Insecure at the Top in China

In the International Herald Tribune, Didi Kristen Tatlow writes about how the explosive public reactions to incidents like the death of legislator Ran Jianxin in Hubei are generating concern among China’s Party leadership:

Anger that had grown for days after the death in police custody of Ran Jianxin, a local People’s Congress deputy, exploded last Thursday. Relatives said Mr. Ran was beaten to death, and they released photographs of his body. Mr. Ran was widely believed to be fighting official corruption, which residents said had run unchecked for years.

The party celebrates its 90th birthday on July 1, outwardly confident that it deserves to rule for “the next 90 years,” as Li Zhongjie, deputy head of the Party History Research Center, told Beijing News.

Inwardly, however, it is haunted by a sense that it is not truly loved, said Kerry Brown, one of six overseas academics who attended three days of meetings last week with officials of the major party organs.

“They don’t have the hearts of 99 percent of the population, and they are worried about that,” said Mr. Brown, head of the Asia Program at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

Read more about the riots in Hubei via CDT.

June 16, 2011 9:48 AM
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Categories: Politics, Society