It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.
This dichotomy of thrust and counterthrust by Russia on the one side and the West on the other is for the most part inadequate largely because there is also another crucial factor in deciding the outcome of Russia’s territorial expansion, namely, China and its own territorial ambition that goes against Russia’s objectives in much of Central and East Asia. Continue reading
Changes to come ahead of 19th National Congress as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power
China’s military is stepping up the pace of a massive reshuffle among its leadership ahead of a Communist Party congress later this year as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power within the armed forces, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Nearly 50 senior officers are due to leave their positions as part of the shake-up, including 18 full-ranking generals, two independent sources told the South China Morning Post. Continue reading
China’s ruling Communist Party declared its General Secretary Xi Jinping the “core” of its leadership on Thursday, elevating his already powerful status.
A communique issued by top party leaders after a four-day meeting in Beijing called on all its members to “closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core”, said the People’s Daily, the party’s official mouthpiece.
The announcement followed a gathering of 400 top party leaders in Beijing for a meeting known as the Sixth Plenum to discuss changes to party structure and discipline. Continue reading
Chinese president to be put on a par with former paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping whose authority must not be challenged
President Xi Jinping is likely to be formally endorsed as the “core” leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the four-day 6th Plenum of the party’s decision-making Central Committee starting on Monday.
This will put him on a par with former paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping whose authority is firmly established and must not be questioned let alone challenged. Continue reading
Jiang looked to be in good health, whereas Hu Jintao’s hands were shaking, which has raised suspicions that he may be in ill health, according to the website. Continue reading
An unusual and massive military exercise has been going on in China, and it seems to have had purposes that are more political than military.
“Firepower-2014″ kicked off on July 15, and 10 consecutive live ammunition drills across military regions were launched by the Chinese People’ Liberation Army. In the meantime, the Navy and the Air Force also mobilized to participate in the exercises in the Beibu Gulf, Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea.
With the participation of the three armed forces and the troops from the six military regions, the exercise was dubbed as an unprecedented “Massive Military Exercise of the Three Armed Forces in Four Seas.” Continue reading
New propaganda czar Liu Yunshan, now a member of the Standing Committee, greets the press on Nov. 15 in Beijing. (Feng Li/Getty Images)
Liu Yunshan was born in Xinzhou City, Shanxi Province in 1947. His parents were Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cadres in Inner Mongolia. His father was a subordinate of Bo Yibo, the father to disgraced official Bo Xilai. After graduating from Jining Normal School in the province, he worked as a teacher, a clerk at the propaganda department, and a reporter for the Inner Mongolia Bureau of the state mouthpiece Xinhua. Between July 1982 and February 1984, Liu Yunshan served as deputy secretary of Communist Youth League in Inner Mongolia, while Hu Jintao was the secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Youth League Central Committee. Therefore, Liu has been classified as belonging to Hu’s Youth League Faction. Continue reading
Ruling class parties using staged demonstrations with real effect are nothing new when living under a communist regime.
There were protests in over 57 cities in China, according to World Journal, a Chinese newspaper published outside of China.
A number of other Weibo users noted that many of the protesters were not local, did not have rail passes, and did not speak the local language. One Guangzhou resident suspected that they were sent from out of town to make trouble.
In many cities, police in uniform or other security forces kept the protesters in some semblance of order—in contrast to the usual role played by Chinese authorities, who crush any protest perceived as antigovernment.
The Hidden Hand
One Weibo user, attuned to the signs of Chinese political struggle, wrote, “Firstly, who can control armed police, plainclothes police, and public security all over the country? Secondly, who can control televisions all over the country to keep silent? Thirdly, who can control Sina Weibo and delete posts as soon as they appear? This someone must be the one that is behind these violent incidents all over the country.”
The most prominent theory of who the “someone” is, is hard-liners in the security and propaganda apparatus who are aligned with former regime leader Jiang Zemin; many owe their political legacy to the implementation of Jiang’s persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
Though some analysts and insiders indicated that arrangements for the upcoming leadership changeover this fall were settled, the recent absence of Xi Jinping, the presumptive next leader of the regime, and the dispute with Japan may have given this group an opening to exploit and push for greater power, according to analysts.
Full article: Behind China’s Anti-Japan Protests, the Hand of Officials (The Epoch Times)
Bo brought up helping Baidu fight off its main competitor, Google, and gain a monopoly in the Chinese-language search engine market. Jiang Zhi recalled that Li bowed to Bo right on the spot.
Bo was willing to promise that Google would be thrust out of China, but a quid quo pro was involved. Bo needed Baidu to cooperate with Chongqing officials and lift the censorship on articles criticizing Party head Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and presumptive next Party head Xi Jinping. The articles would be published on websites outside China favoring former Party head Jiang Zemin.
Full article: EXCLUSIVE: Google Forced Out of China, Plotted by Bo Xilai and Security Boss (Epoch Times)
The report also said that more Party officials have requested that the number of PSC members be cut from nine to seven so that decisions and polices can be “implemented faster and better.”
Actually, prior to the 16th Party Congress, the PSC had been a seven-member committee. It was former Party leader Jiang Zemin who added two extra members.
According to Chinese dissident Song Yuxuan, who lives outside China, Jiang pushed the appointments of Li Changchun and Luo Gan, as those two men would continue Jiang’s persecution of Falun Gong and support Jiang, Song told The Epoch Times.
Li Changchun, as the head of the Central Propaganda Department, has played an important role in controlling media and guiding public opinion in China. “If not for Li Changchun’s roles [as both Propaganda Minister and PSC member], Hu would have been able to directly arrange the Central Propaganda Department to influence public opinion himself,” Song said.
Song said if the PSC is to be restored to a seven-member organization, except for Xi Jinping, the most discussed members are all part of the Youth League faction headed by Hu Jintao, and Hu will have the opportunity to completely remove Jiang’s faction from the top CCP ruling committee.
Liu Yinquan, a former professor in history at Shandong University and now secretary of the China Social Democratic Party, which is based outside China, agrees.
“In the past 10 years, Hu had to do things as Jiang wishes before he decided things,” Lin told the New York-based New Tang Dynasty TV. “There were even rumors about coup attempts against Hu. These were very cruel facts. If the PSC has only seven members, it will be beneficial for Hu and Wen”
Liu thinks that those remaining on the PSC loyal to Jiang will be removed if the reduction is made.
Recently many members of Jiang’s faction, who serve as regional officials as well as in the military, have pledged their loyalty to Hu.
Jiang Zemin hasn’t been heard from in several months and is said to be in a vegetative state.
Full article: Committee Ruling Chinese Communist Party May Reduce to Seven – Factional power shift will benefit Hu Jintao (Epoch Times)
Amidst the alleged coup that took place in China, here is a quick list of who’s who in today’s Chinese movers and shakers (click link for pictures):
Current paramount leader of Chinese Communist Party.
Promoted for persecution in Tibet.
To be replaced by Xi Jinping.
Allied with Premier Wen Jiabao.
Argued against Bo Xilai’s promotion to vice premier during 17th Congress.
Wants to reform CCP.
Next Chairman, current VP, vice chair Central Military Commission
Unaligned, tolerated by both factions but was possible target for overthrow by Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang.
Former Head of Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau
Attempted to defect while at the U.S. Consulate Feb. 6.
Rumored to have betrayed Bo to Hu-Wen faction, possibly leading to Bo’s arrest.
Former leader of communist party
Is said to be the real No. 2 of the Standing Committee. Helped further Bo Xilai’s political career.
Secretary of Political and Legislative Affairs Committee.
Rumored to have been recently purged. Hard-liner and ally of Jiang; rose through persecuting Falun Gong.
Former Chongqing party secretary
Ally of Zhou and Jiang, once a possibility for Standing Committee, recently purged and arrested. Rose through persecuting Falun Gong.
Full article: Major Players in Beijing Power Struggle (Epoch Times)
The attempted defection of Wang Lijun, recently the top cop in the western city of Chongqing, suggests that China’s ongoing leadership transition will be especially turbulent.
On the 6th of this month, Wang entered the American consulate in Chengdu, the capital of neighboring Sichuan Province, seeking asylum. He spent a day there. Incredibly, his old boss, Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, essentially invaded Sichuan by sending hundreds of his armed security troops to surround the Chengdu consulate in an unsuccessful bid to apprehend Wang.
Full article: Power Struggle in China (World Affairs Journal)