Some Notes on CCP Internal Resilience

“Authoritarian resilience” was the explanation in the west for CCP stability post Tian’anmen.  We can distinguish two meanings of CCP resilience over time.  The first describes resilience with respect to the Chinese people. How does the single party authoritarian, if not autocratic, state maintain legitimacy over time? What keeps angry or dissatisfied people out of the streets?

There is another resilience, and that is resilience internal to CCP. What keeps cadres loyal to the system they joined years ago?

Brief Note on the Trade Shootout

It is no surprise to anyone familiar with Chinese thinking on foreign policy or negotiating practice that China is  balking at changing its laws to reflect what the American negotiators apparently thought had been previously agreed. From the Reuters article -

 In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: Theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.

One can marvel at American stupidity, if that is what is involved; or simply invoke the negotiating principle that no items are agreed to until all items are agreed to. One can call it Chinese perfidy, but that would simply imply that the Americans are so uninformed about Chinese negotiating tactics that they should not be in the same room with their counterparties at all.  To paraphrase Harold Washington on politics, trade negotiations ain't beanbag.

So let's get past the propaganda and posturing. This below is what no negotiating is going to change.  It is at the heart of some American thinking on the trade battle.

When Internet Blocking Fails

 An internet not coming to a computer near you …

CCP gets more paranoid than usual around June 4 of every year, particularly those years a multiple of five from 1989.   This year is 30 years since the Tian’anmen massacre.

I was in Chicago around June 4 of 2009, but I made the 2014 anniversary.  Internet blocking began early in May.  Every foreigner in China gets accustomed to internet and social media blocking, but in 2014 the online ban was nearly total.  It was a lesson in how particular the censorship could be.   You know, it’s China – it’s complicated.

How to End June 4, et al.

 

A Country That Controls the Internet Should be Able to Control the Calendar

A few years ago, it was reported in the Australian Financial Review that senior party members in the Chinese Communist Party were reading deTocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution.  This was at the suggestion of Xi Jinping, who apparently wanted to call attention to the fate of leaders who ignore the people in favor of corruption and the easy life.  The end times of the French monarchy is a good model for what rulers should not do.

What Chinese cannot not talk about …

In a previous post, I mentioned the heavy hand of CCP coming down on internet access each year in the weeks leading up to date of the Tian'anmen Massacre in 1989.

What CCP sincerely wants is for Chinese netizens to model the three monkeys – see, hear, speak no evil – evil, of course, being in the eye of the CCP beholder and specifically any sight, sound, voice or thought related to the events leading up to and during June 4, 1989. 

My First Protest              February, 2015

 

We are in Jingzhou, Qing's home town in Hubei Province. 

We went out with Ben for a walk, and the Jingzhou district government compound is less than a block away.  The district is an urban subdivision, akin to a ward in Chicago, though much bigger than a ward.

The district compound is a series of small buildings, like a small university campus, some offices, some residences.  Leafy, low key, surrounded by the usual wall with three entrances, or gates.  Buildings look old, a bit decrepit, although probably built in the early 1980s. Qing says this area was pretty and clean and orderly when she was growing up.

Now, it is different. 

Recent

  • Chinese Officials Threaten Mainland Parents of Student Attending Australian Protest

    Chinese Officials Threaten Mainland Parents of Student Attending Australian Protest

    It is important to remember what we are dealing with.  Let's review -

    From the Sydney Morning Herald, August 7 - Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.

    Read more ...  
  • Let's remember what we are dealing with ...

    Let's remember what we are dealing with ...

     News reporting is so uneven.  No mass shooting in the US is censored information in China - in fact, the news is prominently featured.   From China Xinhua News on Twitter -

    China Xinhua News

    @XHNews

     Shootings this weekend at a Texas Walmart and a bar in Ohio have left 30 people dead. Retail employees are taking to social media to say they're terrified to go to work. Workers fear getting shot at their workplace

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  • Soft power? We don’t need no stinking soft power.

    Soft power?  We don’t need no stinking soft power.

     You remember the bandits in Treasure of the Sierra Madre - the bandit horde, pretending to be Federales, descending on Humphrey Bogart and fellow prospectors.  “Badges?  We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges.  I don’t have to show you no stinking badges.” The famous lines were uttered by Gold Hat, head of the bandits, when Fred C. Dobbs (Bogart) asked for their badges.   Hong Kong was the soft power model, the badge of Chinese "peaceful rise."  Mainland students and Confucius Institutes were supposed to be the badge of Chinese soft power in the world.  But no more, as we see in Hong Kong, in Australian and New Zealand universities, and indeed, universities throughout the world.

    Read more ...  

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