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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the National People’s Congress’s (NPC) annual session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 8, 2012. This is not the first time that Wen has been attacked; before the 17th Party Congress in 2007, the Jiang faction spread the rumor that Wen would not be re-selected as China’s premier. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)
On Oct. 26 when Bo Xilai was expelled from the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), The New York Times released a front-page news report, claiming that Premier Wen Jiabao’s family maintains a hidden wealth of not less than $2.7 billion.
The veracity of the report has yet to be verified, and there are questions about what Wen knows of the alleged details. Yet the timing indicates that the Jiang Zemin faction is behind it, and is trying desperately to protect Bo Xilai from death. The report symbolizes the last frantic effort of the bloody-hands faction—that is, Jiang, Zhou Yongkang, the security czar, and Bo Xilai, along with their hangers-on—before they step down, and further encourages Hu, Wen, and Xi to wrap-up Bo’s case.
Thus, The New York Times report will speed up and escalate the impending punishment for Bo, and possibly other members of the bloody-hands faction.
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Judging from the perspective of social science, the law doesn’t seem quite right. But in the struggle between Hu, Wen, and Xi and the bloody-hands faction, Newton’s law will probably dominate the approach to Bo’s case.
This is not the first time that Wen has been attacked; before the 17th Party Congress in 2007, the Jiang faction spread the rumor that Wen would not be re-selected as China’s premier.
More recently, the faction has taken measures to tarnish the reputations of Hu, Wen, and Xi. For example, the Wang Lijun incident was partly sparked by the plot by Bo, Zhou, and the Jiang faction to plan a coup against Hu and Wen.
Other measures taken include accusing Hu and Xi of corruption, bribing literary figures to praise Bo, bribing Baidu (a Chinese web service company) to spread damaging news about Hu and Wen, and even attempting to arrange a military coup.
Based on these past measures, I have good reason to suspect that The New York Times report is another attempt by the Jiang faction to take the offensive against Hu, Wen, and Xi. It is even possible that Bo Xilai’s son, Bo Guagua, is steering this smear campaign from behind the scenes.
Bo Xilai publicly denied having committed any disciplinary violations at the third plenary meeting of the NPC on March 9. Subsequently, at the March 15 press conference, Wen Jiabao suspended Bo from his post. Afterwards, Zhou Yongkang tried to get control of Xu Ming, Bo’s corrupt partner in crime, which resulted in Zhou losing his control over the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC).
Maoist protesters saw the Diaoyu Island Incident as an opportunity to turn the tables and were rewarded with Bo’s loss of his Party membership and all his official roles. Now the Jiang faction is at its wits’ end. Nothing, whether incited or fabricated diplomatic conflicts, whether closed-door negotiation or public exposure, can stop the trial against Bo or the destruction of the bloody-hands faction.
In fact, information released by The New York Times report was more useful to Zhou Yongkang and the Jiang faction when it was kept secret, because then the information could have been used as a tool to threaten or negotiate with the other party (on the premise that the information is true).
But exposed, the information will likely cause a public dispute between the parties, which in turn urges Hu, Wen and Xi to further realize that one of the parties must “die” and drop out of the fight, or the bloody-hands faction will make a comeback at any cost and claim Hu, Wen, and Xi.
In a previous article I concluded that at this point Hu can only establish his power by murder, and that Bo had no choice but to fight-on, even with his back against the wall. Neither party has any retreat left, and now must show their cards.
If the entire communist regime is notoriously known for its corrupt officials, what sets Hu, Wen, and Xi apart from Jiang, Zhou, and Bo? It’s the persecution of Falun Gong and the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners that the latter have engaged in.
At the current stage, when facts are being exposed, only by unveiling the unspeakable crime of live organ harvesting will Hu justify his action against Jiang, Zhou, Bo, and their bloody faction.
New York Times Wen Jiabao Story: Independent, or Used by Beijing Faction? (Updated)
Zhang Tianliang is a writer and commentator on contemporary Chinese political and social issues, and a professor at George Mason University. He contributes to a variety of publications, including the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television, and Voice of America’s Chinese service.