“I consider the period of Jiang Zemin’s leadership as the most corrupt era in the history of Communist China,” said historian Ruan Ming, in a surprising statement during a recent interview with Chinese media.
Ruan, an expert on communist China and author of two books, Hu Yao Bang at the Turning Point of History (1991) and Deng Xiaoping: Chronicle of an Empire (1992), explained his conclusion: “I think that the original objectives of Deng Xiaoping were to ‘Let some people get rich first.’ Nonetheless, I believe Deng’s ultimate objective was to distribute wealth evenly among all Chinese people.” He spoke with Ming Jing History, a subsidiary publication of Mirror Books, based in Hong Kong, in June.
“The ‘Three Represents’ by Jiang Zemin were not as worthy as Deng’s goals,” Ruan said, referring to a theory that has been widely mocked in China for its incomprehensibility. Jiang’s ideology consisted of the slogan that the CCP should promote the advancement of China’s forces of production, China’s culture, and the “fundamental interests of the Chinese people.”
“When referring to the CCP’s role in ‘the advancement of the forces of production,’ who are the ‘forces of production?’” Ruan asked. “It used to be that only labor could generate value, though sometimes the value generated was not evenly distributed among the people,” he said. “However, during Jiang’s era, production didn’t generate value anymore, only capital investments could generate value—only Wall Street could generate value.”
“First off, Jiang went to New York and rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and then recruited Goldman Sachs into the Chinese market,” said Ruan. “Then, Jiang lowered the wages of farmers and allowed the real estate developers to become rich… It was during the rule of Jiang that corruption in China reached its peak. Jiang’s son, as well as the son of Li Peng, both got rich during this period,” explained Ruan
Ruan believes that the global financial crisis originated with Wall Street and Jiang Zemin played a part in it.
Ruan Ming is a political scientist and commentator. He served as a top advisor and speechwriter to former Party Secretary Hu Yaobang, and worked with Hu Jintao. He obtained Taiwanese citizenship and in 2004 was the national policy advisor to then-President Chen Chuibian.
Written in English by Carol Wickenkamp.