China's Hu says graft threatens state, party must stay in charge

BEIJING Thu Nov 8, 2012 12:34pm EST

1 of 5. Delegates chat outside of the Guangxi room before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People, the venue of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing November 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria

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BEIJING (Reuters) - President Hu Jintao warned China's incoming leaders on Thursday that corruption threatened the ruling Communist Party and the state, but said the party must stay in charge as it battles growing social unrest.

In a state-of-the-nation address to more than 2,000 hand-picked party delegates before he hands over power, Hu acknowledged that public anger over graft and issues like environmental degradation had undermined the party's support and led to surging numbers of protests.

"Combating corruption and promoting political integrity, which is a major political issue of great concern to the people, is a clear-cut and long-term political commitment of the party," Hu said.

"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state. We must thus make unremitting efforts to combat corruption."

He promised political reform, but only to a degree, saying: "We will never copy a Western political system."

"We will neither walk on the closed and rigid road, nor will we walk down the evil road of changing (our) flags and banners," Hu said.

He also stressed the need to strengthen the armed forces and protect sea territory amid disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian nations.

Hu was opening a week-long congress at Beijing's Great Hall of the People that will usher in a once-in-a-decade leadership change in the world's second-largest economy.

Despite the high profile of the event and the focus on sensitive issues like reform and graft, the comments were not considered unusual since they mainly reinforced existing ideas and themes.

"It was a rather conservative report," said Jin Zhong, the editor of Open Magazine, an independent Hong Kong publication that specializes in Chinese politics. "There's nothing in there that suggests any breakthrough in political reforms."

The run-up to the carefully choreographed meeting, at which Hu will hand over his post as party chief to anointed successor Vice President Xi Jinping, has been overshadowed by a corruption scandal involving one-time high-flying politician Bo Xilai.

The party has accused him of taking bribes and abusing his power to cover up his wife's murder of a British businessman in the southwestern city of Chongqing, which he used to run.

While Hu did not name Bo - a man once considered a contender for top office himself - he left little doubt about the target.

"All those who violate party discipline and state laws, whoever they are and whatever power or official positions they have, must be brought to justice without mercy," Hu told delegates, one of whom was his predecessor, Jiang Zemin.

"Leading officials, especially high-ranking officials, must ... exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen education and supervision over their families and their staff; and they should never seek any privilege."

The New York Times said last month that the family of Premier Wen Jiabao had accumulated at least $2.7 billion in "hidden riches", a report China labeled a smear.

JIANG'S CLOUT

Hu entered the venue accompanied by Jiang, 86, signaling the former president still wields influence in the party and in the secretive deliberations to decide on the new leaders. As Hu delivered his speech under a massive, golden hammer and sickle, a healthy-looking Jiang sat flanked by senior members, party elders such as Li Peng and incoming leaders such as Xi.

The congress ends on November 14, when the party's new Standing Committee, at the apex of power, will be unveiled. Only Xi and his deputy Li Keqiang are certain to be on what is likely to be a seven-member committee, and about eight other candidates are vying for the other places.

The congress also rubber-stamps the selection of about two dozen people to the party's Politburo, and approves scores of other appointments, including provincial chiefs and heads of some state-owned enterprises.

"We must uphold the leadership of the party," Hu said.

He also named health care, housing, the environment, food and drug safety and public security as areas where problems had "increased markedly".

The meeting is a chance for Hu to cement his legacy before retirement and ensure a smooth handover of power, and his prime-time speech was a chance to push his achievements and perhaps help steer a course going forward.

While Hu promised "reforms to the political structure" and more encouragement of debate within the party, he gave no hint that China would allow broader popular participation.

"We should ... give full play to the strength of the socialist political system and draw on the political achievements of other societies. However, we will never copy a Western political system," said Hu, who mentioned "socialism with Chinese characteristics" no less than 78 times in his speech.

While Hu will step down as party leader, Xi will only take over state duties at the annual meeting of parliament in March.

Just weeks after anti-Japan riots swept city streets following a row over disputed islands, Hu also said China should strengthen the armed forces, protect its maritime interests and be prepared for "local war" in the information age.

"We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests and build China into a maritime power," he said.

China is also locked in dispute with Southeast Asian neighbors over areas of the South China Sea. Relations with the United States have been bogged down by accusations of military assertiveness in the region from both sides.

The government has tightened security in the run-up to the congress, even banning the flying of pigeons in the capital, and has either locked up or expelled dozens of dissidents.

Security was especially tight on Thursday around the Great Hall and Tiananmen Square next door, the scene of pro-democracy protests in 1989 that were crushed by the military.

Police dragged away a screaming protester as the Chinese national flag was raised at dawn.

The party, which came to power in 1949 after a long and bloody civil war, has in recent years tied its legitimacy to economic growth and lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Hu said China's development should be "much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable", and it should double its 2010 GDP and per capita income by 2020, as previous targets have implied.

But China experts say that unless the new leadership pushes through stalled reforms, the nation risks economic malaise, deepening unrest, and perhaps even a crisis that could shake the party's grip on power.

This year marked the first time Chinese Internet users could discuss the congress on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

Many said his reference to not walking on a "closed and rigid road" not the "evil road of changing (our) flags and banners" reflected gridlock between two factions - the reformists and the leftists, who are critical of a market-based reform agenda.

"Which road to walk on?" a microblogger wrote. "Both the right and left have blocked you to death, so where can you go?"

(Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in Beijing and James Pomfret in Hong Kong; Writing by Nick Macfie,; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Neil Fullick)

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Comments (23)
DeanMJackson wrote:
The article reads, “China’s outgoing leader sees unprecedented opportunity, unknown risks”

The greatest threat to the Chinese Communist Party and their comrades in the USSR are the devastating revelations of Communist global strategy coming from Dean Michael Jackson, a strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960, and seen by Communist strategists as the only credible stratagem that had a chance in defeating the West with.

You see ladies and gentlemen, all decisions made by Communist nations must be vetted through the LRP, since it is the “historical duty” of all Communist nations to defeat the West:

“Behind the impressive smokescreen of pseudo-democracy, pseudo-capitalism and pseudo-reform, this Russian-Chinese ‘cooperation-blackmail’ strategy is irreconcilably hostile to the West. Again, this is no mere presumption. It was explicitly confirmed in May 1994 to Clark Bowers, a member of an official US Republican delegation to Peking, by Mr Mo Xiusong, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, who is believed to be the highest-ranking Chinese Communist official ever to have answered questions put to him by a knowledgeable Western expert on Communism:

BOWERS: Is the long-term aim of the Chinese Communist Party still world Communism?

Mo XIUSONG: Yes, of course. That is the reason we exist.” – “The Perestroika Deception” (1995), by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn.

In order to understand the World Communist threat to our liberties, one must understand Communist strategy:

“Lenin advised the Communists that they must be prepared to “resort to all sorts of stratagems, maneuvers, illegal methods, evasions and subterfuge” to achieve their objectives. This advice was given on the eve of his reintroduction of limited capitalism in Russia, in his work Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder.

… Another speech of Lenin’s … in July 1921 is again highly relevant to understanding “perestroika.” “Our only strategy at present,” wrote Lenin, “is to become stronger and, therefore, wiser, more reasonable, more opportunistic. The more opportunistic, the sooner will you again assemble the masses round you. When we have won over the masses by our reasonable approach, we shall then apply offensive tactics in the strictest sense of the word.”

If you examine the backgrounds of prominent Russian figures, you will find that they have long Communist Party/ KGB or Komsomol pedigrees. Yet for some inexplicable reason, the Western media have accepted their sudden, orchestrated, mass “conversion” to Western-style norms of behavior, their endless talk of “democracy,” and their acceptance of “capitalism,” as genuine. “Scratch these new, instant Soviet “democrats,” “anti-Communists,” and “nationalists” who have sprouted out of nowhere, and underneath will be found secret Party members or KGB agents,” Golitsyn writes on page 123 of his new book [The Perestroika Deception]. In accepting at face value the “transformation” of these Leninist revolutionary Communists into “instant democrats,” the West automatically accepts as genuine the false “Break with the Past” — the single lie upon which the entire deception is based.

In short, the “former” Soviet Union — and the East European countries as well — are all run by people who are steeped in the dialectical modus operandi of Lenin. Without exception, they are all active Leninist revolutionaries, working collectively towards the establishment of a world Communist government, which, by definition, will be a world dictatorship.

It is difficult for the West to understand the Leninist Hegelian dialectical method — the creation of competing or successive opposites in order to achieve an intended outcome. Equally difficult for us to comprehend is the fact that these Leninist revolutionaries plan their strategies over decades and generations. This extraordinary behavior is naturally alien to Western politicians, who can see no further than the next election. Western politicians usually react to events. Leninist revolutionaries create events, in order to control reactions to them and manipulate their outcomes.” — William F Jasper, Senior Editor for The New American magazine.

You ask, what does Jasper mean when he says, “Leninist Hegelian dialectical method — the creation of competing or successive opposites in order to achieve an intended outcome”?

Simply explained, and on a tactical level, it’s called the “Scissors Strategy”, where one blade represents (for example) Putin & Company, however the other blade of the scissors–the leadership of the political “opposition” to Putin & Company–is actually controlled by Putin & Company*, which leaves the genuine opposition in the middle wondering why political change isn’t taking place. Understand this simple strategy?

On a strategic level, from 1960 – 1989 the USSR and China played the “Scissors Strategy”, by pretending to be enemies. This strategy allowed one side to play off against the other with the West, thereby gaining political advantages from the West, which neither Communist giant could have achieved if it was believed they were united. Clever, huh?

Keep Jasper’s words in mind.

Read more on the “Long-Range Policy” in the 1984 book, “New Lies for Old” (available at Internet Archive), by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn, the only Soviet-era defector to still be under protective custody in the West.

Nov 07, 2012 9:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jo5319 wrote:
@Dean:
A book from 1984?! The Soviet Union hadn’t even crumbled yet!
That’s really passe!

Nov 07, 2012 9:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WJL wrote:
Audits and corruption investigations of government officials in China are more common place than tax audits in America. That is why they did not have a general financial crisis like America.

Nov 07, 2012 11:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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