China’s once-in-a-generation transfer of power is hogging all the headlines today. The mechanics of the “dictatorial” system of Beijing is confusing to people outside the system but can be summed up as follows:
1. The tenure of the leaders – Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Premiere, Central Military Commission, Tribunal of the National People’s Congress, members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo – are only within 10 years periods. The accusation of lifetime autocrats is unsurprisingly exaggerated.
2. According to the Constitution of China, the selection of the members of next generation ruling clique will come from the National People’s Congress (NPC).
3. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the sole political party in China and the only people allowed to become part of the NPC.
4. Beneath the formalities of an elected group, the NPC and CCP politburos are headed under one overall commanding core similar to the Emperors of dynasties past.
5. In the current case, the former President (Chairman) of the NPC, Jiang Zemin is the “mother-in-law” or core of the Shanghai faction dedicated to Western style Capitalism and to some extent liberal democracy. Jiang inherits this position from the tumultuous period of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
6. Hu Jintao, China’s current President, is part of the Shanghai function but is only the nominal head of the Chinese government. The real power rests with Jiang Zemin. Hu is no pushover though. He commands his own cadres, the Communist Youth League – the CCP’s youth arm.
7. The Zemin core is expected to appoint the next crop of leaders. This means that the Chinese people of all nationalities will continue the path of “modern revisionism” – market liberalization and democratic reform.
NB: The author has read critical texts of China’s body politic including its national constitution and the by-laws of its sole political party, the back story behind the 3 Represents and blogs from China Daily Mail specifically Chan Kai Yee – who has written about the subject in his blog: Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements. Which of course makes him smug and think anyone looking for CNN for in-depth analysis is being fed lies and pro-Western bias