). Like a human being, an organization such as the CCP also ages.

Kan partiet så forny sig? Det har det gjort flere gange i historien, hvor det har overlevet store politiske kriser. Men selvom det har stået for økonomisk vækst og urbanisering, så fremstiller det stadig sig selv som en organisation, der kommer fra landet og bønderne og som represænterer folket.

Men det er ikke laobaixing – der er den kinesiske pendant til hr. og fru Jensen – der gør karriere i partiet. Det er eliten og “prinserne” med historisk rødt og revolutionært blod, der fylder de øverste lag i det topstyrerede parti.

Og her har man tit talt om politiske reformer, som på ingen måde er det samme som et demokratisk system med flere forskellige partier. Det er udelukket. Derimod har der tit været tale om internt demokrati i partiet. Det har flere gange været oppe at vende, og der var meget snak om det ved den sidste partikongres i 2007. Men det er blevet ved snakken. For det er blot et buzzword, der bliver luftet offentligt en gang imellem, som Qian Gang fra China Media Project skriver her i artiklen om demokrati bag lukkede døre:

The problem is that so far the Chinese Communist Party’s talk on intraparty democracy is just that, talk — at least where the fundamental issues are concerned. Are the conditions there for more “democratic discussion” within the Party? It certainly does not seem so when even China’s premier, Wen Jiabao, is censored by the Central Propaganda Department when he talks about political reform. Are the Party’s affairs handled openly? Ahead of this year’s 18th National Congress, speculation has run rife over possible personnel changes within the Party, and Party members are as much in the dark as anyone else. Nothing at all has been done to experiment with a permanent tenure system for congress delegates, an idea that has come up again and again in talk about intraparty democracy.

Der er ingen snak om demokrati i partiet her før den 18. partikongres begynder den 8. november. Slet ikke. Så er der overhovedet politiske reformer i Kina? I weekenden skrev Jonathan Fenby denne kronik i Guardian om det kommende magtskifte:

It has now been 63 years since Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic, and the market-led economic reforms launched at the end of the 1970s by his successor, Deng Xiaoping, have changed the country and the world beyond all measure. But the basic power equation has not budged, confronting those in charge with the task of containing a society that has been brought to prefer materialism to Marxism or Confucianism.

In many ways this is healthy. The traditional ruling method, stretching back to the first emperor in 221 BC, was patriarchal and despotic, and was picked up enthusiastically by the communists. But it sits on top of a country in which individuals enjoy a far greater degree of liberty, behaviour patterns are shifting fast, respect for authority is not what it was and technology – especially in the form of social media – has wrought a revolution.

Fenby konkluderer:

Its essentially conservative leadership is stuck in a system of opaque, top-down rule. Like the emperors before them, the leaders fear that change may bring down the whole edifice. But if the party has no alternative, its model is reaching its limits.

… Still, for most of its people, this is the best time to live in China during the modern era. The material and social strides made in the past few decades are indisputable. But they have brought the need for a new approach from the top, and time is running out. If the new leadership cannot forge that, China’s future will be far more uncertain than its recent past.

Så hvor står partiets kommende generalsekretær, Xi Jinping, der selv er en af partiets prinser, i det billede? I weekenden havde Ian Johnson et godt portræt af ham og hans politiske baggrund, hvor den 30-årige Xi i begyndelsen af 1980erne fik en post i en lille landsby i Hebei, der formede ham og hans karriere og politiske alliancer:

Yet the time in Zhengding helped Mr. Xi hone his skills, setting a template for his rise. It also cemented his bond with Liu Yuan, who is now a senior leader in the People’s Liberation Army. He also made an ally in Li Zhanshu, who was a local official in Hebei at the same time as Mr. Xi. Mr. Li has now been tapped to take over the party’s nerve center, its General Office.

“You can’t separate his accomplishments from his political support,” said Yang Zhongmei, a Xi biographer and lecturer at Yokohama City University. “This is the model you see today: if you have enough political support and money, you can accomplish a lot.”

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Hurtige klik fra Kina af Kim Rathcke Jensen. Jeg er journalist og BA i kinesisk. Jeg bor i Beijing, hvor jeg arbejder som Politikens korrespondent i Kina og Asien.

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