I denne uge begyndte årets største politiske topmøde i Kina. Frem til den 17. marts bliver der sat ansigter på mange af de nye ledere, der kommer til at stå i spidsen for Kina til langt ind i 2020erne.
De kommer til at få magten over mere end 1,3 milliarder indbyggere og skal styre en nation med voksende social ulighed, massive miljøproblemer og voksende økonomiske udfordringer.
Mødet i det kinesiske parlament, der kun samles en gang om året, er også sidste del af den største politiske rokade i etpartistaten Kina i ti år. Den begyndte ved partikongressen i november 2012.
Og som jeg skrev i Politiken tidligere på ugen:
Kina er en etpartistat, hvor stat, militær og domstole hører under partiet. Stillingerne i partiet er de vigtigste, og derfor var efterårets partikongres også vigtigere end det nuværende møde i parlamentet. Xi Jinpings titel som præsident er mest af alt ceremoniel, og den egentlige magt ligger i stillingen som generalsekretær.
Folkekongressen og de cirka i alt 3.000 delegerede er reelt uden magt, og følger Kinas Kommunistparti. Eliten i partiet blev udpeget gennem hemmelige forhandlinger før og under partikongressen, men det er i de næste uger, at de endelige brikker falder på plads, og hvor eksempelvis navnene på ministre og Statsrådets – som så nogenlunde svarer til Kinas regering – sammensætning bliver offentliggjort.
For eksempel vil Zhang Gaoli ifølge nogle analytikere bliver udnævnt til vicepremierminister. Han sidder i forvejen i ‘Politbureauets Stående Udvalg’, der er en gruppe på de syv mest magtfulde mænd i partiet, der reelt har magten over Kina.
Her er en hurtig opsamling og links om lianghui.
Wall Street Journal er et godt sted at starte med denne artikel som forklarer, hvorfor der ikke er mange kalorier i årets største politiske forsamling i Kina, der mest af alt er en teaterforestilling, der giver partiet et lag sminke af folkelig opbakning:
The annual plenary sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are collectively referred to as the “two meetings,” or lianghui. The NPC is China’s rubber-stamp parliament while the CPPCC is described officially as a “patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people, serving as a key mechanism for multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.”
While delegates to the two meetings will get to discuss key plans for streamlining the government and even make recommendations, it’s hard to conceive of this pageant as much more than a talk shop when there is only one full session a year.
The quest for authoritative and objective reporting might be easier with a little less secrecy surrounding even the simplest information. A list of all delegates to the advisory body was released without explanation of what any of the more than 2,000 representatives did to get into this august body. Even the time of the CPPCC’s opening session was kept under wraps until the last moment – and they were similarly coy with the closing date for the parliament session, which formally opens Tuesday.
That presents a bit of a challenge for serious news coverage, leaving state media to occupy the role of stenographer. CPPCC chairman Jia Qinglin noted that over the last five years the advisory body had organized more than 500 in-depth studies, zeroing in on the economy, people’s livelihood and regional development, state media reported. Xinhua revealed that a total of 28,930 proposals had been submitted by CPPCC members over the past five years, and 26,583 of these had been addressed. There were no details on which had actually made it into policy or law.
China Digital Times har oversat indlæg fra nettet, der er kommentarer til Fu Yings udtalelse om de mange valg af ledere under kongressen:
Netizens are exclaiming about the “suspense” of this “election,” made all the more exciting because average citizens do not know who the candidates are. From Weibo:
@HeBing: The moment of truth has arrived.
A professor at China University of Political Science and Law, He Bing revealed on Weibo last April that older cows were being given hormones to continue producing milk.
@Luobiaoxz: It’s hard to decide whom I should vote for. Speak up, people. Let’s hear what the rabble have to say.
@Donghaisandaiyufu: This is so suspenseful that we don’t even know who the candidates are.
@Fengjixuchuiyjm: So nervous. But it seems my ballot hasn’t been sent yet.
Bloomberg stiller det gode spørgsmål, om Xi Jinping nu også er den reformator, som Kinas Kommunistparti forsøger at gøre ham til eller om det bare er et image. Mange i Vesten har allerede købt det billede af ham. Jeg mener selv, at politikere ikke er interessante, når de siger noget, men når de gør noget. Det er alt for tidligt at dømme Xi i enten den ene eller anden lejr. Og så til Bloombergs artikel:
But looks can be deceiving. Since being appointed party secretary and head of China’s military last November, Xi, 59, has proven more assertive and unpredictable than many China watchers anticipated. Warning that rampant corruption could bring down the party, he launched a graft-busting campaign that’s targeted senior officials and called for more open criticism of the government. In a December trip to southern Shenzhen, Xi stressed the need to relaunch stalled economic reforms and paid homage to Deng Xiaoping, the leader who threw open China’s economy more than 30 years ago.
For all its growth and global aspirations, China confronts massive challenges. After decades of turbocharged expansion, the economy is downshifting and income inequality is growing. The country’s new leaders must decide how to placate rising nationalism at home without stumbling into destabilizing conflicts with its neighbors. At home, an emboldened civil society, driven in part by China’s unruly blogosphere, is pushing for more space to grow—a development that, left unchecked, could threaten the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.
Xi’s skill at handling these dilemmas will go a long way toward determining not only China’s trajectory in the 21st century, but also the world’s. He’s been called the reformer China’s economy needs, but Xi has warned against any Gorbachev-style restructuring that could undermine Communist control. He’s stated the imperative of building up a stronger military, even as tensions surge in the disputed seas around China. What seems indisputable is Xi’s determination to leave a mark on history. “He has ambition to be a great leader, someone like Mao Zedong,” says Bo Zhiyue, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore. “He wants to change things.”
New York Times skriver om ministerpræsident Wen Jiabao, der træder tilbage på kongressen og hanss eftermæle efter ti år på posten, og hvorfor han ikke opnåede større resultater (end at hans familie fik opbygget en formue på adskillige milliarder kroner):
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China, well known for baring his emotions in public, has displayed a blend of defeatism and defensiveness as he winds down his decade in office. During a visit last month to a Muslim neighborhood here, Mr. Wen lamented that he “fell short in some tasks” to improve people’s livelihoods. “In my heart I feel guilty and constantly blame myself,” he said.
But his most intriguing comments have touched on corruption. During a cabinet meeting last month, he said that even among top officials, “abuse of power, trading power for cash, and collusion between officialdom and commerce continue unabated.” And in a vague mea culpa before a group of overseas Chinese in Thailand late last year, Mr. Wen admitted to unidentified failings but defended his integrity by paraphrasing an ancient Chinese statesman said to have taken his own life to protest imperial corruption. “In the pursuit of truth, I would die nine times without regret,” he said.
With his retirement looming at the end of the annual meeting of China’s legislature that begins Tuesday, Mr. Wen, 70, has been struggling to push through economic changes and to shore up his image as a frugal populist and one of the few Communist Party leaders to champion political reform, even if that push has come to naught. But he has also been pressing hard to clear his name, particularly in the months since The New York Times published accounts of the way his immediate family had become extraordinarily rich during his time in high office.
Bloomberg har også en artikel om, hvordan Folkekongressen er en klub for de rige. Hvis du troede, at den amerikanske præsidentkandidat Mitt Romney havde en vis legemsdel fuld af kontanter, så se her:
Ninety members of the National People’s Congress are on a list of China’s 1,000 richest people published by the Shanghai- based Hurun Report, up from 75 last year, according to a review of the data by Bloomberg News. Everyone on the Hurun list had a fortune of at least 1.8 billion yuan ($289.4 million), more than former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The combined net worth of the 90 NPC members was 637 billion yuan. The concentration of wealth in the NPC was calculated by comparing the list of 2,987 delegates against data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Shanghai-based Hurun Report’s Hurun Rich List 2012, which was released in September. Hurun Report publishes a luxury-goods magazine that tracks China’s affluent.