How the Communist Party sells Xi Jinping’s ‘Chinese Dream’

HONG KONG — To understand the attitude of China’s new leadership toward reform, you need to understand “The Chinese Dream.”

Adopted by Xi Jinping as his governing slogan at the end of last year, “The Chinese Dream” has since become ubiquitous in the People’s Republic: it’s featured in newspaper editorials, TV debates and elementary-school textbooks. It’s taught in universities, prisons and work training programs. It’s written on walls and plastered on propaganda billboards.

But what does “The Chinese Dream” mean?

That’s tougher to say. Continue reading

Chinese Weibo users are salivating over Detroit’s bankruptcy

Downtown Detroit has long been one of the nation’s worst housing markets. Home values have plummetedVacancies abound. And foreclosure numbers are through the roof. Not that that’s surprising; who’d want to live in a neighborhood with soaring unemployment and the highest rate of violent crime in the US?

The bad news for Detroiters is that the city’s bankruptcy will likely only deepen the decay of its downtown housing market.

That might deter most prospective home buyers. But some look at Detroit’s hard times and see profit.

Specifically, bargain-hunting Chinese investors. Since the bankruptcy was announced on July 18, talk of snapping up Detroit housing for a pittance has picked up on Sina Weibo (link in Chinese), reports Sina Finance. And it appears to be translating into real interest; Caroline Chen, a real estate broker in Troy, Michigan, says she’s received “tons of calls” from people in mainland China. Continue reading

Behind China’s Anti-Japan Protests, the Hand of Officials

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)

PLA Must “Prepare for Struggle”

In a growing sign of how twitchy the Chinese government is as the Communist Party prepares for its leadership transition this year, the country’s military has been warned to prepare for an “ideological struggle.”

A commentary in the top official military newspaper, Liberation Army Daily, said the People’s Liberation Army must “resolutely resist the incursion of all kinds of erroneous ideas, not be disturbed by noise, not be affected by rumors, and not be drawn by undercurrents, and ensure that at all times and under all circumstances the military absolutely obeys the command of the Party central leadership, the Central Military Commission and Chairman Hu,” Reuters notes.

The call comes as the government struggles to tamp down persistent rumors of instability, or even a violent power struggle, at the very top of government. Last month, the Internet in China lit up with rumors of a coup, as stories ricocheted around social media sites like Sina Weibo that tanks and armored cars had taken to the streets in Beijing and other major cities.

Full article: PLA Must “Prepare for Struggle” (The Diplomat)