|Home > East Asia >
Jiang denounced for overstepping his authority
Jiang Zemin ordered the Chinese Communist Party Central Secretariat and Propaganda Department to print, publish and televise tons of politically motivated propaganda to "talk up" his cronies. Why? Because polls measuring his friends approval ratings have been dismally low.
So, when other attempts to boost the popularity of Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Li Changchun, He Guoqiang and Chen Zhili failed, Jiang gave orders to the state-controlled media to contrive and broadcast false praise his buddies.
He also oversteps his authority. During the 50th anniversary celebrations of the National Defense University, Jiang announced a reduction of 200,000 active troops, but he hadn't discussed his action with his fellow Party leaders. This earned him some top-level denouncement within the highest Party echelons.
Jiang Orders State-Run Propaganda Machine to Praise his Cronies
Following last year’s First Party Central Committee Plenary Session and the 10th National People’s Congress of last March, Jiang Zemin gave a series of oral and written orders to the Communist Party Secretariat, Central Committee Office, State Council Office, and Central Propaganda Department. What were they told? To contrive more and better ways to show his friends in a positive light, and to publicize them in a wide array of media.
His cronies Jia Qinglin (Politburo standing member, Chairman of Political Consultative Conference), Zeng Qinghong (Politburo standing member and Vice-President), Huang Ju (Politburo standing member and Vice-Premier), Li Changchun (Politburo standing member), and Chen Zhili (State Councilor) had received insufficient public approval, so the propaganda machine was put to work to turn that situation around.
Some senior Party members were even harsher, “Are you going to ignore the Party constitution and rules? Since you are no longer a member of the Politburo Central Committee, you are no longer entitled to give orders to the Central Secretariat and Propaganda Department. Your actions to promote your own personal agenda have no place here.”
There is even a rumor that Party Official Qiao Shi gave Jiang a scroll stating, “Comrade Jiang Zemin, now you can also afford to stay out of politics in your retirement.”
Jiang’s Cronies were unpopular to begin with, and their public approval remains low
In early August, an internal poll conducted by the Central Research Office and authorized by the Politburo to gauge Party policies and leadership showed that Politburo standing members Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, and Li Changchun remained extremely unpopular, and their approval as well as satisfactory ratings were both below 20%.
“Boastful, unrealistic, empty, insubstantial, sloganeering” are some of the opinions heard about them. Their dismal records and out-of-control children were issues raised. Some even said that including Jia, Zeng and Huang in the new leadership headed by Hu and Weng tarnished it's image.
In the poll, Jia, Zeng, Huang, and He had lowest approval ratings of the 24 Politburo members in Beijing. The difference between the top and bottom satisfactory ratings is over 62%. The Party Central Committee was shocked by the results and felt the heat. Jia, Zeng, Huang, Li and He acknowledged that they were “stressed” and “prejudiced” in various meetings.
Frequent Recent Orders from Jiang
In middle August and early September, Jiang repeatedly gave instructions and opinions to the Party Central Secretariat and Propaganda Department. He said that there were prejudices against some comrades both within the Party and in the general public. He added that the prejudices are likely to stay and become habitual, and those in charge of political propaganda and "theoretical education" were obliged to fight against the prejudice.
He wanted more propaganda and in-depth reporting on the work and activities of Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Li Changchun and Chen Zhili. If local broadcast and print media were hesitant, Jiang said that local Party or government chiefs should intervene.
In the beginning of September, Jiang Zemin told the Party chief and governor of Hunan Province that the provincial Party mouthpieces ought to air more propaganda praising the central Party leadership. The work ethics of Jia Qinglin, Huang Ju, and Li Changchun have improved greatly after they went to work in Beijing, he said, and things they had messed up while working in the provinces should not continue to haunt them. He went on to warn that high-level Party leaders should not be pressured by any public opinion critical of his "chosen ones".
Jiang gave instructions to the Central Propaganda Department that the public image of these Politburo members were not just personal issues, but also issues important to the collective leadership, authority, and reputation of the Party.
Without more detailed and intensified propaganda, these comrades could not expand their roles and overcome the negative and uncomplimentary rumors that plagued them, Jiang said.
Jiang overstepped his authority in announcing the 200,000 troop reduction
On September 1, during the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Defense University, Jiang made an announcement that the Central Committee and Central Military Committee of the Communist Party decided to cut more 200,000 troops before 2005.
The announcement shocked the highest level of the Party. Some provincial civilian and military leaders wanted confirmation from the offices of the Central Committee, State Council, and Central Military Committee.
Some Central Committee members suggested that Jiang Zemin, who is no longer a Central Committee member, should not be making announcements of major doctrines, policies, and decisions in the name of the Central Committee.
According to sources, the troop reduction was discussed early last December in a expanded Politburo meeting that included Central Military Committee members. In early August after celebrating Army Day, another expanded Politburo meeting approved the proposal. A Politburo meeting at the end of August adopted the resolution and planned to send to the 3rd Central Committee Plenary Session for ratification before the public announcement.
Jiang denounced for overstepping his authority
Jiang’s announcement that overstepped his authority was widely denounced within the Party. There were suggestions that the Party Central Committee, State Council, and Military Committee should make all major military announcements, and that it was highly unusual that such an important decision was announced without the Party General Secretary, President, and Premier present.
Some Central Committee members suggested that a meeting should be convened to discuss the unauthorized announcement, and a number of them went so far as to say that the behavior trampled the Party organization principles, and should not be tolerated.
Former Politburo members Qiao Shi, Wei Xingjian, Chi Haotian and Yang Baibing pointed out that the whole thing was out of the ordinary.
Top leaders in official mouthpieces Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, and People’s Liberation Army Daily were confused by the announcement and sought clarification from the Party Central Secretariat and Propaganda Department. The reply was that the celebration was a public event, the announcement of Chairman Jiang was public, and news is also public.
Editor’s Note: Jiang Zemin overstepped his authority to give instructions to the Party Central Secretariat and Propaganda Department to engineer positive propaganda for his cronies Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Li Changchun and Chen Zhili. He added that their public images are important for the collective leadership, authority, and reputation of the Party
However, it was precisely Jiang himself who engineered their promotion to the high-level leadership by blatantly ignoring public opinion, and having no regard for the leaders of the Party. He even declared that the high-level Party leadership should not be swayed by public opinion, something Jiang despises.
In the undemocratic Chinese Communist Party, Jiang Zemin is no longer the “core” of the leadership, but he clings to his past authority and issues oral and written directives at will to the Party Central Secretariat and Propaganda Department, through his cronies. He could even announce major defense doctrines without any regard to the Politburo, its Standing Committee, or the General Secretary.
These weird events are only possible in a country and a ruling party with no rule of law and democracy. The nation and people under Party rule have no choice but to live under the will of a dictator. There is no democracy and no freedom.
*Excerpted from the September issue of The Trend Magazine published in Hong Kong.
|© Copyright 2002-2007 AFAR|