Kina er ved at kollapse. Lige nu. Næsten. Det er tæt på. Den slags mere eller mindre håbløse spådomme – og vi kigger på dig, Gordon Chang – er der mange, som er kommet med gennem tiden.
Men Kinas Kommunistparti er her stadig. Endnu da. For der er ingen tvivl om, at der er krise i partiet. At bevare magten over Kina er som at holde en våd citronfromage mellem hænderne.
Men Xi Jinping er manden, der kan løse opgaven, mener han selv og partiet, der med kraftig propaganda har kørt ham i stilling i de seneste to år, siden han kom til magten.
Xi er blevet den personligt stærkeste og mest magtfulde leder i Kina siden Mao Zedong, mener mange analytikere, og han kender truslerne mod partiet. Især faren ved korruption.
Derfor har han i snart to år gennemført en omfattende og vedvarende kamp mod korruption. Men kampagne kan også ses som et tegn på partiets sidste krampetrækninger, og den er en trussel mod partiets fortsatte eksistens, mener blandt andre professor Roderick MacFarquhar i denne Q&A på New York Times, som du bør læse det hele af. Her et udpluk:
Q. Are there any examples in history where a Communist Party without ideology can sustain itself?
A.There is no example because Leninist parties have only been around basically since the 1917 revolution in Russia. So there is no experience of this. The party in Cuba survived, I suppose, really because the opposition of the United States gave a certain national pride to the Cubans, especially when they were able to rely on the Soviet Union for economic support. The North Koreans, of course, survived because the Chinese are not prepared to cut them off, even though they hate the way they conduct themselves, because they don’t want another Communist regime to go down the tubes.
I don’t think there is any other experience, and my own feeling is that this party cannot reform itself. The choices for Xi Jinping are, one, ease off the corruption campaign in order to allow the economic reform program, which he’s talked about but which hasn’t got going, to proceed, because the economic reform may help to save the party in power. But if he is going to attack corruption root and branch, tigers and fleas as he would call it, then there is real danger. Danger for the party collapsing as it did in Russia, or danger of a leadership coalition against him.
Q. Is it conceivable that there could be an opposition to Xi, a pushback?
A. No one was prepared in Mao’s time to ally against him. And Mao could also rely on the fact that probably if Zhou Enlai confided in [the late President] Liu Shaoqi and said the chairman is going off his rocker, we shouldn’t allow this Cultural Revolution to continue, the chairman could rely on the possibility — probability — that Liu Shaoqi would come and report Zhou Enlai to him, and then dispose of Zhou Enlai.
That, I don’t think, applies now. People aren’t frightened of Xi Jinping in the way they were frightened of Mao. People’s interests, people’s families, people’s livelihoods are threatened. Comrades X, Y and Z can ally together against Xi Jinping. He’s not yet a figure that so terrifies his colleagues that they couldn’t dream of suggesting to a comrade, “Let’s ally against him,” because they don’t know that that comrade would not report him.