Huanqiu Shibao explains how the horse (i. e. the Chinese public) rode itself through the circus arena*), during the downfall of Chongqing’s former party secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙来):
There was a lot of comment and discussion after the Chongqing matter. That is normal, because the issue was worth a lot of attention. At the same time, the Wang Lijun “accident” and the debate soon after were both natural.
Watching the rumors moving up, the entire society was in fact waiting for the party’s central committee’s increasingly authoritative voice. Popular feeling in China is stable, everyone is awaiting the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, with expectations of success, and the expectations concerning China’s future have not changed.
China’s rapid development is like a living body’s development, and there may always be some particulars we haven’t been familiar with. Handling of them and adaptation to them takes time, and also calmness. In a country as big as China, our successions of adjustments and thoughts haven’t generally been stupid, but have always promoted social progress.
In China’s society of numerous and complicated voices, trust in the party’s central committee has become reason for society in its entirety. This is an important line of China’s social cohesion, and it one of the fundamental reasons as to why China, ever since the beginning of reform and opening, has become diverse, but not scattered. Even though the ubiquitous arguments also touched this question, “trusting the party’s central committee” is undoubtedly China’s society’s strongest ideological and political reality.
Some people believe that “trust in the CCP” is some kind of indoctrination, and actually unnecessary. This kind of thought is a natural product of China’s ideological superstructure within China’s political system, and actually formed itself as early as among the first ranks of China’s revolutionaries. And it is also a gradually growing result of the successes the CCP’s rule has brought about.
The Chinese Communist Party correctly guides the Chinese nation towards its great rejuvenation; the nation’s general direction is correct, and Chinese society’s recognition of this is correspondingly high. To trust the central committee on major issues and to unite around the central committee has become China’s real choice to implement major policies smoothly, and actually the result of Chinese society’s constant pursuit of stable development.
There is no contradiction between emancipation of mind and trust in the party’s central committee. It is exactly for the diversity, for having several options, that we truly discover that trusting the party’s central committee, implementing the party’s road map, is more reliable than any other method other people may teach us, and more able to create the conditions that make the country and the individual develop.
To maintain the party’s central committee’s position doesn’t mean that one wouldn’t need to compare them with the specific popular feelings and demands. In fact, the rich and varied changes in Chinese society are constantly influencing the party’s central committee’s working methods and rhythm. Interaction between the central committee and Chinese society is becoming the essence.
We believe that the party’s central committee will further step up the development of its work, centering on the public’s political concerns. We also hope that the formation of some conclusions can become faster. The sooner the authoritative voice is raised, the more clarity and peace of mind there will be within the public. Sometimes, the importance of speed has been greater than speed itself.
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is the first one held under the rapid informational development of the internet, and the [generational] change in leadership is even more the first one to happen “in broad daylight”. In this regard, Chinese society doesn’t have any experience, and the degree to which this may create difficulties isn’t very clear either. Under these circumstances, caution is essential. But this caution is completely different from caution in the past.
China’s active improvement needs a relaxed environment, and it needs to transform the publics’ concerns into trust and understanding of the processes [which are going on].
*) I think its causes are of a moral order. The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant, systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune. I found it painful to listen to you, Innokentii, when you told us how you were re-educated and became mature in jail. It was like listening to a circus horse describing how it broke itself in.
Dr. Zhivago, interpreting his heart ailment.
A short note re comments on the Huanqiu Shibao article: many of them seem to disagree with it – there are currently 1470 comments (and some actually include references to the Soviet Union, even if not to Pasternak’s Zhivago). Others refer to the critics as traitors (汉奸, hànjiān).