Five: Fatuous And Cruel
3: All The Chairman’s Men
Jiang Zemin reached the acme of power, through the bloody crackdown on student democracy activists. He felt uneasy about his personal safety. The Central Security Guard was responsible for all the Central Government officials, including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the People’s Congress, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultive Conference.
Jiang Zemin wished to have someone absolutely trustworthy as the director of the Central Security Bureau.
The current director Yang Dezhong, hardly fitted the bill, though his qualifications were unmatched by others.
His credentials came from service to Zhou Enlai, Hu Yaobang, and Zhao Ziyang. Jiang Zemin thus lacked an excuse to remove Yang Dezhong. What he could and did do, however, was positioning as many trusted persons as possible around Yang Dezhong.
He first arranged for Yiu Xigui, whom he liked and trusted, to be the head of his security retinue. He ‘d later promoted Yiu Xigui to Deputy Director of the Central Security Bureau making him a deputy of Yang Dezhng.
After Jiang Zemin’s position was secured, in order to have Yiu Xigui become the director of the Central Security Bureau, he ignored opposition from military officials, and broke the CCP protocol, by buying out Yang Dezhong: first, to promote him to the rank of firstclass general, the highest general rankings, and then, advise him to retire. The post of the Central Security was then filled by Yiu Xigui. The Central Security Bureau was thus in effect reworked by Jiang Zemin, into something of a private army.
For this reason, Zeng Qinhong paid special attention to the Guard. In the name of training, He ordered everyone in the Guard participate in the political study sessions, the effect of which was to brain-wash the guards into loyalty not only to the CCP but also, more importantly, to Jiang Zemin. Yiu Xigui and Zeng Qinghong deployed security guards to monitor high ranking officials.
Jiang Zemin closely monitored all officials of high rank, while, ironically, being afraid that he himself was monitored.
He doesn’t trust anyone. After retiring from the position of General Secretary of the CCP, Jiang Zemin continued to hold the post of Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
And it’s through this position, that he concurrently held the post of first political commissar of the Central Security bureau.
When Jiang Zemin was appointed Chairman of Central Military Commission with no credentials, no experience, and no merit, he wouldn’t dare to slightly offend the military. Besides allocating a huge amount of funding to the military, he utilized the propaganda tricks learned from his father, managed to have several movies made, to praise and flatter the military and
in the meantime, to brainwash the public who were utterly detesting the army after the Tian An Men Massacre.
Jiang Zemin’s position in the Party was not stable at that time. He urgently needed to raise the trusted followers within the military. He inspected the Ji Nan military region in 1992, the regional commander Zhang Wannian shouted aloud the slogan: “Firmly support the Party Central Committee and Central Military Commission with Jiang Zemin at the center!”
This made Jiang Zemin ecstatic. He immediately promoted Zhang Wannian to the position of General Chief of Staff of the Central Military Commission. Then in 1993, he promoted Zhang Wannian to the rank of full general.
Zhang Wannian didn’t disappoint Jiang, he once gathered his entire personnel in the Chief of Staff Office, and ordered them to sing, in front of Jiang, the song “The Gun Will Forever Obey The Party’s Command”. Jiang Zemin couldn’t have been happier. Zhang Wannian’s flattery proved quite effective, and people soon began to follow in his footsteps, benefits in kind.
Guo Boxiong was an army commander, and major general in the 47th army. In the early Nineteen Nineties, Jiang Zemin went to inspect Shaanxi Province. When he napped for over two hours at noon, Guo Boxiong stood guard for him outside the door. Jiang Zemin took an instant liking to Guo Boxiong, transferred him to Beijing Military Region, and made him a Vice Commander. After that, he was promoted three times, at one point, became the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and being awarded the rank of full general.
Yu Yongbo was another such figure, flattering Jiang Zemin without letup. He, in 1992, was named director of the General Political Department of China’s military, and later in 1993, given the rank of general. At the beginning of 2001, at a banquet Jiang Zemin hosted meant to entertain the entire top brass military, Yu Yongbo shout it out: “Long Live Chairman Jiang!”
The move made him something of a laughing stock, though it was not seen as such by Jiang Zemin.
Appointing general became Jiang Zemin’s way to gain allegiance. Seventy-nine generals were appointed by Jiang Zemin between 1993 and 2004. As for major generals and lieutenant generals, hundreds were made in Jiang’s era, almost as if the move was part of a casual game. Those promoted were full of mean spirit. They have little respect for each other, they slander each other, create obstacles for each other, refuse to cooperate, are jealous of each other and undermine each other.
Many of those conferred so frequently with ranking and titles, didn’t regard the designation as the honor it was supposed to be. At the award ceremonies, Jiang Zemin himself casually gave out the certificates of the appointments with merely one hand.
And they took the honor lightly, conducted themselves in a manner anything but serious. All of these very much under the veteran generals who were promoted based on the abilities, who enjoyed immense prestige, whose commands were met with uniform obedience.
Jiang Zemin’s strategy of building an army was to promoting politics. That is, the army must obey the CCP’s commands, obey his commands. As for how to command the military, he wouldn’t measure up to an amateur. One might ask: ” What sort of might could a military achieve with people of such caliber?”
A military of this sort won’t manage to win battles no matter how modernized their weapons may be.