Three: A Mayor Of Mean Spirit
2: A Fawner With Jealousy And Contempt
In 1985, Jiang Ze-min became the Mayor of Shanghai, so desperate to show off his political achievements, with so little regard to people. He managed to turn over to the central government tax revenue of 12.5 billion yuan in 1986, which was 50 times of that from Guangdong Province. As a result, Shanghai experienced food basket crisis. While the rest of the country was happy to see, at last, an increase of supply of goods, the people of Shanghai were in such dire straits, that they couldn’t buy even the most basic essential items, and had to use ration cards for many of their purchases.
Shanghai was the favorite winter retreat destination for some of the CCP’s elderly bosses, including Chen Yun, and Li Xian Nian, who had control over the CCP’s Central Committee, and the State Council, respectively. This fact gave Jiang Ze-min many chances to curry favor with influential officials, and move closer to fulfilling his political ambitions.
The CCP Central Committee’s top bosses, most have lifestyles quite corrupted from the beginning. They used to set up Zhong Nan Hai Performing Art Troops, brought in beautiful young ladies, and locked them up in there, for the enjoyment of Mao Ze Dong, Zhou En Lai, and others. At the time, almost all the highest ranking official were involved in extra-marital affairs, Li Xian Nian being no exception. He had a mistress in Shanghai, with a background in nursing. Not only did she take good care of him, she also gave birth to his son.
Although Deng Xiao Ping was the core leader of the second generation, Chen Yun and Li Xian Nian constantly held him back as they struggled for power. Hu Yao Bang’s reform attempts upset the conservative camp very much. They had long wanted to get rid of him. But it was Deng Xiao Ping who had stood in the way by sustaining Hu politically.
After the student movement ended, Deng Xiao Ping published his speech of Dec. 30,1986, called, “Take A Clear-cut Stand Against Bourgeois Liberalization”, opposing Hu Yao Bang. Jiang Ze-min read Deng Xiao Ping’s speech the day after it was published, and realized that Hu Yao Bang’s reformist idea, and the CCP’s conservative bent were incompatible. Deng’s speech was, to him, pure treasure. He thought that at a critical time, such as then, it’s imperative that he’d declare a completely identical stand as the Central Committee.
Coincidently, in the winter of that year, State Chairman Li Xian Nian came to Shanghai, and stayed in the guest house. Jiang Ze-min intended to ask him the details about Hu Yao Bang. But over dinner, Li Xian Nian told him, that he was celebrating a birthday on that day. Jiang Ze-min didn’t care much of the people’s food baskets, however, he had spared no effort in memorizing, by heart, each birthday of the senior members of the Central Committee. He was puzzled: Li Xian Nian was born on June 23, 1929, how come he was celebrating his birthday in the winter? Jiang Ze-min finally realized, it must be the birthday of his mistress, or his son! He knew he had to do whatever it took to get a birthday gift to them.
He found an excuse to get rid of his chauffeur, sneaked out to buy a large birthday cake. It was getting late at that point, but Jiang Ze-min, without the slightest hesitation, headed back to the guest house. When Jiang Ze-min reached the guest house, he was told that Li Xian Nian was attending to another guest. The guard, however, remembering Jiang Ze-min, invited him in. Jiang Ze-min shook his head though, and stood outside to wait. He was worried that others may discover what he was doing and follow suit. He wanted to be the only one who looked good. Thus he stood in the snow, cake in hand, for a full four hours. Finally, a disappointed Jiang Ze-min left the cake with the guard, and returned home.
When the guest finally left, the guard gave the cake to Li Xian Nian. He told Li that Jiang Ze-min stood outside for several hours. His overcoat was covered with snow. Li Xian Nian was touched, and said:”Young Jiang, not a bad guy, There are not many people around like that nowadays.”
In 1987. Hu Yao Bang was forced step down. The CCP didn’t want a man with a conscience like Hu Yao Bang. Whoever speaks up for the common people, poses a threat to the CCP’s autocratic control over the nation. The CCP leaders value instead people who fawn over them, engage in double dealings, and show a ruthlessness in suppressing dissidents. And they began considering Jiang Ze-min for a higher position.
After Hu Yao Bang left office, Wei Xing Wen, the Party chief of Shanghai, who was always at loggerheads with Jiang Ze-min, finally left. Zhao Zi Yang appointed Wei Xing Wen Secretary of the Central Committee’s Secretariat, hoping to dissolve the conflict. He served as the Party chief of Shanghai, not even a full term.
While Jiang Ze-min was busy showering senior CCP leaders with praise, and flattery, Deng Xiao Ping had to address the serious problems Jiang had caused in Shanghai. He had to quickly make the economic tsar, Zhu Rong Ji, the Mayor of Shanghai in order to clean up Jiang Ze-min’s mess. Jiang Ze-min was made Shanghai’s Party chief. Zhu Rong Ji was full of talents, capabilities, and charisma. Deng Xiao Ping valued him very much. After Zhu became the Mayor of Shanghai, his achievements, and efforts won the hearts of people which made Jiang Ze-min full of jealousy, and contempt.
He seized every opportunity over all kinds of trivia to severely rebuke Zhu Rong Ji, making him to endure the humiliation.
No matter how poor Jiang Ze-min’s performance in Shanghai, all the same, nothing prevented him from being promoted to the membership in the Politburo of the Central Committee, making him part of the CCP’s highest organ of state power.
In 1992, Zhu Rong Ji became a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Central Committee, China’s highest group of leaders. In 1998, he was then appointed the fifth Premier of China. By that time, the incompetent Jiang Ze-min had been the General Secretary, the State Chairman, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, for 9 years.