Tuesday, June 17, 2003

My commentaries on the Shanghai Zhou Zhenyi investigations:

THe ultimate goal of such an investigation is the removal of Jiang from the CMC, depriving him of his last formal post. Jiang has pissed off a lot of factions along the
way, so all of them might be coming out of the woodwork to back Hu and
Wen's effort to unseat Jiang. But if Wen, Hu, and Wu are going to unseat
Jiang, it cannot be a half-ass effort, because if Jiang and Zeng Qinghong
can recover, they will try to fuck over Hu, Wen, and Wu Guanzheng. Wu
Guanzheng is especially vulnerable to retaliation. While Hu Jintao was
"designated" by Deng and is unlikely to be removed and Wen is seen as a
technocrat without fault (although who knows), Wu Guanzheng got his hands
dirty at the provinces and doesn't have as much institutional power as Hu
and Wen.

CDIC almost never launch a major corruption investigation without Standing
Committee of the Politburo approval. Usually, the CDIC just sits there
and collect dirt on people. The Standing Committee will not launch an
investigation without one or two members "sponsoring" it. In the 80s, Chen
Yun was often the sponsor of investigations in Shenzhen. In the 90s, Jiang
sponsored the Chen Xitong case, while Zhu was seen as the main sponsor of
the Yuanhua case. It is not entirely clear to me that Wu is the main
sponsor in this case. He must have agreed to it because the CDIC is the
main agency that collects all the evidence. But I suspect Wu or Hu were
behind it. There is little doubt that Qiao Shi and Li Ruihuan, both having
been forced into retirement by Jiang, are eagerly supporting this.
Man, I should start a blog on this;


According to Willy, then, Wei started the investigation before he left
power last October (which is confirmed by one ofthe Chinese articles I
sent you). But it seemed like only the bankers were in trouble. I suspect
the decision to go after Zhou and now the Shanghai government was a
relatively recent one. Willy is right that Wu Guanzheng has paid his share
of respect to Jiang, but Iagree with Willy that Wu fundamentally is not in
Jiang's faction. I think Wu is an ally rather than a follower of Hu
Jintao. Wu Guanzheng has served in provincial governments for a long time
(Jiangxi until 1997, then Shandong until 2002) and has a deep network at
the local level. This make him a powerhouse in his own right. I suspect
the leadership decided to pick Wu Guanzheng to head the CDIC precisely
because they see him as neutral. If the CDIC decides to go after the top
officials in Shanghai, they would have to go all the way because the
investigation is politically very risky.

Wei Jianxing was the former headof the CCDI (orCDIC-- Central Disciplinary
and INspection Commission, the anti-corruption watchdog of the Party). At
the 15th Party Congress, Jiang Zemin forced Qiao Shi, his main rival, out
of power, but Qiao Shi was able to get his follower promoted to the head
of the CDIC in exchange. The CDIC usually does nothing, but it gets
access to all the dirt around the country,so it can be a very powerful
political weapon at the right moment. All the top leaders send their
own representatives to the Standing Committee of the CDIC to keep tabs on
each other.

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