The CCP Tries to Buy Time by Commemorating Hu Yaobang

September 13, 2005 12:00 am Last Updated: August 21, 2015 6:01 pm

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will officially commemorate former Chairman Hu Yaobang’s birthday with activities at the People&#039s Hall, on November 20, 2005, according to reports from Reuters and Hong Kong media. Some members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee will attend the ceremony and CCTV will report the event. Similar ceremonies will be held in Hunan Province, where he was born, and in Jiangxi Province, where he was buried. Information related to these events has also been reported in China.

This will be the CCP&#039s first official recognition of Hu Yaobang since his death. Viewing the trend of mass withdrawals from the CCP as a crisis, it was learned that factions inside the CCP agreed that they should give “save the CCP” the highest priority. In order to win the people&#039s trust as well as international acceptance for itself, the CCP hopes to stave off its demise by “commemorating Hu Yaobang.”

Hu&#039s death was the direct cause of the June 4th Tiananmen Square student massacre 16 years ago. No official memorial events have been held since he died in 1989 and the official media rarely mention his name.

Memorials in recognition of the date of someone&#039s birth or death are often signs of political trends within the CCP. The CCP was recently saying that it should learn from North Korea and Cuba regarding ideology, so why would it all of a sudden plan to commemorate Hu, an advocate of political reform?

An expert on China, Shi Zangshan, believes this strategy is being used because the CCP is now encountering an unprecedented crisis. After 50 years of control, over 4 million people have recently resigned from the CCP, which has directly impacted the Party&#039s sense of control in China. In order to save itself, Mr. Shi thinks it that the CCP could even provide redress for the Tiananmen Massacre so as to win the people’s trust and prolong its regime. So commemorating Hu Yaobang could be a prelude to compensating for the Massacre.

CCP Expert At Fooling People

Senior reporter Zhang Weiguo pointed out in one of his articles that “the CCP is an expert at controlling news reports and it knows all the tricks to control the media. Though it created countless frame-ups and false accusations in past political movements, the CCP still managed to make the victims feel deeply grateful to it; no matter how chaotic it made things, the Party turned the chaos into propaganda that praised itself and its leaders; although the CCP has killed more of its own citizens than the number of people who died in the two world wars, the Party claims that it is eternally great, glorious, and correct. Such shameless propaganda is an important part of the CCP&#039s control.”

Reuters quoted insiders as saying that although the CCP does not plan to immediately make amends for the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, it may do so in the near future in order to maintain control. Does this mean that the CCP will really put down its “butcher&#039s knife” and truly promote democracy?

Renowned political commentator Ling Feng pointed out in an article that, “the Massacre is only one of the blunders made by the CCP and that there are many, many other cases that should also be redressed. The root cause of all of these disasters is the single party dictatorship. As long as the Party&#039s dictatorship exists, there will be new accusations against the innocent in the future, even if the Massacre is redressed.”

Hu Yaobang and the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Beijing students put flowers and wreaths in front of a portrait of former Chinese Communist Party leader and liberal reformer Hu Yaobang as thousands of students gather at the foot of the monument to the People&#039s Heroes in Tiananmen Square during an unauthorized demonstration 19 April 1989 to mourn Hu&#039s death. (Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty Images)
Beijing students put flowers and wreaths in front of a portrait of former Chinese Communist Party leader and liberal reformer Hu Yaobang as thousands of students gather at the foot of the monument to the People&#039s Heroes in Tiananmen Square during an unauthorized demonstration 19 April 1989 to mourn Hu&#039s death. (Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty Images)

Hu became CCP Chairman in 1981, an era right after the Cultural Revolution when the Chinese people were extremely impoverished. Since most Chinese no longer believed in Communism after the Cultural Revolution, the CCP was in a deep crisis.

Hu had two major achievements during his tenure: one was “redressing those who were framed or falsely or wrongly accused,” and he did redress many victims of the Cultural Revolution. Hu’s second achievement was starting a discussion about the “standard of truth.” These two achievements earned him great fame among the intelligentsia and the ordinary Chinese people, activities that enabled the CCP to stay in power.

Hu Yaobang tried to promote political reform in China, but was soon forced to resign his position in January 1987, mainly because he did not perform well in the “Oppose Bourgeois Liberalization” campaign.

Hu, aged 73, died of a heart attack at a Party Political Bureau meeting on April 15, 1989. Students and citizens voluntarily went to Tiananmen Square to honor him, which lead to the Democratic Student Movement. The CCP ended the Democratic Student Movement by using tanks and bullets in the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4.

Hu Yaobang&#039s tragedy was described in the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, which stated, “When the will and purpose of the Party&#039s Leaders are in line with the Party and can be used by it, they will be chosen as leaders. But when they can no longer meet the needs of the Party, they will be ruthlessly overthrown.”

Wave of Resignations Panics CCP

The Nine Commentaries also pointed out that, “Throughout history, whenever the CCP encountered a crisis, it would demonstrate some traces of improvement, enticing people to develop illusions about the CCP.”

In November 2004, the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party” was published, a book that systematically exposed the CCP&#039s tyranny, lies, and evil nature. It woke up many Chinese people and caused a flood of resignations from the Party.

This is the first wave of large-scale resignations in China in the CCP&#039s 50-plus years of control. Though the CCP has managed to evade elimination several times, it is currently in a panic because the Nine Commentaries has strongly shaken its ideological base.

Faced with such a crisis, the CCP has adjusted its strategy, and has made stopping the spread of the Commentaries and halting the wave of resignations a top priority.

Playing the “Redress” Game One More Time to Earn the People&#039s Trust

In the meantime, the CCP wants to replay the “redress” game to earn the people&#039s trust. Thus, the Party will officially commemorate Hu Yaobang for the first time in 16 years. Many people believe that Hu Jintao, the current CCP Chairman, hopes to claim Hu Yaobang&#039s mantle of being a political reformer via the commemoration, and so appear to be a leader the Chinese people can trust.

The Chinese people&#039s empathy for Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang is closely tied with their feelings about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, since many Chinese and the international community have never forgiven the Party for that atrocity.

The Nine Commentaries state, “The CCP has made many blunders in history. But, it has always put the blame on certain individuals or groups through &#039redress and rehabilitation.&#039 This has not only made the victims deeply grateful to the CCP, but also allowed the CCP to completely shirk any responsibility for its criminal deeds… Perhaps one day, the CCP will decide to redress the Tiananmen Square Massacre and restore the reputation of Falun Gong. But these are simply the Machiavellian tactics that the CCP uses in a desperate attempt to prolong its dying life.”