A Low-Key Visit by Chinese Premier Suggests Factional Consolidation

October 15, 2012 6:55 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 12:06 pm
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
Hu Jintao (L) and Premier Wen Jiabao (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 29, 2012. On Oct. 6 and 7, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Bijie City in Guizhou Province. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

On Oct. 6 and 7, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Bijie City in Guizhou Province. With just one month before the start of the 18th National Congress, Wen’s visit was seen as support for Hu Jintao’s “scientific development concept,” in what observers see as a demonstration of strong support for Hu and Wen before the 18th Party Congress scheduled next month.

Guizhou is the poorest province in China, and Bijie, located at the junction of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou provinces, is one of the most poverty-stricken areas in Guizhou. Historically, Bijie has been afflicted with a poor economy, ecological deterioration, overpopulation, and food shortages.

Premier Wen Jiabao visited Bijie City in Guizhou Province on Oct. 6 and 7, according to Xinhua. During his visit, Wen stressed several times his wish for “sustainable development.”

This is not the first time for Wen Jiabao to visit Bijie, and not the first time a high-ranking CCP official has visited Bijie either. Many high level CCP’s officials, including Hu Jintao, have also visited Bijie before. It’s generally unusually for a region located in the southwest corner of China to receive such a high-level political attention.

Hong Kong based CCP mouthpiece Ta Kung Pao commented that, in fact, the Bijie experimental area has implicitly displayed the core ideology of Hu Jintao’s “scientific development concept.” Wen Jiabao’s visit reinforces the idea, the newspaper said.

After Hu Jintao was promoted from being the first secretary of the Communist Youth League Central Committee, to the office of Secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Party Committee, Hu in Bijie of January, 1988 proposed a project for establishing “Bijie experimental area on development, poverty alleviation, and ecological construction.”

The State Council approved his proposal in June of that year. In May 1996, as a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Hu visited Bijie to conduct field investigation and to provide training. On the eve of the Sept. 9, 2010 Teachers’ Day, Hu spoke with the Bijie National Secondary School teachers and students via webcam.

This high profile reporting of Wen’s visiting Bijie by the Chinese official media shows Wen’s firm support of Hu.

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Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

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