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The Great China Crackup?
The Weekly Standard Magazine ^ | April 30, 2012 | Dan Blumenthal

Posted on 04/30/2012 6:26:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

The blind, barefoot lawyer, Chen Guangcheng, imprisoned for exposing the morally repugnant practice of forced abortion and sterilization, just evaded one of the world’s most sophisticated state police. It’s a shrewd move: figuring out how to get a sick blind man from his house arrest to Beijing—a daring cat and mouse game between the Chinese police state and reformers. And it was apparently done not because Chen wants asylum: He and his inner gang of reformers see their chance to press for a more democratic political system. In other words, Chinese reformers believe the system is cracking.

What matters for China is not whether Westerners believe the system is cracking. The question is: how do the Chinese view their own system? Clearly reformers see the system fracturing. Chen escaped just as more news broke of power struggles at the top of the Communist Party, between Bo Xilai, his henchmen, and members of the Standing Committee.

While no one in the United States can possibly know all the particulars of the Bo Xilai case, common sense suggests several conclusions. First, the central leadership had it out for him ever since he begun (with his charisma) to build his own powerbase, he became popular for anti-crime efforts in Chongqing, and he expressed nostalgia for Mao’s supposed support for the poor. They were ready when he made a mistake.

Second, Bo’s case—his family skimmed a substantial amount of money from the state—indicates that China has turned into some sort of mafia state run by powerful families connected to the party and military. There are surely many other politically connected Chinese families who do the same thing, Bo’s case has the potential to expose others’ corruption: his plight has unmasked the way in which the party leaders now operate.

This leads us back to Chen. The leadership is reeling from the revelations of the Bo case, and the great wall of silence protecting the Standing Committee is breaking. Chinese leaders were secure as long as no one revealed how the game works or if they played it together. Now they are divided, and are in a trap. They can keep making payoffs for loyalty, to the security services or to the military, but the public knows how corrupt the system is, and many more people are in a position to describe the payoffs.

Chen’s move was strategically timed. His case to Chinese and Westerners will be, “look what happens when rights are not protected.” Chinese leaders steal, even kill. He can try to use patriotic terms: When Bo’s deputy Wang Lijun sought help, the only institution he could trust was the U.S. consulate. He was unsafe outside the hands of the Americans. This fact is a huge embarrassment for the Chinese leadership. Wang had to go to America, figuratively, to get help. The same is true with Chen. For the Chinese, it is apparent that they are having trouble sorting out their own affairs or running their own country.

These unfolding events have major implications for Sino-American relations during the week of Strategic Economic Dialogue summit. The machinery of U.S.-China policy is set on a very linear path – based on a China that will hold together, that is always rising, and that can make important decisions and stick to them. But the Chinese themselves are showing this China to be more of a reassuring fantasy than reality.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: chicagoway; china; dangeroustimes; mafia; thuggery
Neil Heywood death: how news of an Old Harrovian's murder went straight to Barack Obama

Mr Obama was briefed immediately on the suspected poisoning of the 41 year-old, which Chinese officials are linking to Mr Heywood’s powerful political allies, when American diplomats were told of the murder allegation.

Gu Kailai, Mr Heywood’s former business partner and the wife of Bo Xilai, a senior politician who had been tipped for the highest political office, is suspected of ordering the Briton’s murder in a case at the centre of a political storm in China. The couple have disappeared from sight as the Communist Party attempts to regain stability.......

Mr Obama was informed of suspicions over Mr Heywood’s death within hours of a Chinese police chief walking into an American consulate and telling officials that the Briton was murdered.

Security guards surrounded the consulate as diplomats sought advice from their superiors in Washington.

Mr Obama learnt that Mr Heywood was being described as a murder victim before British officials told William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, about the development.

Sources in Washington last night said that for the American president to be so quickly informed of the death of a British citizen was almost unprecedented.

“This was a very high official with extraordinary intelligence,” John Tkacik, who worked for the state department in China for 20 years, said of Wang Lijun, the head of Chongqing police.

“In all of my experience, I can’t recall its equal.”

America is increasingly being drawn into the claims of murder and corruption that have rocked the Chinese establishment.......

1 posted on 04/30/2012 6:26:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
murder and corruption

It's how politics is done:

In ancient Rome
Renaissance Italy
Nazi Germany
and Chicago

Politics is organized crime, and we're all just paying "protection money" to the guys with the guns -- the guys who have a judge in their pocket.

2 posted on 04/30/2012 6:39:36 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
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To: TigersEye


3 posted on 04/30/2012 6:41:44 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The PRC is a renegade terrorist organization and the ROC is the legitimate government. As far as I’m concerned, the ROC belongs in the UN and the PRC does not. American politicians are as worthless as the UN. That is all I have to say about china.

4 posted on 04/30/2012 6:48:25 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In a communist government or a ‘mafia’ one there is always strife and apparent cracking up at the top during transitions from one Fearless Leader to the next. But they usually get it all back together, the ones on the losing side are ‘retired’ or simply killed and the Party goes on.

5 posted on 04/30/2012 10:23:38 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: Army Air Corps
....Politics is organized crime, and we're all just paying "protection money" to the guys with the guns -- the guys who have a judge in their pocket.

Indeed! And why "lobbyists" are the go to guy to help businesses go "hat in hand" to grovel before our "servants'" up on Capital Hill -- to pay protection money to keep new laws and regulations off their backs.

6 posted on 04/30/2012 12:26:58 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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