Battle Between Chinese Leaders Reaches Final Stage; Hu Promotes Idealistic 'Social Reconciliation'

August 20, 2007 Updated: August 20, 2007

Before the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), various groups in and outside of the CCP all strived to make gains in their own positions. Various conflicts were also getting fiercer. According to a disclosure by a CCP high-level official, Chinese president Hu Jintao is seeking a way of “Social Reconciliation” to resolve long-held social complaints to overcome this difficulty. Analysts say the most important issue in today's China is the Falun Gong problem. Because the former Chinese CCP leader Jiang Zemin's gang has made every effort to hinder this from being resolved, the Falun Gong issue has become a huge obstacle on the road to the “Social Reconciliation.”

Conflicts Become Fiercer and Long-held Complaints Worsen

According to a report from a journal in Hong Kong, prior to the 17th National Congress of the CCP, various individuals within the CCP wrote to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, hoping that their personal complaints and opinions will be resolved at the upcoming National Congress. Overall, the major opinions can be divided into two categories: one strongly urges a return to the old socialism, which could prompt a return to the old method of Mao Zedong used on both the political and economic systems; otherwise, a social chaos will emerge as the communist party dissolves. The other voice advocates a political system reform as soon as possible; otherwise, the already-crippled economy will become even worse. The latter opinion urges a continued move forward, liberating both political and social systems and introducing democracy.

Among the first category, there were 17 former ministry-level officials, 28 generals and retired high-level officials, and there were also15 off-springs of senior CCP officials. They advocate from six perspectives (including political, structural, economical, social, foreign policy and policies on Taiwan) that the existing policy will result in crises in at least 15 aspects. If the country doesn't firmly change policy and reverse its direction back to the old method led by Mao Zedong, “a tragedy of party death and country death” will occur. Among the people who urge reform, Hu Qili, Wang Guangying and Chen Jianhua are representatives.

At this critical point with various powers fighting, people are watching every action of Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. People hope the two can take this great historical opportunity during the 17th National Congress, following the natural law and listening to the average people's demands, to propel the development of Chinese society. According to high-level officials, Hu also wants to resolve long-held complaints and overcome the difficulty through a series of acts of “Social Reconciliation.”

Exhibited Picture of Lin Biao to Lin and Suppressed Mao

Not long ago, the China Military Museum held an exhibition called “Success of National Defense and Military Construction.” In the window of the “Ten Generals Who Built the County,” people saw an unexpected picture of Lin Biao. This was the first time since Lin died in a plane crash in Mongolia in 1971 when he tried to escape from China that Lin's positive image has been shown to people.

A political analyst pointed out that Lin, who was called the “General Who Always Wins” had a good nature and remarkable talent. Within the CCP, Mao Zedong and Lin Biao were both significant figures. But Mao and Lin were completely different in many aspects, including character, personality and ideas about life. Mao admired foreigners and especially liked to read books on Marxism. Lin was the opposite and only read books on Confucianism, firmly obeying the doctrines of “overcoming self and constituting benevolence.” Mao lived a life of extravagance and lecherousness, and had engaged in all sorts of evil conduct. Lin lived a plain life and cared for others. Mao was extremely ruthless to his subordinates and dissidents, and freely admonished them; but Lin was benevolent and tolerant and well liked by his subordinates.

Chen suggests Hu used this very low-key method of “do it only without announcement” to restore the reputation of Lin Biao. This is mainly because he wants to win people's hearts. In and outside of the CCP, many people respect Lin but dislike Mao. For example, the generals and soldiers belong to the old army under Lin and all have held complaints in their hearts for a long time. There is no doubt that Hu's action pleases those who dislike Mao and Deng, which is beneficial to consolidating Hu and Wen's position in the military.

High-Profile Memorial of Yang Shangkun

On July 20, Beijing held high-profile activities to commemorate the 100-year birth anniversary of former Vice Chairman of Military Commission Yang Shangkun. Along with Hu Jintao attending the meeting and delivering a speech, China's Central Television (CCTV) broadcast a major documentary film “Yang Shangkun” during prime time. Yang's hometown of Sichuan also held an opening ceremony for a museum about Yang's life. In addition, the China Post Office will also issue Yang Shangkun Memorial stamps.

In his speech, Hu Jintao spoke highly of Yang Shangkun, praising him for his conviction to “be strict with himself, fair and honest,” and for “upholding unity, safeguarding the overall situation and stressing principle.”

There was previously a widespread rumor about the discord between Jiang Zeming and Yang Shangkun and his brother Yang Baibin. In the English version of “Jiang Zeming” written by American author Kuhn, he also mentions this discord between Jiang and Yang. There is a source that said the death of Yang Shangkun was related to Jiang Zeming and Zeng Qinghong's plot against him.

There are also scholars in mainland China that say Yang Shangkun always supported Zhao Ziyang before 1989. Zhao was dismissed from his position as the CCP general secretary during the 1989 Democracy movement. Even though at that time Yang agreed to send troops to suppress the students against Zhao's will, in the early 1990s Yang proposed to redress this event and return innocence to Zhao. At present, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao's behavior undoubtedly raised some thoughts of possible policy change to the outside world.

Positive Report of Zhao Ziyang

This past July, a group of retired senior cadres published an article written by former Vice-Premier Tian Jiyun in Yanhuang Spring which is claimed to be “the most daring magazine for expressing its opinions in mainland China.” In this article, Tian Jiyun praised former General Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee and Premier Zhao Ziyang who was dismissed and placed under house arrest for 18 years after the June 4 Tiananmen incident in 1989. This was the first time that the CCP official media has published an article and photographs that praises Zhao Ziyang.

The Falun Gong Issue Is the Key

However, overseas scholars' analysis suggests that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao introducing these social reconciliation attempts is just playing softball and the nature of the issues haven't yet been touched. Currently, the issue in Chinese society that has caused the most wrath of the masses, the most accumulated resentment, the most international pressure and having the most people involved is undoubtedly the Falun Gong issue. Over 100 million people have been directly affected by the persecution of Falun Gong and the international community has been repeatedly calling on an end to the persecution in order to smooth over the Beijing Olympics—the Olympics and human rights violations can't exist at the same time.

International human rights organizations, in the name of a third party, are calling for the CCP to stop the persecution of Falun Gong and the human rights torch is being passed through hundreds of cities on the world's five continents. Wherever it goes, it raises people's awareness and they condemn the crimes conducted by the CCP, especially the act of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. People reject the idea of a bloody Beijing Olympics as well.

However, the debt of blood that Jiang Zemin's group owes to the Falun Gong cannot be resolved simply through “rehabilitation,” which has been the chief method of the CCP to avert the louder and stronger voice of the international community demanding “bring Jiang Zemin to justice.” Because of this, Jiang Zemin's group has been resistant and conducts desperate struggles, which have become the biggest obstacles for Hu and Wen's dream of “compromise.”

Some analysts point out that the answer has already been so clear. Even if some people are hesitating to answer, there are others who are willing to provide it. The only problem is that China will likely pay an even greater social cost if they wait until the last minute to do it.