Wu Bangguo: the Center Forever, no Lofty Ideas

You will have to work your way through a lot of partytalk, before you can read JR‘s exquisite conclusions. But if you are interested in some background to the current NPC’s plenary session, and particularly Wu Bangguo’s work report, it may be worth the trouble.


Reminder: It is forbidden to use the internet and communication tools to engage in illegal activities,

was a Beijing Youthnet (or Beiqing Wang) note’s headline of March 1, 2011.

[Main Link: http://www.ynet.com/view.jsp?oid=76887736]

Beijing Youthnet: You can share this Reminder

Beijing Youthnet: Share this Reminder

Concerning the Internet Code of Conduct’s legal requirements

According to the “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China” and pertaining regulations, while the citizens’ right to free speech are legally protected, it is forbidden to use the internet, communication tools, media and other methods to engage in the following behavior:

1. to organize or incite resistance, to break the constitution or laws and regulations, or the implementation of laws and regulations

2. to fabricate or distort facts, spread rumors, or to interfere with social management order

3. to organize or incite illegal assembly, marches, demonstrations, or to disturb order in public places

4. to engage in other violations of national, social, and collective interests, and the legitimate rights of citizens.

The authorities in charge will, in accordance with the law, strictly supervise and deal with the activities listed above, and the judiciary will investigate and punish those responsible for what constitutes a crime.

____________ ____________ ____________

The following are excerpts from Wu Bangguo‘s (吴邦国)

Work Report on the Fourth Session of the 11th NPC,

on March 10, 2011 (local time). Wu is chairman and party secretary of the National People’s Congress’ standing committee.

[Main Link: http://lianghui.china.com.cn/2011/2011-03/10/content_22100102_4.htm]

[All links within the quotes from Wu Bangguo’s speed were added by translator – JR]

During the second half of last year, centering what constitutes the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, we held three meetings to review the mechanism which is taking shape, candidly talked about its significance, summed up the basic experiences, and analyzed the tasks which were taking shape. On all aspects, we agreed that the building of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics’ legal system is a milestone for our country’s socialist and democratic system, with great practical and far-reaching historical significance.

去年下半年以来,我们围绕形成中国特色社会主义法律体系,先后召开了三次座谈会,回顾形成历程,畅谈重大意义,总结基本经验,分析形势任务。 各方面一致认为,中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成,是我国社会主义民主法制建设史上的重要里程碑,具有重大的现实意义和深远的历史意义。

Firstly, the legal system of socialism with Chinese characteristics will forever be protected as the foundation of the legal system. That we combine Marxism’s basic principles and China’s specific realities, that we will go our own way and build socialism with Chinese characteristics, is the fundamental conclusion from our party’s summarized historical experience, and also the only correct road  for our country’s progress. In order to adhere to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the most important thing is to adhere to the correct political direction, and not to waver over the institutional etc. major and cardinal problems. If we waver, not only would the building of socialist modernization lose its prerequisites; but the achieved development successes could also be lost, and the country could even enter the abyss of domestic chaos.


China has established socialism with Chinese characteristics, as expressed in the constitution, it has established the basic national system and tasks,  the Chinese Communist Party’s leading position, the guiding position of the important thoughts of  Marxism-Leninism, the Mao Zedong Thought, the Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the Three Represents, the leadership by the working class, the state system of democratic dictatorship based on the worker-peasant alliance, and the political system of the National People’s Congress; we established that all state power belongs to the people, where citizens enjoy extensive rights and freedoms in accordance with the law, we established the multi-party cooperation and consultation system under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the autonomy of nationalities and grassroot autonomy, public ownership as the main body and a variety of economic systems developing together, incomes / distribution in accordance with work performance [or “to each in accordance with his performance” – that’s how I read “按劳分配” – JR], and a variety of distribution methods coexisting within the distribution system.


Based on China’s national situation, there are strong indications that there must be no variety of political parties taking turns in exercising power, that the guiding ideology must not be diversified, that there must be no “separation of powers” and no bi-cameral system, no federal state, and no privatization. The legal system of socialism with Chinese characteristics has helped the nation’s strength and prosperity, it has built the legal foundation for long-term peace and stability, and from this system, it is legally ensured that the Chinese Communist Party will always be the center (or core) of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, that state power remains firmly in the hands of the people, that [from this system,] national independence is legally ensured, [it ensures] national sovereignty and territorial integrity, national unity, adherence to an independent and autonomous foreign policy, the path of peaceful development, and [it ensures that] the country will always forge ahead into the correct direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

从中国国情出发,郑重表明我们不搞多党轮流执政,不搞指导思想多元化,不搞“三权鼎立”和两院制,不搞联邦制,不搞私有化。 中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成,夯实了立国兴邦、长治久安的法律根基,从制度上、法律上确保中国共产党始终成为中国特色社会主义事业的领导核心,确保国 家一切权力牢牢掌握在人民手中,确保民族独立、国家主权和领土完整,确保国家统一、社会安定和各民族大团结,确保坚持独立自主的和平外交政策、走和平发展 道路,确保国家永远沿着中国特色社会主义的正确方向奋勇前进。

Overall – headings included -, Wu Bangguo’s speech document seems to contain more than 16,000 characters. The unidentified official who – or so they say on the Council of Foreign Relations blog – slept as Wu Bangguo delivered his speech ought to  be forgiven.

Reportedly, Wu Bangguo’s speech rejected the concept of a  genuine multi-party system no less in his work report of last year, [Update/Correction, March 14: not last year, but in 2009 – JR] than he did on March 10 (local time) this year. JR, who has already engaged in translating some of the lines which caught most interest this year, but which are rarely given in full in English, will not engage in a comparison between Wu’s 2010 2009 and 2011 work reports. A more scientific internet, with more context to the headlines, is not only JR’s job, but the job of every scientific blogger. If you care and translate the relevant lines from Wu Bangguo’s 2010 2009 work report, let me know, and I’ll link to you.

These microphones lead nowhere, Comrade Jiabao

These microphones don't lead to China, Comrade Jiabao

It would most probably be inaccurate to link Wu’s hardline speech to the current revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. Chief state councillor Wen Jiabao‘s – apparent – efforts for political reforms last year did indeed go somewhat further than Wu’s defensive work report. Wen, after all, mentioned a need for reforms of our political system. But only days later – and two or three months before Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak would even remotely think of a need to leave his palace -, Wen’s vague utterances into a new political direction had become short-lived history. They did, however, re-appear once more – with a big bumper attached to it -, in a People’s Daily editorial, about a month after Wen’s address to Hong Kong and Macau newspeople. People’s Daily, on October 28, 2010, cited the CCP 17th Central Committee’s emphasis on

the adherence to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, upholding the party’s leadership, the role of the people as the masters of their country, the organic unity of government work and the rule of law, the active and prudent promotion of political restructuring, and the continuous advancement of the socialist political system, self-improvement, and development.

He Dongting, the People’s Daily editorialist, then aimed some criticism at a political school which maybe, or maybe not, includes Wen Jiabao*):

Throughout the history of China’s development, people with lofty ideas – 仁人志士, rén rén zhì shì – had given the strife for the road of modern democracy a lot of tries, but in the end, they failed, as they didn’t correspond with China’s conditions, and the fundamental interests of the Chinese people. The facts show that only under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, can the people at large gain political power, and only with the establishment of the socialist system can China really leap from thousands of years of authoritarian [or despotic] rule to historical democratic policies.

Here’s another footnote to Wu’s work report: there’s a Confucian scholar in China, living in mountainous Guizhou Province, who may take some of Wu’s speech personal – the rejection not only of separation of powers, but of a bi-cameral system (i. e. parliament, supposedly), too. Then again, Jiang Qing (蒋庆), the scholar in question, favors a tri-cameral legislature.

And after all, what really matters is that the CCP will always be the center.



*) Mind the footnote at this October 31 post – 仁人 (én rén) actually means a benevolent person, and 志士(zhì shì). Even if meant ironic here, the not-so-aggressive style could suggest that there were some respectable targets among He Dongting’s targets.



China’s Success or Undoing, Peter Foster (Telegraph), March 10, 2011
Confucianism Rediscovered, International Herald Tribune, Sept 14, 2006


14 Responses to “Wu Bangguo: the Center Forever, no Lofty Ideas”

  1. Morrning JR. Just caught you on Taide’s site and I’m not really value adding to your site today. Just don’t know how you translate this turgid Party justificatory stuff. I’ve ploughed thru a bit of it on CMP, and it just plumb wears a guy out.

    Even though I’ve got a good ten years background in various types of Marxism, these pronouncements never cease to amaze, even after you exclude the Leninist component. eg

    “…and only with the establishment of the socialist system can China really leap from thousands of years of authoritarian [or despotic] rule to historical democratic policies”.

    Being a big fan of Assange, the censorship regulations cover everything under the sun and a few beside (pace Old Freddie Engels).

    You probably have this in your favourites:


    China’s Academic and Scientific Integrity Watch.

    Funny enough, I’m recently discovering some non-serious Sino lifestyle typessites which are plain fum to read.

    Finally, and not having any language skills, I’m pretty keen to hear how Chinese chat sites are treatiing this terrible Japanese disaster.

    I get the feeling that Beijng will be monitoring these discussions pretty closely eg FQ gloating, unfavourable comparisons and similar.


  2. Just don’t know how you translate this turgid Party justificatory stuff. Heroic, huh? 😉
    I know that many people disagree with me, but in the end, it is this kind of top cadres, and this kind of pathetic drivel, which creates Chinese realities. It therefore seems to matter, and being the curious lad I am, I’m reading it somewhat carefully.

    I’m no great fan of Julian Assange. Re his personality, I can see from a distance of 900 kilometers that he’s a great narcissist. Re his theory or working hypothesis, my objections can be found here.

    Never noticed fangzhouzi before – thanks for bringing it to my attention!


  3. JR. Really like your para one. And you do a service for us all. Thank you.

    Okay. Okay. Assange is a very flawed individual, but I support his mission statement totally/absolutely.

    “If you can read my emails, why can’t I read yours’.

    Maybe, it is the anarchist in me. And I have been to a couple of pro-wikeleaks demos a couple of months ago.

    It is sort of like something one should never do: meet your favourite musician, since you will most certainly be very disappointed. John Fahey was my terrible disappointment.

    Re: wikileaks (and not the media personality Assange}, we have a very serious difference here.

    And I thought you were for non-bs transparency. My life is a shambles and this is another disappointment.
    A tear of disappointment…


  4. Fucking sorry for hurting your feelings 😉



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