Zhanggong Leaks: History is the Best Judge

Blogger “Xiaolan” has leaked an archive of over 2,700 email communications from the Internet Information Office of Zhanggong District, Ganzhou City, Jiangxi from 2013 and 2014. Xiaolan calls the leak “evidence of the work of the Fifty Cent Party” (见证五毛党的工作).

The following leaked email, selected from the archive by CDT Chinese editors and translated below, was sent as a work report from the Zhanggong Internet Information Office to the City Internet Office (市网宣办) on July 16, 2013. Much of the text appears verbatim in the Chinese-language transcript of venture capitalist and CCP defender Eric X. Li’s TED talk “A Tale of Two Political Systems,” delivered in English in June of 2013. In July of 2013, Li published a similar argument in essay form at the South China Morning Post as “China’s Rise and the End of ‘Meta-narratives'” (中國崛起與「元敘事」的終結). Li’s SCMP article, which was widely republished by state media [Chinese], also contains most of the talking points exactly as printed in the Zhanggong leak. The founder and managing director of Chengwei Capital, has become known for pitching the Party line to the English-speaking world in recent years.

History is the best judge, and the Communist Party has already held continuous control of China, one of the biggest countries in the world, for 64 years. In this time, the scope of policy adjustment has surpassed that of any other country in modern times.

Actual practice is the sole criterion for judging truth. In only 30 years, China has leapt from the world’s most impoverished country to its second largest economy, lifting 650 million people out of poverty.

China’s political reform has never stood still. Compared to 30 years ago, 20 years ago, even 10 years ago, China has moved from a basic to high level. From every social sphere to the governance of the country itself, everything has changed radically. Were it not for fundamental political reform, all of this change would have been impossible.

China’s path, China’s method, Chinese characteristics… The accomplishments of today’s China amply prove that there is not to be one standard political model. As long as the country becomes wealthy and powerful and its citizens prosper, the model is good.

Westerners believe that multiparty elections and universal suffrage are the sole source of legitimacy. But this merely represents the political model chosen by Westerners. Different nationalities, different land, a different developmental history, and different cultural ideas inevitably lead to different political models. [Chinese]