Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Xinhua News Agency Internal Reference Material: Selected Views of Chen Liangyu
1. On the Communist Party
- What's most important at the moment isn't for the Communist Party to worry that it will collapse. The Communist Party doesn't need to keep on worrying whether or not it will collapse. The Communist Party works for sake of the people's interests. What the Communist Party should worry about most, for the sake of the people, is whether or not the country can hold up its head in international competition - and allow the people to hold up their heads, and allow overseas Chinese, and Chinese around the world, to hold up their heads. - Marxism is a science. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics, management, and psychology are also sciences. My party has to respect science when making policy decisions, and that means respecting all sciences. - Our party needs professional talent, and our [Central] Party School has to train professional talent. That is, it has to cultivate personnel with specialized know-how who can give play to the leadership of the party in professional posts. The party School is not a place for learning central documents and policies and taking votes, nor is it a place for forming gangs and factions to struggle over ideology.
2. On Shanghai
- The "Three Represents" requires that the Chinese Communist Party represent the development of China's advanced productive forces, the orientations of advanced Chinese culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. In all three of these respects, Shanghai is out in front of the whole country. Therefore, Shanghai represents the advanced nature of the Chinese Communist Party.
- Shanghai's development is stable and rapid. Shanghai's rapid, stable development has garnered the support of the central authorities, but it does not rely on the central authorities (中央). Gansu province, currently, still must depend on the central authorities. Shanghai has the ability to help Gansu province shake off its dependence.
3. On resisting the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party
- It seems that Deng Xiaoping's statement, "Development is the hard truth," isn't uttered much anymore. Why not? Is development not the hard truth? Then who will tell me what is the truth?
- There are some who take Deng Xiaoping's ideology of a well-off society to mean that people who reach a well-off standard of living should not continue to improve their standards of living, that they must wait for those people who have not reached a well-off standard of living to reach it before they can continue to improve their standards of living. Such an understanding makes no sense at all. We cannot succeed in building socialism using such a mechanical way of thinking.
- When the sun rises, it shines first on the East. It doesn't shine on the East and the West at the same time. We cannot but respect this fact; to respect it is to respect science. Balanced development can only be achieved step-by-step, through a smooth transition. Balanced development is not killing the chicken to get the egg; killing the chicken to get the egg is disrespect for science. Balanced development does not mean robbing the rich to help the poor; robbing the rich to help the poor would leave all equally poor, not equally rich.
- Macroeconomic readjustment is something I approve of, and balanced development is of course is good. But sound macroeconomic adjustment and balanced development definitely do not mean making a healthy child eat less just as it's growing up while making a baby with a tummy ache stuff its stomach. Nor, of course, can you make sick person waiting for stomach surgery eat a big meal.
- We cannot treat macroeconomic readjustment and balanced development as synonyms for egalitarianism. Our party-state’s historic experience with economic building proved long ago that egalitarian thinking will only strangle development.
- Development has an order of priorities. Development can never be absolutely balanced. To make a slogan of something that is impossible may have the temporary effect of boosting people's morale. But to regard it as true is to fool oneself, and to fool the masses.
- Do we want to renew the old cities and to build more new and developing cities, or do we want to limit the development of old cities and the rise of new and developing cities? Do we want more peasants to become urban residents? Or do we want peasants to forever be peasants? Then why are there certain people at the center who don't think straight, and want to put added limits on the people renewing [old] cities and giving rise to new and developing cities?
4. On policy "adaptations" (变通)
- Corruption and policy adaptations are not one in the same thing. Corruption is when someone schemes for personal gain. Policy adaptation is to work for something better on behalf of the people's interests.
- On matters that I approve of, I live up to my word. [But] there are matters on which I live up to my word but don't have the final say. Should there come a day when higher authorities say that what I say doesn't count, I'll be responsible to the higher authorities, and you too shall bear the consequences. For us to be able to work together, you must be clear on this point of mine. Otherwise, do not work with me. I'm the kind of person who doesn't fear the risks, so long as I do things worthy of the party, worthy of my conscience, worthy of the people. I do not shirk responsibility. If I have something to say, I say it. I say it clearly first, and then I act on it.
5. Attacks on leading comrades and central authorities' policies
- Housing prices are soaring because the supply of homes isn't meeting the demand. Land prices are soaring, and transfers are netting huge profits, because the supply of land isn't meeting the demand. Even among watermelon peddlers, there's not one who doesn't understand the principle of supply and demand. But among the leaders of our party and government, there are people don't understand it. They can't even pretend to understand it.
- Our comrades in the leadership should change their work style of issuing written instructions on certain specific economic disputes before the disputes are investigated and reviewed. This practice does not employ legal means to resolve economic disputes, nor does it constitute normal administrative operations. This sort of practice will stir up a reaction and produce chaos. It does not increase the party's ability to rule; it curtails the party's ability to rule. Because the party's ability to rule must reflect the importance attached to relying on law to resolve disputes, not reflect how much power party leaders have to do so.
- All people are equal before the law. We cannot disrespect, or fail to consider, written instructions from our comrades in the State Council leadership on the most trivial of matters. But what article of law do written orders from the State Council leaders count as? If I haven't violated articles of law, who will warn me? If no one tells me, then this question can only be decided in a court of law. We will of course respect the court's decision.
- Population flows have been an important factor in accelerating uneven regional development. How many provinces and cities have set up offices in the capital? The establishment in Beijing of city and provincial offices from around the country has expanded consumption in the city of Beijing and contributed to the development of the capital. How many provinces, cities, and enterprises large, medium and small have set up windows in Shanghai? How many people from other regions have come to Shanghai in search of opportunities to develop? How many enterprises from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and foreign countries have established organizations in Shanghai? All of these have gotten positive feedback and accelerated Shanghai's development. So how can you demand that the whole country achieve "balanced development"? You could issue a document urging them all to go to Yan'an, but if they don't go, then what? You'd still rather build Shanghai's tall buildings in Yan'an to "balance development"? If you built Shanghai's tall buildings in Yan'an, the price certainly would not be high. But does that make sense? Wouldn't that be all too unreasonable?
- There are people who suspect that the current central leadership is too inclined to use administrative means to intervene in economic and social affairs. I don't think so. But certainly there are people who misunderstand the thrust of the central authorities. They mistakenly think that the gist of the central authorities is to use administrative measures to intervene in economic and social affairs and that in practice, they take this shortcut of administrative intervention. I reckon the problem lies therein. We need to correct this misunderstanding.
- There are people who are constantly citing foreign media rumor-mongering and slander about the so-called "Shanghai faction" to discuss matters. I want to take the opportunity today to ask these people a few questions in return: Why do reactionary foreign media hate the "Shanghai faction" in this way but not the hate "Gang of Four" in this way? Why do reactionary foreign media wish ill upon our country's fast development daily while extolling times when development stagnated and regressed during the Cultural Revolution? Whether there are persons within our Communist Party behind this phenomenon, I do not know. However, I also am not a know-nothing.
- If there are people in our party with divergent views who wish to use the reactionary foreign media to launch public opinion attacks on their own comrades and colleagues, isn't that tantamount to telling the whole world that we cannot settle our own internal affairs within the party? When this kind of incorrect work style is compared to the corruption that exists within the party, which is more dangerous to the party's survival? To say this sort of behavior is the same as acting "against the party and against the Chinese motherland" is a bit strong; but if it develops further then then they will be anti-party and anti-Chinese, and there'll nothing wrong in saying so.
6. Bloated Individualism and Quibbling
- Shanghai is a testimony to Deng Xiaoping's [statement that] "development is the hard truth". Shanghai is a symbol representing the advanced nature of the Chinese Communist Party. Shanghai has been the testing ground for rapid development since the "reform and opening". Shanghai is the pride of our government. Under the leadership of my party, that is Shanghai, "my Shanghai". - As the party secretary of Shanghai, I, guided by the policy thrust decided by the central authorities, am responsible for matters within the scope of my duties. The scope of my duties is different from that of the General Secretary. And the scope of the General Secretary's duties is different from mine. We are both Communist Party members, but this is not to say that there is no boundary line between our work and our duties. The Communist Party is a group, not a single person. There is division of labor among the leaders of the Communist Party. The Communist Party has inner-party democracy. My personal understanding is that it applies to the Communist Party, not to a single person.
- The policy of macroeconomic readjustment has not brought about its predicted results. We have to take a scientific attitude to analyze this. The city government of Shanghai, in thoroughly executing the policy aspects of the central authorities' macroeconomic readjustment, carried them out fully and completely. Yet private capital and foreign capital continued to flow into Shanghai, and circulation of funds among private individuals was very active. We have taken note of this problem, but we do not have a policy to take measures against it. Anyway, how can we prevent Mr. Zhang from lending money to Mr. Li? Our party doesn't have such a rule, does it?
- To promote sustainable development of the economy and society that is coordinated in an overall way, I'm stressing an emphasis on utilizing economic and social means. My idea is not to negate the use of administrative means. I also have not meant to spurn the leaders of the party. What I mean is that that when economic means can and should be used, we mustn't consider the use of administrative means to be a shortcut. When developing a market economy, rashly using administrative means to intervene in economic and social affairs will leave undesired aftereffects. And if legal means can and should be utilized to resolve problems, then do not use administrative means rashly either. Improving our party's ability to govern does not amount to increasing the proportion of administrative means used to intervene in economic and social affairs. That's not how I understand it.
- If I'm not mistaken, our country's private enterprises produce over 40 percent of GDP nationally. Here in Shanghai, state enterprises produce nearly 80 percent of GDP. If you want to discuss the issue of who adheres most to socialism, couldn't it be said that Shanghai adheres most? The words of certain people who at every turn want to hang the capitalist hat on Shanghai are unworthy of rebuttal. Shanghai has built a model for our country's socialist market economy, and it's the direction toward which our country's socialist economy is developing. Shanghai has not practiced capitalism. For Shanghai to wear that hat on its head would be unsuitable. It wouldn't fit. Once the national GDP surpasses Shanghai's in [proportion of] state enterprise [productivity], then you come talk to me about whether Shanghai is adhering to socialism or not. Otherwise, I beg your pardon. Don't waste your time or mine.
7. On Market Economics
- Those cadres who have objections to the State Council's specific measures of macroeconomic readjustment must not just complain. You must come up with specific ways of your own. Take the matter on its merits. First thing's first, second thing's second. Think about specific ways around specific problems. It's people who think up the measures, after all. To work scientifically with economic problems is to fully protect and use market mechanisms. As long as a market exists, surely there will be solutions, and surely problems can be solved.
- Capital has to flow before it can give full play to development. To prohibit or limit the flow of capital is to waste capital. It's not conducive to development. Under a socialist market economic system, the flow of capital has its own scientific laws. And to some degree, the scientific laws therein are the same as those under a capitalist system. If you say it's not the same, then please present some scientific evidence. If you only believe that there are different scientific laws, but have not yet discovered them, haven't summed them up, then as a temporary replacement, simply use the laws of market economics already discovered under that the capitalist system. When the airplane had yet to be invented, but there were already trains, if anybody had said that since the airplane wasn't invented we better keep on riding by horse-drawn cart, who would have understood? Everyone would think this person's brain was screwed up.
- The places where real estate prices are excessively high, places like Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, and Shenzhen, all have established rather sound real estate market mechanisms. There's no one forcing anyone to buy a house, nor is there any problem with housing assigned by work units. In terms of excessively high real estate prices, two problems are spoken of: One problem is with new housing built in the prime sections of the city centers with nice green environs and convenient transportation. The homes are usually quite large and luxurious and the price is high, even very high; but there's no problem of it being "excessive". Whether the price of housing is excessively high or not, the market will have a natural balance. If apartment prices are excessively high, then no will buy them. So how can they be excessive? Isn't the matter as simple as that!
The people who say that real estate prices are excessively high are, in reality, talking about a separate problem. The problem is that ordinary people in city centers cannot afford to buy these sorts of homes that are rather large and luxurious, and ordinary people cannot afford to buy those villas in the subdivisions. This type of real estate is of course excessively high in price to ordinary people. But the problem there is not that the price of real estate is excessively high. Other homes not so centrally located are affordable to ordinary people, and the government is also trying hard to help them purchase homes. The Shanghai city government has done much in-depth, painstaking work to safeguard Shanghai's stability and development. If, say, we were to build some low-standard housing in the city center to allow ordinary people to afford it, then they would not consider real estate prices to be excessively high. But would that be in accordance with the laws of the market and of economic development? Would it accord with scientific market mechanisms? By no means does there exist a problem of "excessively high" real estate prices. Pushing down housing prices is a problem that should be resolved through the relationship of market supply and demand. To want to solve the problem through meetings means to want solve the problem through administrative means, but administrative means cannot resolve a problem of market supply and demand. Market supply and demand has its own scientific laws. Therefore, the real problem is that a problem that's not a problem has been treated as a problem, and unscientific means have been used in attempt to solve a problem that's not a problem. People this managing affairs – now there's a problem!
- The market should decide how high the profits of real estate developers go, and how much the government benefits from real estate development and trade. Right now demand for land exceeds supply, so our policy is to seek out more land. Right now the demand for housing exceeds the supply, the demand for luxury housing exceeds the supply, and the demand for ordinary housing exceeds the supply as well. So our policy is to encourage developers to build more housing. If developers' profits are very high, then naturally there will be even more developers entering the trade. And market competition naturally will achieve a kind of balance. In these respects, the government need only lay down a policy of protecting the market mechanism. There is no need for the government to stick its hands in and manage real estate prices and developers' profits. If the government manages too much, it will mismanage, and the market mechanism will be strangled. If the government manages arbitrarily, the result will be an even more severe shortfall of supply. Instead that will make real estate prices even higher, and developers' profits higher too. If the government meddles and manages arbitrarily, it will cause chaos in the market. Without a doubt, tightening up the supply of land, cutting down financing to developers, cutting down the supply of home building materials and adopting a harsh system of approvals toward developers, in reality not only will not reduce the price of real estate and the exorbitant profits of developers. To the contrary, it will raise real estate prices and developers' exorbitant profits, and instead encourage speculation in housing. It is demand exceeding supply that will cause the market mechanism to operate naturally and expand supply, and allow the relationship between supply and demand to attain a balance. That's the way to control real estate prices, developers' profits, and housing speculation at a reasonable, balanced level. This kind of control is natural, not artificial.
- When Comrade Jiang Zemin was still Mayor Jiang, he referred us to a case from the mid-eighties, when the Shanghai Ethyl Factory was facing stoppage in production. The Shanghai Ethyl Factory's main raw material was dried sweet potato （山芋干）; you probably call it dried yam (地瓜干). Originally, it was supplied mainly from Anhui province. Then after the economic reforms, the peasants in Anhui decided for themselves what to grow in the ground, and Anhui's village and township enterprises began to produce ethyl alcohol themselves. So the Shanghai Ethyl Factory couldn't find dried sweet potato and had to halt production. Could you say Anhui province should be blamed for "localism" because of this? At the time, in order to rescue the Shanghai Ethyl Factory, Shanghai began to raise its price; it bought up dried sweet potato, and the problem was resolved. Not only was the problem resolved, but later the Shanghai Ethyl Factory also transferred technology to Anhui province, and helped prop up the ethyl processing industry in Anhui and other outlying provinces, and everybody benefited. Because the purchasing price of sweet potatoes rose, the Anhui peasants' incentive to grow it also increased, and no phenomena of limitlessly rising prices arose. Following the Third Plenum of the 11th Communist Party Central Committee [December, 1978], the state gradually set forth the status of the socialist market economy. Economically, the localities had the right to make their own decisions based on their own local circumstances. Competition arose between different localities, and this drove economic development. So when market mechanisms are allowed take effect according to their scientific laws, the result is benign interaction. If the government interferes, market mechanisms are artificially damaged, and vicious competition will arise. The vicious competition I speak of is a governmental problem. Back then, suppose the Ethyl Factory's original price could not buy sweet potatoes and Shanghai had sought out the State Council, and the State Council had decided that Anhui was not allowed to produce ethyl and instead had to use its dried sweet potato to guarantee the supply to Shanghai, or that the State Council had decided that Shanghai was not allowed to raise its purchasing price for dried sweet potato. If that’s the way it was, then that would have been "localism" protecting one party. Shanghai and Anhui surely would have gone before the State Council and criticized one another for practicing localism. Yet when the mechanisms of the market are allowed to take effect, the problem of "localism" fundamentally does not exist. When economic activity is marketized, economic decisions are free and economic policies are open. What we need is to guarantee that full play is given to market mechanisms, to encourage benign interaction. Competition that arises in the market is all concrete, it's all local, but none of it is what some people say is localism or whatever. Yet if the central interferes in market competition, then it would have ended up just the way I postulated before. The State Council would have decided that Anhui was not allowed to produce ethyl and instead had to use its dried sweet potato to guarantee supplies to Shanghai; or the State Council would have decided that Shanghai was not allowed to raise the purchasing price of dried sweet potato. That way, by contrast, localism would have arose.
8. Shanghai Localism
- As long as Shanghai has what the whole country wants, then balanced development will not balance out Shanghai. We in Shanghai need not worry about that. When others are unwilling to say that "development is the hard truth," we profess this hard truth. When others are at a standstill, we continue to develop. This is my Shanghai localism. I have absolute confidence in reform and opening and in market mechanisms, and if no one among you doubts it, then that's good. As long as Shanghai "keeps advanced" in scientific research, manufacturing, banking, commerce, culture and all other respects, then no matter how other people want to allocate it, how can the money be even? The money will always be spent in Shanghai. On this point I have absolute confidence. Am I not right?
- When the city of XX in Jiangxi province wanted to attract trade and investment from abroad, they spent their first sum of money here in Shanghai. In Shanghai they hired experts. How did they succeed in attracting trade and investment and making money? They exported their products through Shanghai. Shanghai helped them make money, and Shanghai made money too. Not to mention that all of their bosses bought homes in Shanghai, and their bosses had relatives who opened stores in Shanghai, too. After ten years, they are the same as us. They're all Shanghai residents. And at least their will be next generation as well.
- When I was young, I remember, salaries in Shanghai were lower than they were nationally. But the whole country came to Shanghai to spend money, especially at the Number One and Number Two Department Stores. You'd buy a lot of stuff to take back home. At that time, Shanghai had no right to manage the money it made. At that time, we still didn't have market mechanisms; we were not permitted to have market mechanisms. Finances were centrally allocated and transferred by the central authorities. Shanghai could but act as a relay point. Shanghai residents could only get some cheap goods through their work units or factories. That was the only little tangible benefit. Now we don't have to worry about this problem. Now Shanghai has so many private enterprises and foreign-invested enterprises. Even if the Shanghai city government were to give over its finances to someone else to control, so long as Shanghai people have money in their hands, so long as Shanghai's growth allows the whole country and whole world to come and spend, to come and seek out ways to develop, then Shanghai could not stop growing even if it wanted to.
9. Other strange and preposterous ideas
- In the reform and opening, while acting in accordance with the scientific development concept of preserving stability while seeking rapid pace, Shanghai mustn't be afraid to go ahead of the whole country. On a road that our predecessors have not taken, after all, someone must take the first step. Why can't Shanghai take the first step? History has proven repeatedly that we in Shanghai have the ability to travel roads that our predecessors have not taken. In the past, Shanghai was called the "adventurers' playground". If Shanghai is called the " adventurers' playground" once again, what would be wrong with that? To strive for growth requires adventurousness anyhow. If one day Shanghai grew to overtake America's New York, what would be wrong with that? New York has always been the playground of the world's adventurers. Unfortunately for Shanghai, it was interrupted for several decades. If we could make the world's adventurers come to Shanghai, if Shanghai can achieve that kind of appeal, then one day Shanghai might overtake New York, and Chinese language schools in New York would begin to teach course in Shanghainese.
- Our party already has discussed Comrade Deng Xiaoping's statement that "Development is the hard truth." Everybody knows this principle, and everyone identifies with it. If there was not someone who wanted to refute or change the understanding of it, then as I see it, there would be no need in the least to call a meeting to deliberate over it further, no matter how [the purpose of the meeting] is nominally phrased. Suppose there was someone who wanted to call a meeting to deliberate over the name of the city of Beijing; would you think that it was for the purpose of enhancing and raising awareness of the name of the city? [Right now] Someone is purposely avoiding mentioning that "Development is the hard truth". But over the long haul, I suspect, there will be a son who does not wish to recognize his father. The son wants to prove he's wiser than his father. If he can slowly prove it and everyone can see it, than that's fine for him. What's the rush?
- The cadres of our party must rely on the masses. I've never said that relying on the masses means we can only rely on the masses of workers, peasants, soldiers and neighborhood committees. That is the former way of saying it. Entrepreneurs, businessmen, and people with brains and influence in technological, cultural and intellectual circles, all are our masses too. Foreign businessmen are also our masses. Everybody is part of the masses upon whom our party cadres should rely. Therefore I stress, the cadres of our party really must manage to open their minds.
Xinhua News Agency Internal Reference Materials: Selected Views of Chen Liangyu (Part II)
10. Criticisms and attacks on individuals made outside the party
- China's "peaceful rise" is something to be achieved, not talked about. Mention it once and it's unnecessarily suspicious-sounding. Mention it too much and it's boasting. It's also not conducive to China's stability and development, and it's irresponsible. If China tries hard to maintain stable development over the long-term, there really will come a day when China achieves a "peaceful rise". But there's a problem in using a slogan like "peaceful rise" to arouse patriotic enthusiasm. Patriotism already has been cooked up much too hot among Chinese young people. Youths will let their minds roam so far as to think about fighting, killing, bombing, landing, and occupying. These are the things they shout for. If your youths always think this way and shout this way, other people will be scared into fearing China. If you say you want to "peacefully" "rise", then who can trust whether you say you want "peace" or want to fight and kill? People elsewhere fear China's current development. Once people are afraid, surely they won't want to allow you to "peacefully rise". If you've only just gotten off your butt and they already want to stamp you right back down, then don't even think of ever getting back up. What's been said is said, but hereafter, talk like "peaceful rise" is best left unspoken. This is my personal opinion. I'm only concerned with the facts, not with the individuals.
- When we talk about patriotism, it's best not to speak constantly about topics like the Eight Allied Armies and the Japanese invasion of China. To speak [of patriotism] scientifically, according to human nature, and according to the demands of social stability and harmony, an individual's patriotic ideas should comprise a series of different levels. First, one should love one's parents, love one's children, and love one's family; after that, one should love one's classmates, love one's colleagues, and love one's neighbors; next, the person should love society; love oneself, and love the place one lives. Only when one has accomplished all of these can one really enter into love of the country, love of the party, and love of the people. If we see someone whose treatment of his parents and his adoptive mother is most heartless, then we shall suspect that the love of country, love of party and love of the people that this person speaks of might be very false.
- China wants a stable domestic and international environment for it to develop. The effort to achieve and preserve this sort of environment for growth is the key problem of our past, present and future. It also requires that the senior leaders of our party and government be individuals of steady disposition. Whether Comrade Hu Jintao's character meets this consideration, I am not clear. Based on some reference materials, I have noticed that, when Comrade Hu Jintao was in Tibet serving as First Secretary of the Party Committee of the Autonomous Region, in order to deal with a small number of monks rising in revolt, he personally donned a steel helmet on his head and held up a tommy gun. Yet I do not consider this the expression of a steady character. I hope that the collective leadership of the Standing Committee of the Politburo takes note of this issue when they make major decisions.
- What I detest most is when someone makes irresponsible remarks about someone else's health. Someone who gossips about others' illnesses has a health problem himself. I don't need a doctor to make that diagnosis. This person definitely has a psychological problem, and a psychological problem is also a kind of illness. There's no way to cure this kind of illness.
- I got my start doing actual work, not by dint of speaking falsehoods, paying lip service, and talking a lot of nonsense. Inherently, I have no way to maintain agreement with the kind of person who grows and thrives by speaking like a human being in front of people and lying behind their backs. I don't trust that people who depend on speaking falsehoods, paying lip service, and talking a lot of nonsense, and who grow and thrive by speaking like a human being in front of people and lying behind their backs, can represent the interests of our party, our government or our people.
- There's no need to speak intimidations toward me. That won't do any good. I served in the army from 1968 to 1970. At that time we were concerned everyday that we would go to war with the Soviet Union. Every day the army had to grasp wartime thinking, to arouse the troops. From that time on, I began not to fear death. But I've lived another 35 years. Now, I fear death even less. Nor would I feel I needed to put a steel helmet on my head to deal with a few monks.
- After I got busy with work, I was seldom able to care for my father, and I feel bad about that. When people are able to provide my father some assistance, and allow him to pass his days rather comfortably, I'm very moved. It relieves a bit of the pressure on my heart. I cannot imagine that in fifteen years, I could manage not to ever visit the adoptive mother who reared me from a young age. Or that after becoming the supreme leader of the country, that I could not go in person to sweep the graves of my own father and mother, and would have my son go and perform token formalities instead. I could never do that. Because I am a person of flesh and blood.
- To decide to make policy adaptations for the sake of the vital interests of the masses accords with our party’s principle and spirit of "seeking the truth from facts." Of course, there are risks to doing this. Whether these risks are big or not depends on the person making the decision to adapt the polices, and on whether or not people possessing greater power put the vital interests of the masses in a certain place. The risks for me are not minor. Because among my higher-ups are two shi la wu zi. (a Zhejiang obscenity, meaning sons of thieves).
- Our country's current economic reforms started in the countryside. Rural economic reforms began with a production team in Anhui province's Chu county. When the production team first started to practice the contracted responsibility system, it did not tally with the central authorities' policies and laws of the time. The production team’s cadres took great risks. How did they begin? I remember that at the time, they had an agreement. The agreement stated that if a production team cadre was imprisoned for allocating the fields among the different households, then the all the members of the commune had to take charge of his family's farm work, as well raise his children to the age of eighteen. How tremendous! In the agreement there was another clause, also tremendous, that apparently said that the matter was not permitted to be spoken of with superior authorities or with outsiders; whoever said anything would be the enemy of the entire production team. This episode has become a part of party history. That person who grew up in Anhui surely must not read party history, for it seems he is utterly unaware that our country's current economic reforms began this way. That adoptive mother of his was really a waste. She raised him in vain.
- I'm a person who does not belong either to the optimistic school of thought or the pessimistic. In the past, I always liked a line from a sorceress in a foreign film that I'd use over and over as my pet phrase. Now in my mind I still often think of it. That line is: "Focus on results." Our economic reforms of today began in the countryside. Rural economic reforms started from a production team in Anhui who defied the policy directives set by the central authorities but were "focused on results". This production team violated the central authorities' policy directives, yet made shocking achievements, and the results were affirmed and popularized. That is precisely to 'focus on results." It's already recorded in Communist Party history. That precisely the meaning of Deng Xiaoping's "development is the hard truth". People who don't remember this must go back and have another read. Should there be a day when those shameless scoundrels boot me out, take me down - this kind of thing is not outside the realm of possibility, I said I'm a pragmatist, I'm not blindly optimistic nor blindly pessimistic – then at that time, the best way for those of you thinking of me to handle it is to show them proof of our results.
11. Ideological confusion
- If you do not have the time to read other (books), it's not a concern. But you absolutely must take the time to read the "Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping" and the Selected Works of Jiang Zemin" thoroughly. I don't mean to say that other (books) are not to be read. What I mean is, if your job is to be a good driver, then you definitely have to know the traffic regulations and how to drive, but you do not have to know the principles of a car engine and how cars are built. Even if you don't know the function of a car's exhaust pipe, it won't stop you from being a good driver.
- Putting too much emphasis on stability will only make people think that in reality, things are not stable. Putting too much emphasis on harmonious society will only show that in reality, society is not harmonious. It is correct to emphasize such words on appropriate occasions. But when taken as pet phrases, and used indiscriminately and too often, they become counterproductive. Our meeting today has been going on for one hour and forty minutes. Haven't you begun to feel a little dizzy? Begun to feel as though you want to take a nap? Thirsty? Hungry? If I don't speak this way, perhaps most of you will not realize you have such sensations. But once I speak this way, do you not begin to have these sorts of sensations? This is exactly what I mean to say. It's called psychology.
- In the case of mass disturbances, anyone who violates the law should be punished according to the law. We can't merely penalize the leaders. If we merely punishing the leaders, does it represent that our government is lenient toward people who break the law? Or does it represent their belief that the "law does not extend to the masses"? Neither of the two tallies with the spirit of "rule according to law". People who create mass disturbances when they legal avenues but do not pursue them, and judged by courts but not subjected to the verdicts, must be punished uniformly. Otherwise they'll have absolutely no respect for the law, and "rule according to law" will be nothing but wasted breath.
- China is led by the Communist Party leader, and every locality in China is led by the same Communist Party leaders. The localities have to abide by the central authorities, and the central authorities also have to cooperate with the localities. The central authorities have to cooperate with the localities, but the central authorities cannot possibly understand the real situation locally as the local governments do. The central authorities may listen to reports and make inspections, but they still won't understand the real situation in the localities in the way local governments do. Therefore in the localities, when we speak of the Communist Party leaders, we're referring to the local Communist Party government leaders. Only such leaders are concretely connected and can solve problems. Simply abiding by the central authorities does not solve concrete problems. The relationship between the central authorities and the localities should be understood this way. The leaders of the Communist Party also should understand it this way. Divorced from the real, specific place, everything is meaningless.
- In the course of systematic reform, we definitely must be careful about delegating power to lower levels, because after power is delegated, taking it back gives rise to problems that are harder to solve than before it was delegated at all. So what to do about problems that arise after the power is delegated? As I see it, the only way is to trust and depend on the legal system. Those aspects of the legal system that are lacking have to be perfected. To handle problems that arise where power is already delegated, adopting methods to take the power back is not a good way. Give and take back, give and take back, and the people are bound to feel that the routes of reform and conservatism are struggling against one another. In fact, with respect to reform, all of us are completely in agreement. So we should not continue this practice of retaking power any longer. What we have to do is perfect the legal system. That way, the people will not feel that the routes of reformism and conservatism are struggling against one another.
- How large the scale of the United Front Work Department's work in Shanghai actually is, I, the party secretary of the city, do not know. What I want to ask is: in Shanghai, this international city with a high level of openness economically and culturally, are there people monitoring the United Front Work Department's work, and how are they monitoring it? The United Front Work Department's work in Shanghai already has had a direct effect on Shanghai's work. In the course of our projects to attract foreign investment, recruit talented personnel, conduct foreign trade, and carry out cultural exchanges between China and abroad, we find the United Front Work Department obstructing and interfering with us everywhere. What department should I seek out to investigate whether the United Front Work Department is carrying out an assignment from its superiors, or if it is secretly doing its own or others' private work. I think that we must have a system to oversee this, and the local government should have the right to participate in the surveillance.
- Obedience must be justified. To require absolute obedience without justification is not realistic. Soldiers in the army must abide absolutely by their senior officer. But to depend on such a system of obedience alone is no good. So in the army there also must be ideological work, war mobilization, and so forth. For the party central committee to demand absolute obedience from the localities, it must allow internal debate and public debate. Right now, in many localities, there is absolute disobedience toward some of the policy directives of the central authorities. As the central leaders, shouldn't we be discussing in this meeting whether central policy directives are unreasonable, unconvincing? Is it the case that some central policy directives are fundamentally unrepresentative of the places all over the country? When we run into problems, shouldn't we first examine where our own problems lie? Sure, the central authorities are the boss of the localities, but the central authorities have to be a good boss. You have to act like a boss to be a boss. Otherwise, if the localities act as their own bosses, who can you blame?
- With the problem of corruption, people must have power to be corrupt. The more powerful people are, the more corrupt they can be. It's out of the question for people without power to be corrupt. They can only bribe people with power. Therefore, in considering the problem of corruption, to merely investigate and punish is to treat the symptoms but not the disease. To treat the disease, power must be dispersed, unnecessary power cancelled out. With respect to land approvals, key state investment projects and so on, the phenomenon of corruption is widespread in our country. So with respect to land approvals and key state investment projects, why don't we make use of power a little less and markets a little more? The same goes for a lot of other areas. The power of the government is the root of corruption. Augmenting the power of the government will only augment corruption. But decrease the power of the government, let go of matters that needn't be bothered with, and allow market mechanisms to balance thing out naturally, and when the people stop seeking realize their owns gains through power, corruption will lose its breeding ground. Then it can be controlled. But use even more power to fix corruption and as a result, it will cause more corruption.
- I'm resolutely opposed to spreading a plan around the country for coordinated economical housing prices, where the government takes the lead in allocation and sales. By no means can this sort of planned economics resolve the predicaments of families in dire straits. To the contrary, this will give the government an even more authoritative function. And the more authoritative its function, the more opportunities there will be for corruption. I think the function the government should play in this regard is to survey the market, to comprehend the market, and to encourage the market to provide economical housing sufficient to satisfy the needs of society. Do not forget, we are still living in the primary stage of socialism. "Distribution according to one's needs" is not on our agenda yet. There will always be people unable to afford to buy housing. This problem is a normal phenomenon in the primary stage of socialism. When we get to the high stage, then we can solve this problem. To speak of solving this problem right now, if it's not cheating the public, then it must some great leap forward. And it's also possible to suspect that people are creating certain new functions of government power in order to give themselves opportunities for corruption.
- [I] propose that inner-party democracy be reflected not only in inner-party criticism. It must be reflected in the autonomy of local party organizations over local affairs. And the model for it must be set from top to bottom. The inner-party democracy we have currently proceeds from bottom to top. At best, it's democratic discussions among party members, and at worst, it serves to encourage people to rise in rebellion. I hold to the belief that inner-party democracy cannot merely proceed from bottom to top. When it gets to the top, it's only centralized and not democratic. So inner-party democracy must proceed from top to bottom.
- Discussion of strengthening the leadership of the party cannot be divorced from Comrade Jiang Zemin’s theory of the "Three Represents". Divorced from Comrade Jiang Zemin's theory of the "Three Represents", strengthening the leadership of the party comes to mean simply protecting the interests of the party and forsaking our party's most wide-ranging service - on behalf of the basic interests of the people. There are those who say that the formulation "strengthening the leadership of the party" is not precise enough, that it should be worded "strengthening the service of the party", to highlight the concept of serving the people. That way, it would not give people the wrong impression that the Communist Party is also a special interest group. It would also be a better embodiment of our party's special character of serving the people.
- I never ever said I was a hoodlum. Who would believe that I said something like that? I did say: "There are people who should not behave like hoodlums. If someone behaves like a hoodlum toward me, then I'll be even more of a hoodlum." That I did say, and I'll say it again. I'll explain what I mean: There are people who take matters we discuss within our party to Hong Kong. They add oil and vinegar and start rumors and slander about those who criticize them. That is behaving like a hoodlum. I won't take after this kind of behavior. I won't use it. I look down upon this kind of person. When I say I'll be even more of a hoodlum, I'm saying that if things continue develop this way unchecked, I'll break the rules as well. Abiding by the rules is not easy, but breaking the rules is very easy. "I'm not making threats. Only a mad dog can jump a wall. But if wasn't for the mad dog jumping the wall, man [I] wouldn't have any way of handling it.
- Our society is still composed of family units. The family is the most basic cell of society. So speaking of the family's interests is the same as speaking of the nation's interests and the state's interests. I believe you can trust the sort of person who would help a friend at the loss of his own life to sacrifice his own individual interests, or even the interests of his family, for the sake of the interests of the nation and the state. But the sort of person who's a friend in one's presence but who sells out friends behind their backs - can this person be trusted to sacrifice his own individual interests for the sake of the nation's and state's? That sort of person is a vile character (小人). People who trust that sort of person are also vile characters. Within our party, we have vile characters like this from top to bottom. We cannot but beware of such vile characters.
Anti-corruption probe spreads to Beijing
October 26, 2006 - 3:09PM
More than 300 investigators have descended on Beijing as a government crackdown on corruption spreads from China's financial hub of Shanghai to the capital, two sources say.
The Beijing investigation follows the dismissal last month of Shanghai Communist Party chief Chen Liangyu, who also lost his seat in the party's decision-making Politburo, making him the most senior Chinese official toppled for corruption in a decade.
The party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection sent more than 300 investigators to Beijing after 200 were dispatched to Shanghai, the sources said.
"The message has been relayed to the Beijing city government," one government source told Reuters. Civil servants are barred from speaking to foreign media without authorisation.
Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan had dismissed as "nonsense" media reports that the Chinese capital has been targeted by a massive corruption probe.
But the source said the Beijing city government was asked to cooperate with the investigation.
Officials with the Beijing city government's anti-graft office and the municipal government spokesman's office said they had not heard of the investigation.
It was unclear if the investigation had anything to do with the Shanghai scandal or the dismissal of Beijing Vice-Mayor Liu Zhihua in June after being accused of corruption and dissolute behaviour. Liu oversaw construction projects for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"Hu went after Shanghai first because Beijing is a much tougher place to handle," said a second source with ties to the leadership requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions.
Hong Kong's Beijing-funded Ta Kung Pao newspaper has said more than 50 Shanghai officials and businessmen have been taken into custody on suspicion of draining money from the city's 10 billion yuan ($A1.66 billion) social security fund for illicit loans and investments.
The second source said Beijing officials suspected of corruption and businessmen could be taken into custody as early as next month.
Alarmed by chronic corruption which has spawned social unrest, President Hu Jintao took on corrupt officials in Shanghai - the political stronghold of his predecessor Jiang Zemin - as he sought to root out abuse, enforce loyalty and further consolidate power.
On Sunday, Hu appealed to the party's 70 million members to show solidarity when he and Jiang made their first joint public appearance since the Shanghai scandal surfaced.
Hu graced a meeting of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities in Beijing later that day and pledged to step up efforts to "improve the rule of law and a culture for clean and honest government, and strengthen the checks and supervision on power".
The Ta Kung Pao newspaper on Thursday quoted Wang Jianming, the top anti-corruption official of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, as saying more than 4,000 Chinese officials were wanted for corruption and had fled abroad.
Monday, October 23, 2006
You are right that NPL amount will surely rise, and with lending slowing dow, the ratio could also rise again. However, with all kinds of money sloshing around, they can mobilize numerous accounting tricks to cover or "solve" the problem right away. For example, if a major provincial construction project is in trouble, they can have the State Development Bank make a long-term loan to the province, which it then uses to repay the commercial bank....etc. Huijin and the Social Security Fund can likewise inject money through buying equity stakes in various provincial investment companies. The possibilities are endless. This is why there has been a steady growth in the ratio of long-term loans. With long-term loans, the banks know almost nothing about the performance of the borrowers, except that they are making their payments.....
Monday, October 23, 2006
Bad loans 'could rise again'
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Beijing
A central bank offical has warned that bad loans in the banking system
remain a "huge and difficult" challenge even as the nation's largest
lender completes a world record share sale.
"The foundation for sound asset quality still isn't solid," People's
Bank of China deputy governor Wu Xiaoling told a financial conference
in Beijing, according to the sina.com website Monday.
"The task of avoiding a rebound in non-performing loans is still huge
and difficult," she was quoted as saying at the conference on Sunday.
Ms Wu made the remarks a day before the Industrial and Commercial Bank
of China (ICBC) announced the pricing of its much-anticipated initial
public offering, setting the stage for what is likely to be a US$22
billion (HK$172 billion).
Ms Wu noted that China's state banks still relied heavily on net
interest margins - the difference between what a bank earns in interest
on loans and what it must pay on deposits - and said lenders remained
vulnerable to any change in the economic weather. "Any changes in
macroeconomic conditions will directly impact bank asset quality and
therefore impact the profitability and stability of the banks," she
China's banks were less than ideally positioned to respond to such
challenges, according to the central banker. "China's state-owned
commercial banks lack high-quality talent, even as they are over-
staffed and suffer from low-efficiency allocation of their personnel,"
The non-performing loan ratio of China's banks dropped to 7.5 per cent
at the end of June, down 1.1 percentage points from the end of last
year, according to previously released data from the banking
regulator. Analysts acknowledge that lending practices have generally
improved over the past several years but also warn that the decline was
really due to government bailouts and aggressive lending in the current
Since bad debt is calculated as a percentage of assets, an increase in
bank lending can reduce the proportional level of sour loans. The 7.5
per cent level cited by the regulator would be considered almost a
crisis in a developed market economy but represents a huge improvement
in China where foreign analysts estimated that as many as 40 per cent
of all bank loans had gone bad before the current round of reforms.
The ICBC is the third of the big four banks to go public, following
the initial public offerings of Bank of China and the China
Construction Bank. Their share sales followed ambitious restructuring
drives, the injection of a combined US$60 billion and the introduction
of strategic investors. The ICBC received a US$15 billion injection
prior to its IPO.
The Agricultural Bank of China, the only unlisted big four bank and
the worst-performing of the group, might receive a large bailout from
Beijing next year, according to state media.
Central Huijin and the Central Social Security Fund couldn't inject cash into a company without a *lot* of people noticing. It's also improbable that a local social security fund would be able to inject funds into a company through equity purchases without a lot of people noticing. In particular, if they were to purchase equity in a listed company, they'd have to do an IPO, and the CSRC would notice.
It's not that it is impossible to make these sort of deals, but it is increasingly difficult to do it without someone noticing, and if there is a major problem in the NPL's then it is very unlikely that you'd be able to hide it for very long through bookkeepping.
It's because of the above that I don't think that there is a big problem with NPL's in three of the four state banks. Things are a lot more murky with the JSCB's.
But it still wouldn't work to use the SDB's to do a bailout of the commercial banks. Total assets of the big-four commercial banks is about $2 trillion. If 10% go NPL, that's $200 billion which is more money than the CDB has. Also, in order to earmark CDB money to do a bailout of SOE's would require an administrative structure that doesn't exist (i.e. ordering a province to spend a loan on a particular SOE), and couldn't be created without a lot of people noticing.
If the Chinese economy looked like it was going into recession, the government could order CDB to boost lending to provincial governments as a fiscal stimulus. But this sort of thing is perfectly fine.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Meanwhile, break-neck growth is no longer the main goal in Shanghai, replaced by unity, harmony, and stability.
2006年10月20日10:19 【字号 大 中 小】【留言】【论坛】【打印】【关闭】
Saturday, October 21, 2006
2006年10月22日11:50 【字号 大 中 小】【留言】【论坛】【打印】【关闭】
Wow, the listing of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will create the largest IPO in the world up to this point at 19 billion dollars. Can you imagine if China was to then sell off most of the shares of ICBC or another one of the Big Four banks? Given the huge amount of interest in the listing (I think the figure is by now up to 420 billion USD in orders), I dare say they can easily raise well over 100 billion dollars, or nearly 1 trillion RMB. Can you imagine how many school kids can then go to school?
Unlike interest in companies like Google, however, the high demand for ICBC probably stems more out of a mix of the global saving glut (I am increasingly convinced of this theory put forth by Chairman Bernanke), and short-term expectation of decent profit than genuine confidence in the management. Having done extensive interviews with ICBC officials in 2000-2001, I still find it hard that the bank has really made such a great transition in the space of five years. While I think BOC has really cleaned house and restructured internal management, my impression is that ICBC has not done so to the same extent.
Well, what can one say in the midst of this euphoria. I leave you with what ICBC vice-President Wang Lili told senior officials in a speech she delivered at the Central Party School on January 8th, 2002 "Currently, we have inadequate bad debt reserve and can only use profit to writeoff NPLs. Also, the Ministry of Finance says that we can at most use 1% of our asset to write-off NPLs. We have to think of another way--ICBC curently has 250b (RMB) in policy loans and 160b of it is NPLs, so if the state can take it off our hands, our NPL ratio would decrease by 6%. These loans can go to policy banks and be restructured over the long-term......In 1998, MOF recapitalized the Big 4 banks with 270b, which gave them 5% capital adequacy ratio. However, with the rapid rise in deposits, the state will need to recapitalize another 400b in 2003. IPO is not an answer, since the Chinese market is not ready to raise this kind of money.... "
Again, I ask how a bank with so much self doubt just four years ago suddenly becomes the darling of the global financial market.
FB Business, Technology
ICBC share offer raises a record US$19.1b Lender prices stock at top of the range after taking HK$423.7b in retail orders
21 October 2006
South China Morning Post
(c) 2006 South China Morning Post Publishers Limited, Hong Kong. All rights reserved.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's largest bank, raised a record-breaking US$19.1 billion in the first initial public offering by a mainland company sold simultaneously on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges, market sources said.
The bank sold 35.49 billion H shares, or 10.8 per cent of its enlarged share capital, for HK$3.07 each, and 13 billion A shares in Shanghai for 3.12 yuan.
The Hong Kong sale attracted US$350 billion from institutional investors, or more than 50 times the shares available. Retail investors subscribed for 78 times more shares than were on offer, placing orders worth HK$423.7 billion.
The retail demand triggered an automatic increase in the size of the retail tranche to 10 per cent of the offering from the original 5 per cent.
It also unseated Bank of China, which attracted HK$286 billion in retail orders, from the No1 spot for most-popular IPO in Hong Kong.
"You might say ICBC is the deal of the century because six months ago there were doubts the market could absorb US$20 billion of a bank without a balance sheet to speak of," said a fund manager who asked not to be identified. "It may be a better indicator of the massive liquidity, and not just mainland liquidity, and that we remain in some kind of bull market."
The pricing values the bank at 2.23 times this year's book value and two times next year's book. That is 15 per cent cheaper than China Construction Bank, which raised US$9 billion in an IPO last year, and 4 per cent cheaper than BOC, which sold shares in June.
ICBC is likely to sell an additional 5.31 billion H shares and another 1.95 billion A shares, taking the total to US$21.9 billion.
The world's largest IPO had been the US$18.3 billion share sale in 1998 by Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo.
ICBC shares will begin trading Friday.
The lender will pay out 45 to 60 per cent of its earnings in dividends next year and in 2008. "That's almost double the competition and something we haven't seen from mainland banks," the fund manager said. "One of the hallmarks of good corporate governance is to return cash they aren't using."
China Construction Bank plans to pay out 35 per cent of its net profit in dividends while BOC proposes to pay 45 per cent over the same period.
ICBC expects its net profit to increase 26 per cent to 47 billion yuan this year and forecasts annual earnings growth of 20 per cent to 30 per cent.
Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, ICEA and CICC are arranging the Hong Kong IPO.
China International Capital Corp, Citic Securities, Guotai Junan Securities and Shenyin Wanguo Securities are handling the mainland sale.
The deal puts Merrill Lynch top of the investment banking league tables for Asia outside Japan with imputed fees of US$120.9 million earned so far this year from 13 IPOs, according to Thomson Financial data. Credit Suisse will take the No2 position with US$99.4 million from seven sales while Goldman Sachs, which had held the No1 slot before the ICBC sale, will be third with US$99.3 million from 11 deals.
Record China IPO Could Have Been Even Bigger --- ICBC Offering Highlights Global Investors' Appetite; 'The Wall of Liquidity'
By Kate Linebaugh
21 October 2006
The Wall Street Journal
(Copyright (c) 2006, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)
BEIJING -- The record-breaking initial stock sale of China's biggest bank underscores how eager global investors are to write fat checks to sate the capital needs of China's companies.
The initial public offering of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., or ICBC -- the world's biggest IPO, which will start trading Oct. 27 -- attracted $350 billion of demand from global investors, more than any other offering in Hong Kong's history. The domestic portion of the stock sale drew $80 billion. All that for a $21.9 billion deal.
But it isn't just this offering. China Merchants Bank Ltd. had $100 billion of demand for its $2.4 billion deal last month.
"I am staggered by the wall of liquidity that exists in the capital markets right now," says Steven Barg, UBS AG's head of equity capital markets for Asia. "The amount of money that has shown up for this, what it says in my mind is we are still in early days with respect to China."
China's state-owned companies have been regularly tapping international capital markets for the past decade, as Beijing has sought to fortify the balance sheets of the country's biggest companies, to improve corporate governance and transparency, and to give China's industry leaders global recognition. Since the beginning of the decade, Chinese companies have raised more than $100 billion from equity markets, according to Thomson Financial. About half of that has come in the past two years, and largely from the country's biggest banks.
Share sales by Chinese companies are also accounting for a greater share of global-equity sales -- 5.2% last year, by value, compared with 2.8% five years before, according to Thomson. This year, Chinese companies are on track to account for about 10% of the global total, surpassing the amount of equity raised by companies in the world's second-largest economy, Japan. From Chinese supermarket chains to fertilizer producers, companies haven't found any difficulty lately raising cash from international investors who are seeking ways to tap an economy growing faster than 10%.
That was certainly the case for ICBC. From Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Hong Kong's tycoons to individual, or "retail," investors in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where the bank will list its shares, it seemed everyone wanted to grab a piece of the bank. In Hong Kong, retail investors lined up for a copy of the 671-page offering document, or prospectus.
That is, in part, because shares of its rivals -- Bank of China Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corp. -- have performed well. As the biggest bank, ICBC is likely to be included in regional stock indexes and so is all the more attractive to investors.
And bankers don't foresee a slowdown in Chinese companies coming to market, although not through deals as big as the bank offerings.
"With China's steady economic growth, China's enterprises and consumers need money," says Sherry Liu, China vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
For investors, the country's banks offer broad exposure to China in a way that most other industries don't. ICBC, for instance, has a nationwide branch network of 18,000, more than any other lender. It claims 2.5 million corporate customers and 150 million personal accounts.
The euphoria helped ICBC price its offering at the high end of an indicative range. It set the share price for the Hong Kong offering at 3.07 Hong Kong dollars, or 39 U.S. cents, the top of a range that started at HK$2.56, according to a person familiar with the deal. The shares traded on the Shanghai market, which are a separate class, were set at 3.11 yuan (39 U.S. cents) apiece, according to a person familiar with the deal.
At that price level, ICBC raised US$19.07 billion in the sale, besting Japan's NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc., whose US$18.4 billion IPO in 1998 had been the biggest. The ICBC deal could still increase by 15% to US$21.9 billion if an overallotment option is exercised. Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse Group, Deutsche Bank AG, China International Capital Corp. and ICBC's investment-banking unit are managing the global offering.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
A follow up!
# posted by dust : 3:17 AM
I mean that SAFE should set up another investment vehicle which "invests" in special bonds issued by the MOF. For this bond, SAFE uses dollar to pay for the bonds, but the MOF promises to pay the SAFE company back in RMB. Of course, this would introduce the sterilized money back in the economy as MOF would have to exchange the dollar it received from SAFE into RMB. However, this is different from printing money since the MOF ultimately has to use its tax base to pay back SAFE. In this way, SAFE is hedged against a declining dollar since it has RMB assets. Meanwhile, the MOF is not going to take a loss since it is spending the dollar at today's exchange rate, but repay ing in RMB with future revenue streams in exchange rates of the future.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
By Yanping Li
Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- China's foreign-exchange
reserves are not for ``spending'' on buying assets
including oil, the official Shanghai Securities News
reported, citing the Chinese central bank's Vice
Governor Wu Xiaoling.
Foreign-exchange reserves are assets on the
central bank's balance sheet, and anyone who wants to
use them ``needs to buy them'' from the People's Bank
of China, Wu told an Oct. 14 banking conference, the
paper said. China's reserves, the world's
largest, jumped 28.5 percent to $988 billion at the
end of September from a year earlier, according to
central bank data.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
As some readers might know, I had a previous posting where I PRAISED him and predicted great things for him. Well, it doesn't seem this will be the case. This came very suddenly; I am speculating that he didn't do anything too serious, but his name came up during the CDIC investigation somehow.....Someone complained, and Premier Wen had to let him go. This is similar to what happened to former Beijing mayor Meng Xuenong, who wasn't innocent, but certainly was not the only one guilty of a cover-up in 2003. There was also some speculation that Wen wasn't too happy with him for speaking out against Wen's macroeconomic restrictions. Did he get some kind of pay-off from the Shanghai Gang (kids to school??) for speaking out against the retrenchment?......that would be really strange.
Hong Kong TaKung Pao
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
We do not know the text of Hu's own speech. They might keep it internal beause it mentions some contraversial issues. No personnel changes have been annouced, so this might mean that Han Zheng is staying until the 17th PC. It's still too early to tell though.
The announcement states that the 17th PC will take place some time in the second half of next year. Why so vague? Is a fight still expected?
Note that at the plenum, NPC Chairman and former party secretary of Shanghai Wu Bangguo was tasked with explaining harmonious society to everyone. Why Wu? Perhaps Zeng Qinghong was not alone in helping Hu Jintao dismantle the Shanghai gang....
2006年10月11日18:42 【字号 大 中 小】【留言】【论坛】【打印】【关闭】
Monday, October 09, 2006
Monday, October 9, 2006
New doctrine is crucial for Hu
WANG XIANGWEI in Beijing
As more than 300 members of the Communist Party's elite central committee began
their annual, four-day, closed-door session in Beijing yesterday, their main agenda
was, as had been announced, to discuss ways of "building a harmonious socialist
This benign-sounding subject belies heavy political undertones and far-reaching
implications for the leadership of President Hu Jintao and the future direction of
the Communist Party as well as the mainland's growth pattern.
The meeting is crucial to Mr Hu's leadership and his place in history as he moulds
his legacy less than two years after gaining absolute power.
The officials, huddling in the military-run Jingxi Hotel in Beijing's western
suburbs, are expected to approve a policy blueprint elevating Mr Hu's "harmonious
society" slogan to official theory.
The new doctrine will boost Mr Hu's authority and herald another drive to shore up
the Communist Party's claim to legitimacy, which has been greatly undermined by the
collapse of Marxist ideology and the emergence of murkier aspects of the economy
marked by rampant official corruption, a widening wealth gap and simmering public
At the meeting Mr Hu will face minimal resistance in pushing through his policy
agenda and setting a new direction for party policy, particularly after his recent
decision to sack Chen Liangyu , the powerful party boss in Shanghai. That dealt a
crushing blow to his main political rivals, the Shanghai clique led by his
predecessor Jiang Zemin , of which Mr Chen was a key member.
The meeting is also expected to authorise the 17th party congress, probably in
autumn next year, when a new generation of leaders, including Mr Hu's anointed
successors, will be elected. It marks the start of a long run of intense politicking
and jockeying for power.
While it is far too early to pinpoint winners and losers, the broad contours of a
power shake-up are emerging, with signs that Mr Hu, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong and
Premier Wen Jiabao will have the most say in deciding a new line-up of officials at
the congress next year.
This means the further rise of officials from the Communist Youth League, Mr Hu's
power base, and those from the loose group of so-called "princelings" - children of
communist veterans - such as Mr Zeng, against the backdrop of the irreversible
decline of the Shanghai clique.
So what is Mr Hu's theory of "building a harmonious society" all about?
The catch-all phrase covers Mr Hu's efforts to spread wealth and narrow the
mainland's income gap by rectifying the economic excesses of the past 20 years and
abandoning Mr Jiang's so-called elitist policy approach, which favoured faster
economic growth, entrepreneurs and powerful business interest groups.
Cheng Li, a New York-based expert on mainland politics, said in his latest report on
the leadership changes that Mr Hu's populist initiatives had already begun to change
the country's course of development, from obsession with economic growth to a more
sustainable growth model with better pollution controls and less energy consumption;
from an excessive focus on urban construction, foreign investment and foreign trade
to a greater concern for rural advancement and the stimulation of domestic demand;
from a single-minded emphasis on coastal development to a more balanced regional
Over the past few days, the official media has begun to run a series of articles
hailing Mr Hu's "harmonious society" push as a theoretical breakthrough and the
guiding light for the country in the years ahead.
But Mr Hu's decision to preach the wisdom of harmony comes at a critical juncture,
with the Communist Party's legitimacy in greater peril than ever.
For the leadership, China is faced with similar, if not more serious, conditions
than those that led to the massive pro-democracy rallies and the subsequent bloody
crackdown of June 1989. Those included rampant official corruption, growing social
unrest, widening income gaps, serious environmental degradation, soaring
unemployment, worsening law and order, and failed reforms in housing, medical care
To provide theoretical backing for Mr Hu's theory, Xinhua reported at the weekend
that Mr Hu had sent dozens of teams to Europe, the US, Latin America, other East
Asian countries and Africa to conduct research on a wide range of social issues,
from labour relations to social welfare.
In a separate report on Saturday, Xinhua said Mr Hu's theory had benefited
particularly from the formulas of the long-successful democratic socialist parties
in Nordic countries such as Norway and Sweden, particularly in the area of social
This has given rise to hopes that Mr Hu intends to transform the Communist Party
along the lines of the European socialist parties to maintain its legitimacy.
Some party academics have already urged the party to move away from its 20-year-old
dictum of highlighting economic development as the core of the party's guiding
Instead, the party and the government should focus on providing public
administration and public services, allowing market forces to play a dominant role
in economic development, they said.
But when Mr Hu first put forward the theory in February last year, he faced strong
resistance from within the party and was virtually forced to refrain from mentioning
"harmony" for nearly 10 months, according to sources close to the party's inner
The resistance came from the supporters of Mr Jiang, powerful local officials and
business groups thought to have colluded with corrupt officials to profit handsomely
from faster economic growth.
They also put up similar resistance to central government demands since 2004 to rein
in property speculation and overall economic growth to prevent overheating.
Mr Chen reportedly clashed openly with Mr Wen over the central government's
It was in this context that Mr Hu launched an anti-corruption campaign this summer
to consolidate his power and remove political opposition to his policy agenda.
Since then, there have been arrests of high-ranking officials and well-connected
businessmen in Beijing, Tianjin , Fujian , Anhui and Hunan , culminating in the
downfall of Mr Chen, the most powerful official removed from office in a decade.
As the investigation widens, many party officials and analysts believe Mr Hu is
stepping up pressure on two members of the Politburo Standing Committee, Jia Qinglin
and Huang Ju , to take responsibility for corruption in Beijing and Fujian, where Mr
Jia used to be party chief, and in Shanghai, where Mr Huang was also party chief.
However, party officials said Mr Hu was very unlikely to force Mr Jia and Mr Huang
to step aside at this week's meeting.
"The pressure is aimed at ensuring the two step down quietly at the 17th congress
next year, leaving them with little in the way of bargaining chips to influence the
new line-up of officials," one party source said.
The sacking of Mr Chen has intensified speculation about the reshuffling of the
Politburo and its nine-member standing committee at the 17th congress, even though
it is still about one year away.
Changes in the two powerful bodies and the larger central committee may be less
sweeping than those at the 16th party congress in 2002, when there was a
generational power transition, but there may still be major reshuffles.
Many party officials now believe Mr Jia and Mr Huang are most likely to step down.
And two more standing committee members are also likely to retire because of age.
While there is no official retirement age for Politburo and standing committee
members, the agreed norm appears to be 70.
Luo Gan will be 72 next year and Wu Guanzheng , chairman of the Central Commission
for Discipline Inspection, will turn 69.
Of the five other standing committee members, there is little doubt that President
Hu and Mr Wen will keep their posts after the 17th congress. So will Li Changchun ,
China's propaganda tsar and the youngest standing committee member, who turns 63
next year. Wu Bangguo , chairman of the National People's Congress, and Vice-
President Zeng are also likely to remain, although Mr Zeng will be 68 by the time of
At the Politburo level, Vice-Premiers Wu Yi and Zeng Peiyan will be 69 and are also
expected to step down.
At the central committee level, where the mandatory retirement age is 65 for
provincial party secretaries, governors and ministers, there is expected to be a
major intake of younger "fifth-generation leaders" in their 50s, with several of the
most prominent ones likely to be inducted into the Politburo.
Following Mr Hu's anti-corruption campaign to remove political opposition, the
general view is that he will now have a much freer hand in promoting his supporters
and protégés from the Communist Youth League to important positions in the national
and regional leadership, which would help in carrying out his populist policies.
However, Mr Hu will have to be prepared for intensive horse-trading with other
kingmakers - Mr Zeng in particular - in the months to come.
The overseas media has long associated Mr Zeng with the Shanghai faction and Mr
Jiang. But the reality is that Mr Zeng has already become a formidable force in his
own right, independent of the Shanghai faction, not least because as a princeling he
has maintained close ties to the children of other communist veterans - many of whom
are generals in the People's Liberation Army.
Mr Zeng reportedly played a pivotal role in helping Mr Hu to force Mr Jiang to
relinquish his last post as the chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Some overseas media have even singled him out as the key figure involved in
engineering the downfall of the Shanghai party boss.
But many party officials are sceptical. The anti-corruption probe that brought down
Mr Chen was handled by investigators from the Central Commission for Discipline
Inspection, and commission chairman Mr Wu, a strong ally of Mr Hu, was unlikely to
have answered to Mr Zeng. They believe a more likely scenario was that Mr Wu led the
investigation with Mr Hu's full support.
Although party officials said Mr Hu and other top leaders had not agreed on choices
for vacant seats on the Politburo and its standing committee, the smart money is
already on certain officials.
Current Politburo members Liu Yunshan , the head of the party's propaganda
department, Hubei party secretary Yu Zhengsheng , He Guoqiang , the head of the
party's organisation department, and Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang are
strong contenders for the vacant seats on the standing committee. Guangdong party
secretary Zhang Dejiang and Beijing party secretary Liu Qi also deserve mention.
Prominent fifth-generation leaders with a good chance of getting into the Politburo
are likely to include Liaoning party secretary Li Keqiang and Jiangsu party
secretary Li Yuanchao - both of whom are close allies of Mr Hu - Commerce Minister
Bo Xilai , Zhejiang party secretary Xi Jinping , Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan , the
minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ma Kai , and People's
Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan .
Finally, it is widely expected that Mr Hu will anoint his own successor, who will
take over at the 18th congress in 2012, by promoting a fifth-generation leader to
the Politburo standing committee at the 17th congress. If so, Li Keqiang is the man
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I guess this kind of makes sense since Zeng still has plenty of connections in the PLA and in the internal security apparatus through the princeling network. He didn't lose his entire powerbase by betraying the Shanghai Gang. Meanwhile, he can earn major credit with Hu Jintao because Shanghai had long been a thorn on Hu's side, as well as Wen's. Well, we will see whether this claim is true at the 17th Party Congress. If Zeng is indeed behind the crackdown on Shanghai, he will ask for something substantial at the 17th Party Congress, either another term for him at the Standing Committee or the CMC, or both ideally. At the very minimum, he will demand that Zhou Yongkang be promoted to the Standing Committee and replace Luo Gan as the head of the Law and Politics Committee. If I am Hu, I would be very careful about what I give Zeng, and if I am one of Zeng's followers, I would start finding another master.
"In Graft Inquiry, Chinese See a Shake-Up Coming"
By Joseph Kahn, NYT, October 4, 2006
BEIJING, Oct. 3 - When Shanghai's party boss was detained in an
anticorruption probe last week, Chinese were rattled by news of the first
purge of a high-ranking Communist Party leader since 1995. But the
investigation's scope and its ultimate goals are wider, as the party's two
most powerful officials aim to shake up the leadership and wipe out
resistance to their policy agenda, party officials and analysts say.
The investigation, the largest of its kind since China first pursued
market-style changes to its economy more than a quarter-century ago, was
planned and supervised by Zeng Qinghong, China's vice president and the
day-to-day manager of Communist Party affairs, people informed about the
They said Mr. Zeng had used the investigation to force provincial leaders
to heed Beijing's economic directives, sideline officials loyal to the
former top leader, Jiang Zemin, and strengthen Mr. Zeng's own hand as well
as that of his current master, President Hu Jintao.
Aside from frightening officials who have grown accustomed to increasingly
conspicuous corruption in recent years, the crackdown could give Mr. Hu
greater leeway to carry out his agenda for broader welfare benefits and
stronger pollution controls, which may prove popular in China today.
Some critics fear that it may also consolidate greater power in the hands
of a leader who has consistently sought to restrict the news media, censor
the Web and punish peaceful political dissent.
The high-level purge began on Sept. 25, when Chen Liangyu, the Shanghai
party leader and a Politburo member, was removed from his office on
corruption charges. Party security forces had already detained
high-ranking officials in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Fujian and Hunan.
Mr. Chen is the most powerful person removed from office since 1995, when
the Beijing party leader was purged, also on corruption charges, during a
Several party officials and well-informed political observers said they
believed that the investigation had not yet reached its climax. They say
Mr. Zeng hopes to dismiss two fellow members of the Politburo Standing
Committee, Jia Qinglin and Huang Ju, who are under pressure to take
"political responsibility" for corruption that has occurred in Beijing and
Shanghai, their respective areas of influence.
If he succeeds in removing officials who serve on the nine-member Standing
Committee, the party's top leadership, the purge will amount to the
biggest political shake-up since 1989, when Deng Xiaoping ousted Zhao
Ziyang, then the party's general secretary, after the crackdown on
democracy protests in Beijing.
It would also be likely to seal Mr. Zeng's reputation as China's political
mastermind, who mixes personal ambition with a nearly legendary ability to
deliver results for his superiors. Officially ranked No. 5 in the party
hierarchy, he is widely seen as exercising more authority within the party
than anyone except Mr. Hu.
Chinese politicking takes place under a heavy veil of secrecy, and
speculation about what happens in Zhongnanhai, the Chinese leadership
compound, has been intense since Mr. Chen's detention last week.
It is rarely possible to get authoritative confirmation of political
maneuvers in China. The people who discussed the situation with a foreign
reporter did so on condition of anonymity, citing fears of retribution.
The course of the anticorruption campaign may shift if central leaders
face a strong backlash at the party's s annual Central Committee meeting,
which will be held Oct. 8-11. One well-placed political observer said he
doubted that Mr. Huang or Mr. Jia would be forced from office before their
expected retirement next year.
Even so, the weakened position of the two men and their patron, Mr. Jiang,
whom Mr. Hu and Mr. Zeng pushed from his last post in 2004, could have a
significant impact on Chinese policy and leadership decisions.
Mr. Jiang's old loyalists, often referred to as the Shanghai faction,
tended to favor fast economic growth, a relatively high degree of
provincial autonomy in economic affairs, loose controls on investment and
bank lending and close ties between the party and the country's rising
class of private businessmen.
Mr. Hu, 63, and Mr. Zeng, 67, have at least for now forged an alliance
that dominates party leadership, party officials say. They advocate slower
and more stable growth, greater attention to social inequality and
pollution, and an expansion of state support for education, medical care
and social security.
Most of the officials singled out so far in the anticorruption sweep are
seen as closer to Mr. Jiang and as having ignored central directives to
tamp down state-led investment. That, party officials say, shows that the
continuing legal investigation serves as a cover for a political campaign
to change the party's policy direction.
Mr. Zeng plans to use the Central Committee meeting to elevate Mr. Hu's
political slogan, "harmonious society," into an official "theory."
The catch phrase covers a range of policies intended to restore a balance
between the country's thriving market economy and its neglected socialist
ideology, primarily by paying greater attention to peasants and migrant
workers who have benefited much less than the white-collar elite in China's
long economic boom.
At the meeting, party leaders will discuss "the theory of building a
harmonious socialist society," party officials said. In effect, Mr. Zeng
is promoting Mr. Hu's concept into doctrine, to be taught alongside the
theories of Mao, Deng and Mr. Jiang.
People informed about Mr. Zeng's planning described that step and others
as part of a carefully calculated series of political moves that began
They said Mr. Zeng had instructed the inspectors responsible for enforcing
party discipline to investigate activities in the political strongholds of
Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, where he suspected that senior party
officials were allowing rampant profiteering by relatives and friends, and
where the leaders owed their positions mainly to Mr. Jiang.
Those urban enclaves, whose leaders enjoy considerable autonomy, had also
defied repeated efforts by Mr. Hu and Wen Jiabao, the prime minister, to
rein in bank lending in overheated sectors like real estate.
Anticipating that Mr. Jiang might seek to protect his allies, Mr. Zeng
first moved to mollify him by rolling out a tribute: the publication of
his collected works. Party units nationwide were instructed to purchase
and study the three-volume collection of speeches and essays, a financial
and political windfall.
The crackdown initially focused on lower-level officials in the big
cities. When investigators gathered evidence to implicate Mr. Chen, the
Shanghai party boss, Mr. Zeng summoned him to Beijing, presented him with
the pending indictment and pressed him to resign, these people said. He
was said to have refused.
Faced with the prospect of a hostile purge, the first of its kind
affecting a Politburo member since 1995, Mr. Zeng and Mr. Hu sent Mr.
Chen's file to Mr. Jiang, asking for his advice, a person close to Mr.
Zeng's office said.
Confronted with evidence of high-level corruption in Shanghai, Mr. Jiang
approved removing Mr. Chen, the people said.
Armed with that victory, Mr. Zeng has pushed to create a new standard of
"political responsibility," modeled after a code seen by him to prevail in
American politics, which holds senior leaders responsible if their
underlings disgrace the party, people informed about his thinking said.
That new standard could be used against Mr. Huang, a former Shanghai party
boss and a Jiang loyalist, and Mr. Jia, who supervised Beijing.
"The old standard for senior party members was legal guilt," said one
person who spoke about Mr. Zeng's thinking." "Under the new standard you
could lose your post for mismanagement even if they can't prove you put
one cent in your own pocket."
Others raised doubts that the purge would reach people that high up the
hierarchy. The ruling party risks undermining its own authority if it
acknowledges that corruption extends into the most elite ruling circle,
More generally, Mr. Zeng's prominent role has raised questions about his
influence relative to Mr. Hu's, party officials said.
Mr. Hu holds the posts of party general secretary, head of the military
and president of China, the country's three most important. Mr. Zeng,
though he runs the party's main coordinating office, is outranked in its
official hierarchy not only by Mr. Hu but also by three other Standing
Moreover, until Mr. Hu and Mr. Zeng unexpectedly joined forces in 2004 to
push Mr. Jiang into full retirement, Mr. Zeng was seen as close to Mr.
Jiang. The two worked side by side since they served in Shanghai together
in the 1980's.
But Mr. Zeng's campaign to remove some Jiang loyalists may end up
strengthening his own hand as well as Mr. Hu's, some some party officials
suggested. The reason is that Mr. Zeng has become the standard-bearer for
a wide array of political interests.
The son of one of Mao's first security chiefs, Mr. Zeng maintains close
ties to the sons and daughters of Communist China's founding fathers and
has relatives in the military. He has supporters among those who favor
deeper capitalist-style changes to the economy and financial system.
Some Chinese intellectuals say he has signaled an openness to political
change. Mr. Hu, in contrast, is viewed as cautious and doctrinaire.
Mr. Hu has sought to promote officials he trusts from his days as a
provincial official in western China and as the head of the national
Communist Youth League in the 1980's. Though he now has broad authority,
his traditional base is considered narrower and less influential than that
of Mr. Zeng.
The political dance between the men underlines uncertainties about the
political succession scheduled to take place in 2007. At that time the
party will hold a congress, as it does every five years, to approve a new
lineup of officials for the Politburo as well as other top party,
government and provincial positions.
Party officials say that while Mr. Hu and Mr. Zeng have worked together to
consolidate their own power, they have not agreed on choices for the
Standing Committee or some top provincial posts. That suggests that their
alliance possibly temporary and that the country's politics could remain
"I think that at this point neither of them has the power to dictate the
future," one party official said. "They need each other, but that does
not mean they trust each other."
Copyright 2006 The New York Time