Sat, Jan 29, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Hu Jintao is starting to show his true colors

By Paul Lin 林保華

At the sixth plenum of the Central Committee of the 16th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) National Congress last September, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) succeeded Jiang Zemin (江澤民) as chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), thereby concentrating party, government and military power in his own hands. As a result, people around the world began to see Hu's true face. His outward sympathy is in fact craftiness, and his reserve, coldness.

Last months' issue of the Hong Kong publication Kaifang revealed that Hu's succession speech included the following text:

"Enemy forces always use public opinion to build a propaganda base. International monopoly-capitalist groups led by the US relied on ideology to bring down the Soviet Union and the Soviet Communist Party. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Communist Party was absolutely not a defeat of Marxism and socialism. In the final analysis, it was the result of a gradual distancing from, turning the back on, and betrayal of Marxism, socialism and the fundamental interests of the people. Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev is the culprit behind the great changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and a betrayer of socialism. He is absolutely not a meritorious statesman, and anyone who says he is does not stand on the side of the Soviet people and human progress."

On Sept. 29, the CCP's publicity department, in the spirit of the fourth plenum, called a meeting for all the nation's media at which it distributed a document containing 29 articles stipulating issues the media is forbidden to report on. At the meeting, the deputy head of the department, Ji Bingxuan (吉炳軒), read Hu's comments on the document: "When managing ideology, we have to learn from Cuba and North Korea. Although North Korea has encountered temporary economic problems, its policies are consistently correct."

The reliability of this information has not been refuted by the CCP, and, what's more, it is reflected in the party's statements and actions.

First, the introductions to the meeting given in the Fourth Plenum Communique and Zeng Qinghong (曾慶紅) of the CCP Political Bureau's Standing Committee both mentioned the lessons to be learned from the collapse of the Soviet Union, although neither detailed what those lessons were.

Second, just prior to the meeting, in the middle of September, Li Changchun (李長春), the member of the Political Bureau's Standing Committee in charge of ideology, visited North Korea "to gather experience."

Third, following his participation in the APEC summit in Chile, Hu visited Cuba, where he donated goods and materials to a value of more than US$10 million, and signed a 16-item agreement on political, economic and cultural cooperation. Hu and Cuban President Fidel Castro even met twice during the visit.

Fourth, the "rectification" of newspapers and the closing down of Web sites this winter have led to arrests of dissidents. Some have been given prison sentences, while others were released after being given a warning. These dissidents include the well known Internet authors Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), Yu Jie (余杰), Shi Tao (師濤) and Yang Tianshui (楊天水). The CCP has gradually expanded its arrests of Internet-based dissidents ever since Hu took over as secretary-general.

At the time, however, Hu seemed to have relied on the expectations about the "new politics of Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶)" to deceive the outside world, which seemingly blames this wave of arrests on Jiang, who was in love with his power and very unwilling to let go of the CMC chairmanship.

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