Hu’s Faustian Bargain

A former US diplomat John Tkacik Jr. wrote a interesting analysis about Hu-Jiang’s power transition on the Wall Street Journal. (Sub-required)

“Sunday’s full transition of power to Chinese President Hu Jintao — who finally replaced as head of the military — was eagerly anticipated in the West. For over 20 years, Mr. Hu has enjoyed a widespread reputation as a moderate reformist. But to get his latest promotion, Mr. Hu struck a devil’s bargain with Mr. Jiang that will dim the prospects for political reform.”

“For 78-year-old Mr. Jiang, the new arrangement is a sweet one. In his new position as retired senior statesman, he is now formally ensconced, incongruous as it may seem, in the Communist Party pantheon as the co-equal of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
And Mr. Jiang’s “profound contribution” to socialist theory, the so-called ‘Important Thought of the ‘Three Represents'” — Mr. Jiang’s doctrine that says the party must represent entrepreneurs, scientists and cultural figures, not just the proletariat and peasants — is enshrined as a canonical text. It is now up there with “Marxism-Leninism,” “Mao Zedong Thought,” and “Deng Xiaoping Theory.”
In return, Mr. Hu gets to take over Mr. Jiang’s powerful military position. But it is unlikely that this promotion will have much of a policy impact. Mr. Hu’s Faustian bargain with Mr. Jiang means that he has accepted the program set by his predecessor and by Mr. Jiang’s right-hand man, Vice President Zeng Qinghong.”

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