Frankfurt: Big Daddy’s Latest Workings

Berlin, October 12.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, herself a physicist, will have a chance to learn something, now that Xi Jinping (习近平), China’s vice state chairman, has bestowed the latest technical expertise from China’s former state chairman Jiang Zemin (江泽民) on her. Xi and Merkel studied Chairman Jiang’s works in Berlin, on October 12.

Frankfurt, October 14

The English versions of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin’s two books, “On Development of China’s Information Technology Industry” (论中国信息技术产业发展) and “Research on China’s Energy Problem” (中国能源问题研究), also saw their international debut at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Wednesday. China Daily reported on Thursday that

Speaking to the debut ceremony, Leng Rong, director of Party Literature Research Center of the CPC Central Committee and one of the editors of the books, spoke highly of the books.
“These two books provide us with a systematic understanding about Mr. Jiang’s pondering as well as theoretical exploration and academic innovation on these issues, and help us learn about the development stages, strategic policies and measures of China’s IT and energy industries,” he said.
“Therefore, the two books are quite worth reading, especially for those caring about the development of China and even the world, for people interested in China as well as for experts and scholars on information technology and energy issues,” he added.

And Liu Binjie (柳斌杰), Director and party chief of China’s General Administration of Press and Publication of the People’s Republic of China (中国国家新闻出版), conveyed Li Changchun’s and vice chairman Xi Jinping’s – the two members of the Politburo’s Standing Committee who are in charge of ideological work – warm congratulations on the debut of these books. He told his listeners that the books offered important guidance to the development strategies and policies of China’s information technology and energy industries.

But even the CPC won’t believe that Jiang Zemin’s latest works will solve the world’s energy problems. Singapore’s Morning News (联合早报) points out that Jiang Zemin is back in the news, in politics, and pretty much on television, as coverage of the PRC’s 60th anniversary had shown. So the Xi-Merkel study-the-latest-works-of-comrade-Jiang study group in Berlin was basically Xi’s signal to his audience at home: Xi and Jiang are close (习、江关系密切的信号).

The Asia Sentinel has a far more dramatic interpretation of Jiang Zemin’s unexpected resurgence. Certainly, if Jiang carries such weight within China’s collective leadership, it does look like bad news for China’s unprivileged people, and promises a wonderful party for the princelings and minions. And if that is a threat to stability, then yes, then it’s bad news for political stability, too. But then, Hu Jintao’s and Wen Jiabao’s endeavors for a fairer society don’t look like a success story yet, and in terms of nepotism, Hu and his surroundings don’t look unsuspicious either. If a Xi Jinping party-and-state chairmanship – only after 2012, of course – would really spell that much more social trouble remains to be seen.

A more interesting, but not too convincing paragraph, quoting a party source:

… the main reason why, after the July 5 bloodbath in Urumqi, Hu had to scurry back to China on the eve of the Group of Eight summit in Italy was to prevent Jiang from “trouble-making.” For example, Jiang had all along told a few Politburo Standing Committee members that Hu’s scorched-earth policies in Xijiang and Tibet would fail.

Jiang, the benevolent emperor, opposing Hu-the-terrible’s scorched-earth policies? Hard to believe. Maybe Big Daddy did stirr trouble in July, too, but hardly with such an Uyghur-friendly (or harmonious) kind of argument. The news that Jiang has evidently amassed a thick pile of “black materials” – or harmful dossiers – against Hu and his Communist Youth League clique doesn’t look important either. Collecting black materials must be an important part of every CPC official’s daily work, and the Hu camp certainly has something to share about Jiang Zemin or Xi Jinping, too. Nobody in the CPC brotherhood is going to rock the boat and risk stability with exposing each others’ mortal sins.

But it is surely evident that Xi Jinping needs Big Daddy’s continued favor.

No wonder that the CCP didn’t complain for too long about the Frankfurt Book Fair being utilized. The Fair is everybody’s stage.

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