8-5: A Rascal Underneath

Eight: Craving For Grandiose

5: A Rascal Underneath

 

On August 15 the year 2000, before Jiang Zemin visited the US, to drum up momentum, and demonstrate to the West how open-minded and wise he was, Jiang arranged for Mike Wallace, the host of CBS’s 60 Minutes, to interview him.

Jiang pretended to have a magnanimous attitude, and indicated that the purpose of the interview was to promote the friendship between China and the US. However, Wallace was quite straightforward with him, and hit the nail on the head when he pointed out, that Jiang was the last major communist dictator in the world, and that Jiang sounded like a full-fledged politician, with no candor. Jiang, lack of the most basic concept of the law, had many embarrassing moments in the interview. For example, he didn’t fully understand what positions he held, and forgot some very basic facts, such as that the National People’s Congress simply does not have the right to elect the members of the CCP’s Standing Committee. He claimed that the press should be a mouthpiece of the Party, and that China has a different situation from the West for implementing democracy.

Of course, the most laughable part was Jiang’s smear of Falun Gong, by saying that Falun Gong’ founder, Li Hongzhi, had claimed to be a reincarnation of the Lord Buddha, and a reincarnation of Christ, and preached an apocalyptic doctrine about the end of the Earth, and how the planet would explode.

Jiang had also said that Falun Gong had driven thousands of its members to commit suicide. With the mention of Christ, he was trying hard to incite hatred from the American public.

The truth is, though, that Falun Gong’s founder never claimed to be a reincarnation of Buddha or Jesus. What’s more, in 98 and 99, Mr. Li told thousands of people in a large audience, that the destruction of the Earth that had been predicted by many to occur in 99 would not take place, and Falun Gong’s teaching is against killing and suicide.

Jiang was so eager to spread hatred, that his outlandish claims turned into rumor-mongering. From the special interview with Mike Wallace, people obviously were unable to see Jiang’s wise image, but instead, witnessed his demeanor as a rascal, and his loose tongue. It must be pointed out, that when Jiang lied to Wallace in his capacity as the head of state, he took advantage of China’s national prestige to slander Falun Gong, and in turn, harmed the entire prestige of China. Jiang was satisfied though, with his talking and laughing merrily in front of the American reporter.

However, only three months later, he turned fumed with rage, before a Hongkong junior reporter. Jiang was meeting with Tung Chee-hwa, Hongkong’s Chief, who came to Beijing to report on his post.

When a female reporter asked Jiang if Tung Chee-hwa’s second term was assured by Jiang’s imperial order, Jiang grew so furious, that he accused the Hongkong reporters, with his incoherent Cantonese and English, of asking simple and naive questions. He said to the reporters in English: ” You are too simple, too naive! And I’m angry!”

The whole process lasted four minutes. He even shamelessly asked the reporters to forget professional ethics, just shut up and make money. Wallace didn’t make Jiang explode, however, a young woman reporter easily did that. Jiang, tearing up his mask, exploded and showed his true color in front of the world. This must have made Wallace regretful.

After venting his rage before Hongkong reporters, Jiang probably realized that he had crossed the line. He then pointed his fingers at the reporters, and warned that if their reports had deviations, they would be held responsible. The Hongkong’s media was shocked by Jiang’s admonishment. Nearly all the daily newspapers reported the story with very eye-catching headlines, describing Jiang as, behaving rascally.

8-4: Bravo, Hongkong!

Eight: Craving For Grandiose

4: Bravo, Hongkong!

 

In 1984, an agreement arranging the return of Hongkong to mainland China in 1997, was signed between British Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang. Both leaders promised to attend the Hongkong return ceremony.  In 1997, Zhao requested to attend the ceremony in Hongkong. Jiang exploded: “Absurd!” pounding his fist on the table. He ordered Luo Gan to step up the security at Zhao’s residence to keep him firmly under house arrest.
The narrow-minded Jiang Zemin, who delighted in flattery, couldn’t stand the thought of letting Zhao take credit.

Therefore, he disallowed the public from knowing the fact.
In the CCP’s propaganda campaign afterward, Zhao was either blurred or cut out of photos that bore witness of the historical moment. Jiang ordered the Ministry of Propaganda, to shift the public attention towards the hand-over of Hongkong.
The ceremony marking Hongkong’s return was to be the focus of the world’s attention, a rare and historical event. Jiang was extremely eager to seize the occasion, and make a show of himself.

Some CCP high ranking officials stated at one meeting, that the return of Hongkong, though an important and much-anticipated event, was not something to boast about. For the sake of the Nation and Party’s image, the General Secretary of the Party should stay in Beijing. This made Jiang very upset and shaken, for his presence at the event would have implications, for personnel arrangements to be made at the Party’s 15th Congress. The uncompromising Jiang thus insisted on going to Hongkong.

On June 30, 1997, Jiang arrived in Hongkong in high spirits. At a home with seniors, he spoke people from Shanghai, in Shanghai dialect about his skills at Majiang. At the shopping center, he greeted an arranged welcoming crowd, in Mandarin Chinese, an accent of the Yangzhou dialect. Jiang couldn’t speak Cantonese, but that didn’t deter him, he would mimic Cantonese all the same. After seeing Jiang who despite his title of President of China, came across as somehow bizarre and bereft of self-esteem, the people of Hongkong couldn’t help but frown upon him.

On June 30, as it rained heavily, the troops marched to Hongkong beneath a sky of dark clouds. Between midnight of June 30 and early morning of July 1, the governments of China and Great Britain, went through the procedures relating to the transfer of Hongkong’s authority.

At the gathering, Jiang who was the media focus during the event, made a speech in his capacity as the President of China. He repeated the word of Joint Declaration, that Zhao had co-signed: the policy of one country, two systems; Hongkong is to be governed by the people of Hongkong, and that it should be a high level of autonomy would not change for 50 years, he declared, for this was to be the policies guiding the central government for years to come. With those words still resounding in the air, the color of Hongkong’s sky gave way to the color red.

Soon it was decided that Hongkong’s special administrator, was to be named by Beijing authority. The policies of the Hongkong government, was now only to be implemented after final approval from the central government in Beijing.
And the Hongkong people’s freedom of speech, soon was restricted among other changes. Within a few years, Hongkong, once known as one of the four Asian Dragons, and the pearl in the Orient for its prosperity and freedom, had fallen so fast, as to had to request funding from the Central Government. The move sparked complaints throughout the island.

Before Hongkong’s return to China, when China and United Kingdom were negotiating the transition of power, Beijing intended to establish Article 23 of the basic law, to govern treason and crime of subversion, to extend CCP’s totalitarian control to Hongkong. The proposal received strong opposition from many circles in Hongkong, and the United Kingdom.
To secure a smooth transition of power, Beijing publicly announced, that it would delay the passage of Article 23.

Due to the need to maintain the appearance of the One Country, Two Systems, Jiang could not apply the same totalitarian suppression of Falun Gong in Hongkong, as in mainland China. Hongkong is an international center, and major tourist destination, where Falun Gong practitioners are distributing truth materials. Jiang could not stand this happening under his nose, he considered the Article 23 Legislation, to be the best way to get rid of Falun Gong in Hongkong.

In 2002, when the Hongkong government facing reappointment, Jiang expressed unreserved support for Tung Chee-Hwa’s second term. Secretary of Justice Elsie Leung, who was born in a family of underground CCP member, also continued for a second term. While On Sang Chan Fang who had always been known for speaking her mind, and was called the conscience of Hongkong, was forced by Jiang to resign.
Besides, Secretary of Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee was eager to show Jiang her ability and loyalty, and could hardly wait. The time was right for Jiang’s plan in Hongkong.

Not surprisingly, soon after Tong assembled his new cabinet, the dept justice quickly announced the Hongkong government’s decision, to establish Article 23 of the basic law. The public comment period on the proposed Article 23, was only three months long. A more detailed proposal was to be published no later than the beginning of the following year. The proposal was to be sent to the Legislature to be reviewed and passed. Elsie Leung said she had already communicated with Beijing on this matter. The issue of Article 23 received tremendous attention. Opposition from various groups in Hongkong, and Chinese people the world over, remained strong, and was getting stronger.

July 1, 2003, six years after Hongkong’s return, 500000 Hongkong residents took to the streets marching.
The protest against the Hongkong government proposed Article 23, was far larger than expected. It’s not only shocked Hongkong, but also took the world by surprise. While the CCP’s media reported differently to the mainland people, that 60 thousand people celebrated the anniversary of Hongkong’s return to China. The demonstration in Hongkong shook Beijing.
The political forces in Hongkong became divided under the pressure from public opinion.

On the evening of July 6, chairman of the Liberal Party, James Tien, announced his resignation. Secretary of Security, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, had very low public support. And Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-Chung was exposed for his financial scandal.Both resigned from their posts. Article 23 just couldn’t get enough votes to pass. By then, Jiang had lost, and could not turn the situation around.

The notorious Tung Chee-Hwa, who kowtow to Jiang at the expense of Hongkong people, officially resigned from the Hongkong Chief Executive position on March 10, 2005, after losing his main benefactor Jiang Zemin, and was deemed as damaged goods, by the CCP regime in Beijing.

8-3: Gaining Through Calamities

Eight: Craving For Grandiose

3: Gaining Through Calamities

 

In 1998, in the Yangzi River region, a small scale flood triggered a huge disaster of the century. Nearly 400 million people were affected, and direct economic losses were over 300 billion yuan, that’s 36 billion US dollars. The reason was that Jian Zemin, like Mao Zedong and many other CCP high ranking officials, deeply believed in fortune-telling Fengshui, to guard the levee, and protect his dragon vein, refused to divert the flood.

On August 6, 1998, the water level at Changsha, reached 44.68 meters. According to the State Council, the flood gate at Jingjiang had to be opened, so that water may be diverted to the floodway. Residents in Jingjiang’s floodway moved twice to prepare for the water diversion. And the Party Committee of Hubei Province requested the action many times. The flood gate, however, never opened.

Jiang Zemin had issued an order, that nearby military troops must all work on the levee. He commanded that the troop stand united with the people, guarding the levee in this decisive battle, even at the cost of death, seeking a full victory.
Thus the flood diversion plan was never implemented.
Premier Zhu Rongji and vice premier Wen Jiabao followed Jiang’s order, with great reluctance. As a result, the water level built up to an uncharted level of 45.22 meters.

After the death of Deng Xiaoping, Jiang’s wish for absolute control over the military grew stronger. He needed a legitimate reason to dispatch and employ a large number of troops in time of peace. When the Yangzi River was threatening to flood at almost every stretch, Jiang grabbed the opportunity. Following Jiang’s orders, more than ten corps, 300000 officers and soldiers, 114 major generals, lieutenant generals and generals,, and over 5000 officials at the regiment and division levels, were mobilized.

However, they were ordered to engage in military training, unrelated to the flood relief. During the flood, a total of 7 million troops and 5 million civilian reserves were used. The total number of soldiers involved was higher than that of the major battles of Huaihai, Liaoshen, and Pinjin, whose victories paved the way for the CCP to seize power in China. What’s more, the flood relief troops were frequently ordered to shift military bases, which had nothing to do with the flood, and made the already exhausted troops running around in vain.
As it turned out, the honorable cause of flood relief and emergency rescue, gave Jiang a legitimate excuse to test his authority and control over the military.

At the levee in Jingjiang City over a military map, in the presence of many media, Jiang donning a military uniform and a combat hat, acted out his part, as the Commander-In-Chief. Through this operation, Jiang truly established his control over the military. Objecting to the flood diversion plan, Jiang ordered that the levee be guarded with human lives.

The civilian-built dikes ruptured the Paizhou, Jiujiang and Jiangxinzhou area of Jiayu County. The levee along the main channel of the Yangzi River broke. The high and strong waves hit the populated cities and towns. In 24 hours, the land turned into an ocean. Countless lives perished. Heart-breaking cries could be heard throughout the area.

There was nothing the survivors of the flood could do to help. Even the troops on the boats, were having a hard time staying afloat. The rescue efforts were severely hindered.
Many families were torn apart. Entire families died in the flood.
Many bodies were never recovered.

On August 7, the main levee of the Yangzi River located in the Jiujiang section ruptured. The officials panicked, and the situation turned chaotic. The commander didn’t know what to do, and ordered to throw anything mobile into the rupture to block the flood. Five million tons of rice, wheat and soybeans, more than 50 trucks and 18 wrecked boats, were thus dumped into the waters.

Later a 200-member special force group from Zhangjiakou, who were trained in levee-repair came, and build pilings around the rupture. Afterward, they used pilings to stabilize the prefabricated panels, then, they poured in mud and rocks, eventually sealing the opening.

The numerous ruptures caused tens of thousands of death, and more than 50 billion yuan property loss. Also, diseases broke out in the disaster area. Refugees tried to escape from the area. Those could not travel as fast as the spread of the disease died on the journey. Only those who would leave the loved one behind to die, could escape and survive.
Many survivors became the only one alive in the family.

By mid-August, the flood had forced 240 million people from their homes. While all of this was happening, Jiang Zemin invited 15 prominent directors and actors to Zhongnanhai.
On the piano, Jiang played, while singing along with young actresses, “An Evening In The Suburb of Moscow”, an old Russian love song. At the time when the Yangzi River turned into an ocean, Jiang, at the top of his lung, led the whole party singing a popular song”The Ocean, My Home.”

On August 13, when the ruptures were repaired, and the flood receded, Jiang went to Hubei Province, tightly flanked by military police officials. He held a microphone, and into the TV camera, shout out slogans such as”Believe firmly, and persist in this decisive battle!”

Jiang directed the media to systematically cover up this major policy mistake. Government officials were required to repeat lies about casualties and property losses. The official numbers were set extremely low. The actual casualties and the amount of property loss were more than 50 times of the official statistics. Jiang utilized the media mouthpieces, and turned the tremendous disaster of his making, into opportunities to praise himself, as the glorious core of the Party, who was leading the people from one victory to the next. A new personality cult was in the making. The tone of the CCP’s propaganda and Jiang’s speeches, thus elevated to a new pitch.

The CCP-controlled newspapers and magazines pretended to quote international media to further glorify Jiang. They lauded Jiang with unabashed and rather ludicrous titles, setting him besides Mao and Deng, as the men of greatness.

8-2: Jiang’s Ghost Writers

Eight: Craving For Grandiose

2: Jiang’s Ghost Writers

CCP’s leaders constantly needs to be eulogized and praised with articles and books. Jiang Zemin also proceeded to hire three writers, Teng Wensheng, Wang Huning, and Liu Ji, to help achieve his political goals. Most of the Jiang’s literary and oratory flare, if we are to call it such, came from some combination of the three.

Teng Wensheng was born in October of 1940, graduated in 1964 from Dept. of CCP history at People’s University of China.
In 1989, Teng became the deputy director of the CCP’s Institute on Policy Research, and was dubbed “the top writer” in Zhongnanhai. He was the main writer of Jiang Zemin’s political reports speech at the 16th Congress.

While working at the Institute of CCP’s Secretariat in 1980, Teng was responsible for collecting material and information, about China’s liberal intellectuals, such as Fang Lizhi, Wang Ruowang, and Liu Bin-yan. All such figures were eventually thrown out of CCP, with material and information gathered by Teng, serving as the basis. In Sept. 1987, Zhao Ziyang, with the backing of Deng Xiaoping, dismantled the Institute.

Teng’s biggest contribution to Jiang Zemin’s theory, as Jiang would have it to be called, was the creation of one of the three talks, known as “the talk of politics”. Teng was an expert on Mao Ze-dong, advised Jiang to follow Chairman Mao’s style, if he was to gain control the Politburo. That is to say, instead of giving the power to one confident, or close follower, have two or three high-ranking officials compete with one another internally, only have to finally come to Jiang for arbitration.

Wang Huning was born on October 6, 1955.
He had been a professor, and advisor for Ph.D. students in the dept of political science at Fudan University. This was before he went to work at CCP’s Institute on Policy Research. He was the true creator of the “three represents”.

Jiang admired Wang and his work almost to the point of obsession. He could recite paragraphs of Wang’s work, before ever meeting him in person. Wang drafted for Jiang a speech given at the 5th Plenary of the 14th Session of the Party Congress, entitled “On 12 Major Relationships”. Wang’s largest contribution was the theory of “the three represents”, and “the moving with times”, both of which he formulated for Jiang.

Wang created the three represents,for Jiang, and taught him to memorize it: “Communist Party must always represent the requirement of development of China’s advanced productive forces; the orientation of the development of China’s advanced culture, and fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China.” Scour all the official reports in China’s media, if you will, and you will discover, that not a single person, including Jiang Zemin himself, could explain in clear terms, what the three represents are. The theory of three represents amounts to little more than a few empty words.
A person with good judgment, wouldn’t venture to boast about such a thing.

But the theory is just too important to Jiang, for a doctrine, Jiang knows, is necessary for lasting power.
Jiang exhausted his wits, trying a way to introduce the doctrine into the Party Constitution, and that of the nation.

And the aftermath of Jiang’s efforts, could still be felt even after Hu Jintao took over as the General Secretary, Chairman of the State and Head of the Central Military Commission. Hu was obligated to uphold the three represents. Similarly, most any speech that an official would make must be anchored by the doctrine.

The nationwide study and implement of the doctrine, hold three represent up to ridicule instead. The media reported that a woman said:” my daughter-in-law gave birth to such a chubby son, thanks to the three represents!” Some reported that first class public restrooms had been built in the guidance of the three represents. On a wall of a rural slaughterhouse, a slogan was painted in huge characters”Three Represents Guides the Work of Butchering!”

Wang had once been an assistant to the Chairman, and named by Jiang a member of CCP’s Central Committee at the 16th Congress. After Jiang began to lose power, however, Wang’s career suffered too, because he revealed the secret about the true authorship of the three represents. Jiang had grown furious with him.

Liu Ji was born in October of 1935, in Anqing, of Anhui Province, and was assigned to work in Shanghai, after graduated from Dept. of Hydraulic Engineering at Beijing’s Qinghua University. Then, he became vice president of China’s Academy of Social Sciences. Liu’s theoretical strength gave full play to the building up of the so-called “doctrine of the wise master”, which attempted to paint Jiang as the Party leader, with an open mind.

Liu was very close to Jiang, although not a family member, he called Jiang’s wife “sister-in-law”. He would move about freely in front of Jiang, and would visit Jiang’s residence without prior notice. If he wanted a change, he would travel to Jiang’s residence by car. If Wang Ye-ping was in a good mood, she would cooked a few southern dishes for him.

It was absolutely crucial for Jiang to be coached by Liu.
Liu knew exactly how to improve Jiang’s craft of Power-politicking. Jiang had a few long talks with Liu, on how to achieve such things, and later came to respectively call Liu the “Master of the State”. Afterward, Liu openly showed support for several reform-minded intellectuals. Jiang began to keep a distance from him.