You may have guessed by now from my blogs and the earlier ones on http://BroodjeJaap.wordpress.com/ , that my hobby is to discern patterns by combining info from very different sources. Such a pattern appeared when I read the following messages about rather weird and strange recent developments in the People’s Republic of China.
1. The Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor ZTE selled a surveillance System to the national telecom operator in Iran bit.ly/GF1BUT . This equipment can be much more lethal in the hands of the Iran government cyber police group, hunting for dissident messages, than the “telecom network management” stuff a former Siemens-Nokia division sold there, and the sale of it in Iran violates embargo’s. This will cost many lives of people who dare to have different views and it will repress critique, freedom of expression, communication and other human rights.
2. All lawyers must, by a recent Chinese Government (Ministry of Justice) decree, swear an oath of loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party and its socialist policies. This is strange since in most other countries lawyers are independent, bound by professional ethics & rules and must operate within the boundaries set by the national constitution and its laws, as defined and executed by the two other forces of the Trias Politica (government and law enforcement). This strange decree can be seen as an attack on the legal system by the authorities who want to control the dissatisfaction of the masses about excesses of political corruption and the growing wealth- and power differences between members of the elite and the rest of the population. An oath of loyalty to the constitution by the lawyers is normal, but not to a political party or -organization.
3. The recent “elections” for a new “Chief Excecutive of the Special Administrative Region Hong Kong” was an undemocratic farce. Only 1200 selected people where allowed to vote between two candidates selected by the government in Beijing. Sure the government kept its promises since 1997 to allow continuation of a capitalist economy, independent legal judgements and freedom of the press. Real democratic elections however where postponed “until after maybe 2017”, something many now feel the British should not have accepted. Although the economy has grown since the transfer of power with 62 percent, the Hongkong middle class feels neglected despite the high number of billionaires and the low taxes. Average income stayed around 3000 dollars/year. Lots of general interest investments where not made. Tension is growing between middleclass Hong Kong workers in the face of the spending superrich and rich elite visitors from the Chinese mainland.
What is the pattern which emerges when we link the dots of the mentioned issues and maybe other ones like the thousands of executions each year and growing military spending:
A 1% elite caste of ‘taizidang’: red princes and red princesses, run China as if they own the country and are above the law. Very much like in the times of the Chinese Emperors.
They are the (grand) sons and daughters of Mao’s comrades and later cadre in the CPC (Communist Party of China) from the times of the “Long March”. These 300 families dominate and control nearly all power, influence and commercial relations. 91% of millionares and billionaires are members of this group of CPC nomenclatura, who are very well connected in terms of relations. FAMILY ties have for many centuries dominated the Chinese society, so this is not new. 98 % of children and grandchildren of the present and past CPC top cadre do have high functions in Party, the military and essential industries. These elite kids also have the best access to top education in China and in the world.
But the CPC is not as focussed anymore as the press images want us to believe. China is now at crossroads. Unbelievable changes have taken place these past 30 years. But the big reforms of the last 10 years are having less and less effects. growth is leveling off. What direction will China take: new reforms (start of new learning curves?) or continue the present mass production- industrial course? Sounds familiar from USA and Europe, not ??
At present the Red Princes are fighting among eachother about this “new direction” and thus for the open places (because of retirement of 7 of the 9) in the Politbureau which result in the power struggles and harsh hierarchical control measures (1,2,3 mentioned above). Sabre rattling and turbulence is ahead.
But I have no doubt that sooner or later the Middle Class of the People’s Republic will liberate themselves from the present top 1% ruling class and its outdated vertical hierarchy of red princes and princesses, who are only there because they where BORN there, and not because of their shown effectiveness at extraordinary abilities, talents or skills. A P2P network interwoven “Civil Society” will be unstoppable to appear there too. That the middleclasses do not want this in China is a fairytale. If it works and creates jobs and wealth for its contribuants, they will want it and will have it. The Chinese are practical and hard working people. They will not only make the iPads and iPhones but they will use them too!!!