Washington (AsiaNews) - "Red-hot start for the New Year" is the way the Chinese congratulate each other for a good start during the New Year time. There is another flavor in this sentence for this new year of 2013. It was said that the Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang group has the will to reform, and indeed started its little tricks to initiate a reform of the political system. However, the Communist propaganda department, which represents the bureaucratic capitalist class in China, immediately gave them a Parthian shot. The battle is booming into red-hot now. This is the red-hot start of this year.
It started with Liu Yunshan, the head of Propaganda Department who came to power with the strong support of Jiang Zemin and Li Peng. To slap the face of the Xi and Li group that had consistent little gestures of reform, Liu Yunshan changed the New Year's Message of the famous Southern Weekend magazine. This hands-on action by the Propaganda Minister of the Communist Party of Guangdong Province received a collective protest by the employees of the Southern Weekend. This action of change could also count as a little trick.
But what followed could not be counted as little tricks anymore, which is also associated with the New Year's message. The website of Chinese history magazine Yan Huang Chun Qiu, which represents opposition opinions within the veteran Communist leaders in Beijing, also quietly became inaccessible due to its new year's message that tactfully promoted political reforms. It was blocked without any explanation, formal notice, or negotiation. This action demonstrates the determination of the Communist Party to maintain the power and interest of the privileged bureaucratic capitalists, which would disown anyone. It is indeed the consistent tradition of the Chinese Communist Party.
Speaking of "disowning", many people would immediately think of the glorious deeds of Bo Xilai who just lost his power. During the Cultural Revolution he beat up his biological father, Bo Yibo, to the degree that he broke three of his father's ribs. Nevertheless, Bo Yibo, who was well aware of the tradition of the Communists, assigned Bo Xilai to be the successor of the Bo family. Bo Xilai himself almost became the successor of the Communist Party. Yet unfortunately, Bo Xilai was not sophisticated enough and eventually become a victim of the internal struggle within the Communist Party.
Since the first round of the red-hot start of the new year of 2013 already had such a gesture, what good drama would follow the play? In private, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang vowed to lift press censorship and the ban on opposition parties. Yet, before they initiated it, the Communist veterans already having the power over news media and propaganda, challenged the authority of the Party General Secretary and Prime Minister, to "Repulse Right-Deviationist-Verdict-Reversal".
What Right-Deviationist-Verdict-Reversal needed repulsion? Back at the time when Deng Xiaoping came to power, the Right-Deviationist-Verdict-Reversal to be repulsed was an effort trying to restore the mad Mao Zedong era back to slightly normal under the banner of restoring constitutional order. With the popular support of the people of the country, Repulse Right-Deviationist-Verdict-Reversal was launched officially during the era of Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, yet was soon put down by Deng Xiaoping himself. From the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign to the June 4 Massacre, Deng Xiaoping accomplished his own version of "Repulse Right-Deviationist-Verdict-Reversal." Thus the Chinese politics made a full turn to its origin point and Deng Xiaoping became almost a dictator in a new generation.
From Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping and then to Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, the core value that kept passing on in their minds is the one-party dictatorship regime. Whoever interfered with that core value would have to step down. But this basic principle does not comply with the tide of history; does not meet the desire of the people; and does not conform to the old vows of the Communist Party. It should have died long ago. As early as the Mao Zedong era, it faced the cliff. But Deng Xiaoping turned around in front of the cliff and thus the one-party dictatorship escaped unharmed.
During the Deng Xiaoping era, China was still at the crossroads. So although there was a cliff ahead, one could still go around it. However, now China is at the T-junction in front of the cliff. The communists who are not fools know that it is impossible to continue the direction of the one-party dictatorship which will for sure to bring them over the cliff.
However, during the 30 years of the three generations of the Communist leaders Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, a large amount of inertia has accumulated. This inertia came from the bureaucratic capitalist class that is well capitalized, with a vast network of people, and huge influence. Now, even if one wants to brake very hard, this vehicle is rushed all the way to the cliff. What happened recently with the Chinese history magazine Yan Huang Chun Qiu is the proof.
The reformists still fear impairing personal relationships, yet the firm dictators would disown anyone. The subordinates dare to make sure their bosses are unable to back down with good grace. That is because some force that is really powerful supports these subordinates. What force is that? It is the several hundred thousands of governmental officials, and their relatives and cronies-the several hundred thousands of people who gain their interests and protect their own families and lives through the power of dictatorship. For their own interests and their own families and lives, of course they would disown anyone. No one would believe sentimental assurances and pardons. A struggle with lives is the situation that this year's red-hot start has expressively demonstrated.
Looking at the current situation, obviously the strength of the reformists within the Communist Party is too small. Most of the people who supported the reform verbally would renege their own promises when it involved their own interest. The truly wise and firm political reformists are only a few. There is no successful precedent for relying on trickery within the Communist Party to reform. Thus there were so many regime changes during Chinese history.
Instead, it was Bo Xilai who studied in the History Department to be able to look through the laws of history. He knew that there is one successful precedent, Mao Zedong himself, to result in a thorough reform. Only with the slash-and-burn of Mao is it possible to have the change that is revolutionary yet without overthrowing the regime-instead of paying the huge price of regime change. We all know that the so-called Cultural Revolution by Mao actually had as its goal to have a revolution against those in power who were taking the capitalist road within the Communist Party. Mao relied on the support of fooled masses. That was the root of Mao's success.
The people now no longer can be fooled. They know very clearly what they want, which is democracy, freedom and the rule of law. Without relying on the power of people, one would die miserably without the possibility of success if he wanted to struggle with lives against the bureaucratic capitalists within the Communist Party.
The reformers must learn Mao's way to disown. When your opponent could disown you, the sentimental revolution would be a game. In Chinese words, a children's game. When one treats the struggle with lives as children's games, how could you not to suffer a miserable death?
Now it is just the same situation as what is in the ongoing hit TV series in China: "The Legend of Chu and Han". As the mansion of the regime is ready to collapse, all sorts of heroes are eager to erupt, or rid themselves of bonds. Whatever positive energy saved at the emperor's court is not sufficient to extinguish the fire nearby. Only through elimination of the negative energy is there a possibility to relieve the immediate crisis. This would need the audacity of either being a true hero or a very ambitious scoundrel such as Mao Zedong.
This is the incidental which often happened in history. These opportunities only appear rarely. We the people should not believe it as an inexorable law, but observe from far away and wait for an opportune moment to act.