Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dear Readers,

Just when you think that things are getting boring after the NPC, something strange happens. Apparently, Jiang Zemin has penned an essay on energy at the main journal of his alma mater Jiaotong Daxue (email me if you have trouble downloading it). It seems relatively mundane-- calling for comprehensive planning and an emphasis on renewable and conservation....etc., except for the fact that it was published. Why is it being published at this particular moment, when the energy bureaucracy is undergoing restructuring?? A couple of interesting points:

1. It calls for long term and comprehensive planning for energy policy, which implies that he may have supported keeping energy within the NDRC to facilitate long term planning. If so, this is a clear case of retirees intervening in policy.

2. At the end, he thanks several "comrades," all leading figures in the energy field, starting with Ma Fucai. Being born in 1957, this article may be Jiang's blessing for Ma to head the new energy bureau. I guess we'll see. The other coauthors of this article include vice head of the State Council Research Office Ning Jizhe and a couple of NDRC energy experts Zhou Dadi and Han Wenke. Any insights into these guys would be appreciated.

Anyway, I just find this whole thing very, very strange. Jiang was never known to be an energy expert, but all of the sudden, there is this long, fairly detailed essay outlining China's energy future. What is happening here?

The news is a bit slow on the uptake but nonetheless v interesting!


Sue Anne
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