China is not Tunisia or Egypt.
That is the message that the Chinese political leadership headed by President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is seeking to send across to its own people and the world as the Communist Party of China (CPC) began on July 1 a month-long celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.
It was not the celebration of a self-confident leadership reassured of the future political stability and economic prosperity of China and the continuing loyalty of the people to the party and their continued acceptance of its vanguard role.
It was not the celebration of a self-confident leadership reassured of the future political stability “¦
It was the celebration of a nervous leadership all the time watching over its shoulders to see whether the undoubted economic prosperity achieved by China would be adequate to keep the people away from demands for political freedom.
The nervousness of the leadership would be evident from the fact that whereas the 90th anniversary of the CPC, which falls in 2011, is being celebrated with great fanfare, the more significant 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolution, which marked the success of the revolt of the ruled over the rulers, is not being observed in a similar manner.
The silence of the leadership over the 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolution has been noted by sections of China’s vast netizen community. In response to their curiosity as to why this relative silence over the 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolt against the ruled, one of the readers’ fora of the CPC-controlled “People’s Daily” has found itself forced to make a brief reference to this unexplained and ununderstood silence.
It was the celebration of a nervous leadership all the time watching over its shoulders “¦
A posting in one of the fora of the “People’s Daily” on July 1 said: “There is another significant anniversary this year of a milestone on the way to this moment of economic power: the centenary of the 1911 revolution, which brought an end to the Qing dynasty and with it some 2,000 years of imperial tradition. Unlike the birthday of the party, however, it is being oddly underplayed. A century later the Communist party’s rule has begun to resemble the system that 1911′s accidental revolutionaries overthrew: a large and privileged bureaucracy, hereditary privileges in the ruling elite, a mass of toiling workers and farmers – and, finally, the embrace of Confucius, the man the revolutionaries rejected 100 years ago, as someone with a lot to say about hierarchical government. Confucian influence, however, remains. The official doctrine today is not class struggle but harmony.”
While the vanguard role of the CPC might have brought the country forward to take its place as an emerging global power and as an economic power house, politically it has taken the country back to 1911 with basic political freedoms denied to people in the interest of social harmony and continuing 10 per cent plus growth rate.
The silence of the leadership over the 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolution has been noted by sections of Chinas vast netizen community.
The revolt of 1911 against the imperial rulers has been described as an accidental revolution. Can there be another accidental revolution against the rulers of present-day China by people inspired by the accidental revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt?
That is the fear in the minds of the Chinese leaders as they observe with pomp and pageantry the 90th anniversary of the CPC. A forum of the “People’s Daily” of June 30 quoted Ben Simpfendorfer, the managing director of Silk Road Associates, as saying:: “Unlike leaders in many developing economies, China’s leaders understand the importance of giving back to the population, rather than just taking. In short, China is no Tunisia.” It added: “That’s a conclusion shared by most academics inside the party and overseas and one that’s likely to please the wealthy businessman who was touring Jinggangshan. He said he didn’t want to see China tossed by the turmoil now sweeping the Arab world. It quoted a woman companion of the businessman as saying: “I don’t care who the ruler is, so long as we live well.”