Two: Anything For Political Gains
1: A Self Made “Foster Son”
Jiang Ze-min’s uncle, Jiang Shang-qing, only 15 years his senior, was a CCP member, and was killed in gunfight, in 1939, survived by his wife, Wang Zhe-lan, and two daughters, Jiang Ze-ling, and Jiang Ze-hui
Jiang Ze-min, aspiring to climb the Communist Party ladders, from day one would write the name ”Jiang Shang-qing” when filling out forms asking the name of his father, claiming that he was adopted by his uncle when he was little. Jiang Ze-min thus audaciously transformed himself from an offspring of a traitor into the son of a revolutionary martyr!
Then he began visiting his aunt from time to time. Never did he visit with empty hands, however. Jiang Ze-min always brought gits, pleasantly surprising both mother and daughters. People have feelings, and as such, are naturally prone to feigning naivety, while others might wish it. And in this instance, Jiang Ze-min’s lies about his parentage, stood only to benefit Wang Zhe-lan and her family.
A martyr’s family background alone would benefit him little. He needed the patronage of certain high ranking officials, in order to advance further, politically. It’s for this reason that Jiang Ze-min began to seek out senior communists affiliated, in the past, with Jiang Shang-qing. Jiang Ze-min was thrilled to learn that Vice-Premier of the State Council, Zhang Ai-ping, was his uncle’s friend, and discovered that Zhang Ai-ping loved calligraphy. He came up with an idea that would cater to Zhang Ai-ping’s likes.
Once, at the end of a meeting, Zhang Ai-ping heard some called from behind:”Vice-Premier Zhang!” He turned and discovered that it’s Jiang Ze-min, the Deputy Director of China’s Import and Export Commission. “Do you still remember Jiang Shang-qing? He was my foster father.” So startled was Zhang Ai-ping by the sudden and outlandish remark that he was rendered speechless.
Jiang Ze-min sought the honor of General Zhang’s handwriting, wishing to place it on Jiang Shang-qing’s new tome stone. The scheme was so effective that it not only evoked tears from Wang Zhe-lan and her two daughters, but further convinced Zhang Ai-ping that Jiang Ze-min was, indeed, his best friend’s adopted son!
In the early period of the War of Resistance against Japan, or the period of co-operation between the Communists and the Nationalists, as it’s also called, Jiang Shang-qing was Wang Dao-han’s immediate superior, and promoted Wang. After Jiang Ze-min learned of the connection between the two, he kept close to Wang Dao-han, and addressed him “Benevolent Teacher” every time talking to him.
With Wang Dao-han’s guidance and support, Jiang Ze-min’s political career was smooth and uneventful. And yet, after he gained the supreme power in China, he travelled to Shanghai to see all of his patrons, except for Wang Dao-han. For this, he was harshly rebuked in Shanghai as “a mean fish with no conscience”.
However, he could not ingratiate himself with Zhao Zi-yang, the Party’s Secretary General at the time, in spite of all his roundabout ways. Then he attempted to get to know Zhao’s secretaries. General Hong Xue-zhi, a former military leader, was from Anhui Province. Jiang Ze-min let it be known to Hong Xue-zhi that he himself, too, was from Anhui, and hence shared the same hometown. Tailoring his words however stand to benefit him is the hallmark of Jiang Ze-min’s political life.
Jiang Ze-hui said, after her father, Jiang Shang-qing, died, “our family had little to eat, sometimes had no food at all.” Jiang Shang-qing died as a communist bandit. The last thing Jiang Shi-jun wanted was any involvement with the communist bandit’s family. How could he instead offer to send his son to a dead communist for adoption? Jiang Ze-min was both the eldest son and the eldest grandson in the Jiang Family. According to Chinese tradition and rules of inheritance, neither the eldest son nor the eldest grandson can be put up for adoption.
When the team of writers, appointed by Jiang Ze-min, found inconsistencies in his family background, a panicked Jiang Ze-min compensated by using his political power to convince the public that he had been adopted by his martyred uncle, Jiang Shang-qing, at the age of 13!
A slews of memoirs and biographies were issued cementing the claim. Perhaps most absurd was one article, in the “Life of CCP’s Guangdong Branch”, by Jiang Ze-min’s close follower, and Guangdong Party Chief, Li Chang-chun. Circulation of that issue reached nearly two million, emphatically driving home the message that Jiang Ze-min was the martyr’s foster child.
At the CCP’s 16th Congress in Nov. of 2002, Li Chang-chun, the man credited with issuing the phony account of Jiang’s past, was promoted to membership in the CCP’s elite Standing Committee of the Politburo.
One year later, on Nov. 29, 2003, mediainchina.com reported that, on the opinion of a steering office responsible for supervising the party and the government newspapers and publications, the “Life Of CCP’s Guangdong Branch” was taken out of circulation!