In an event that takes place every ten years the People’s Republic of China has gathered to choose new leaders. Amid extremely tight security and little information being readily available China watchers are struggling to fathom what the future direction of the country will be. This will be made clear when the congress is completed but statements by outgoing leader Hu Jintao give us a very good indication.
The People’s Republic of China has begun the process of reforming their power structure and selecting new members to leadership positions during the current 18th Congress of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China.
The process of changing the leadership of the country takes place once every ten years and involves a gathering of China’s Communist Party delegates from all over the Republic.
While the West is full of talks of reforms and changes in their never ending desire to see the Communist country collapse, Chinese leader Hu Jintao has made it clear that China is not going to change. The path of Socialism with a Chinese Character will be continued and made stronger and continue to be built upon.
This week the leadership will be announced after they are formally appointed by the Central Committee to their respective positions, the Central Committee is chosen in turn by the approximately 2,987 delegates of the Party Congress.
The makeup of the Communist Government includes the head, the Secretary General of the Party, or the “President” as he is commonly referred to in the West, followed by 9 members of the Politburo Standing Committee, then 24 members of the Politburo itself who answer to the Central Committee which is made up of 204 members and has 167 alternate lower ranking members, they in turn answer to the Party Congress made up of approximately 2,400 delegates.
Secretary General Hu Jintao began the congress by addressing the delegates in a speech that has seen no end of analysis by the West. Among his main points was a call to continue to fight corruption at all levels. He was unusually strong in his language for calling for all to be treated equally when it came to answering for corruption related offenses and crimes against the people, “No one is allowed to place oneself above the party organization. We must ensure that all are equal before discipline.”
Reflected the unrest amongst the Chinese people and the seriousness of the problem Hu made it clear that if something is not done it could lead to the end of the Socialist China as a whole and the 91 year old party: “If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state, we must strengthen education about combating corruption and promote clean government and improve the culture of clean government. A tough position on cracking down on corruption must be maintained at all times, and thorough investigations into major corruption cases must take place and we must work hard to resolve problems of corruption that directly affect the people.” Hu said in his statement.
The West of course is in a quandary as little information is being made available by the party as to the direction they are going to take and calls to end corruption only add to the West’s worries as they affect Western attempts at economic manipulation and the subversion of the Communist system of the People’s Republic.
As China is the most populated country on Earth and the US is extremely dependent on China economically, new policies by China could make or break the US economy, especially at a time when it is weak and depends on affordable Chinese exports and huge Chinese investment to keep it afloat, anti-Communist rhetoric is kept to a minimum as are any moves to upset the superpower.
Chinese sentiment toward the US is at a low reflected by a US Embassy “election party” at a ballroom in a Beijing hotel that fell flat on its face as most of the invited officials did not attend. Chinese security services questioned an American diplomat as the party was conducted without the permission of the authorities. The American diplomat arrogantly answered that they did not need permission.
Another worry for the West has been statements pointing to the intention of China to become more assertive in protecting its territorial integrity and maritime interests. During his speech Secretary General Hu Jintao stated that China is committed to: "enhancing our capacity for exploiting marine resources … to resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests and build China into a maritime power.”
During the Congress statements have been made regarding increasing China’s economic role in the world and strengthening its economic might. Something China watchers say may be of greatest concern to the West, currently seriously weakened by an economic crisis and the US in particular which is also bogged down in military adventures all over the planet.
Unfortunately security is so tight around the congress and it is so difficult for reporters to get in that there is little detailed information available as to concrete decisions that are being made, however once the Congress is complete more information will become available.
Outgoing Secretary General Hu Jintao made an impassioned plea during his speech regarding correcting problems of concern to society saying, “We must exalt the true, the good and the beautiful and reject the false, the evil and the ugly". A very beautiful and eloquent thought, in my opinion, from the leader of a superpower, it is unfortunate other world leaders do not share that sentiment