|To support us with a donation? Click here!Dialogue China BriefingTalking About China NowIssue 118 – October 15, 2022In This IssueThe articles shared here do not necessarily reflect the views of the briefing or Dialogue China. All articles sourced from WeChat public accounts unless otherwise noted.I. Dialogue China Viewpoints1. Why Does Xi Jinping Still Sit on the Throne?II. Policy2. What to Do About Beijing’s Accelerated “Aging”?3. “It Is Hard, But I Cannot Say It”: A Dive into a Survey of Young Grassroots OfficialsIII. Politics4. Why is the Dollar Getting Stronger When Everyone is Acclaiming United States Decline?IV. Finance and Business5. From Left Behind Children to Working Youth: Socialization and Self-identity of the New Generation of Migrant Workers6. Sichuan Power Restrictions Triggered a Wave of Enterprise Shutdowns. What Underlying Problems Were Revealed?Project Progress Announcement:
June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Massacre Memorial MuseumSince we launched our initiative in January to establish a memorial museum in New York, we have received a large number of donations from outside parties. Not long ago, through a corresponding channel an anonymous person donated US$120,000, and the money has now arrived. As of today, the organizing committee has received nearly $520,000 in donations, completing the second phase of fundraising 17 months ahead of schedule (including expenses for the special June Fourth exhibit at the Memorial Hall for the Victims of Communism in Washington, D.C.).
On behalf of all the members of the Memorial Museum Organizing Committee, I (Wang Dan) would like to inform the public that:
1. We sincerely thank all the donors of varying amounts: your support has touched our hearts and encouraged us, and it shows that compassion never dies and that the Chinese Communist Party has not erased the memory of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
2. According to the initial written proposal, we will immediately start the site search, interior renovation, collection of materials, discussion of exhibition contents and other preparatory work. We will try our best to open the June 4 Memorial Museum in New York before June 4 next year, so that we can live up to the support and encouragement we have received from everyone.
3. According to the three stage plan in the proposal, after successfully achieving the first and second stage goals ($500,000 for the June Fourth Special Exhibition in Washington, D.C.), we would still like to appeal to all of you: the budget of $500,000 can only cover the rent and corresponding expenses for a few years, so in order to find a permanent place for the June Fourth Memorial Museum, we appeal to all of you to continue your support and move towards the third stage goal of $1.5 million; once the goal is reached, we will purchase a building and venue to make the June Fourth Memorial Museum a permanent landmark for the overseas Chinese community, demonstrating the “Never Forget, Never Give Up” spirit of 1989!
We look forward to more support from the outside world, please pay attention to our official website for the progress of the construction: jinian64.org
Preparatory Committee for the June Fourth Memorial Museum
September 15, 2022
A few additional points:
I have to find an opportunity to return to the United States to confirm a series of things after the launch with the preparatory team members, and then come back to Taiwan. Fortunately, we have a week of no classes due to Teacher’s Day. But 3 plus 4 isolation* is required, so I will be rushed and very tired. But this work is worth being even more tired.
* Under the “3+4” program, COVID case contacts must undergo home isolation for three days. On the third day, the contacts must take a rapid antigen test, and if the result is negative they will be allowed to end their home isolation. However, they must then observe four days of self-health monitoring protocols, such as avoiding eating in restaurants, attending large events, and wearing a mask at all times in public.
I was particularly touched by how smoothly the fundraising went, a “miracle” in Zhou Fengsuo’s words, which I did not expect. I am especially grateful to the donors from China, there are many of them, which is beyond my expectation. Not long ago, a friend who came to the United States also donated $10,000. There are also friends who are not living in good conditions in China and are still under the surveillance and detention of the authorities. No matter how I try to dissuade them, they still insist on donating money. The enthusiasm of all of us shows that it is the concern of many people where the June 4 Memorial Museum is located, and it is my honor to fulfill this wish for them.
Of course, I want to emphasize again that I do not want to let up just because the second phase is completed; there will be a lot of areas where we need outside help: the venue, volunteers, exhibition, artifacts, and more importantly: to really build the museum, we have to buy our own space and make it a permanent venue. This will continue until the entire museum is relocated to Beijing. This is the goal of the third stage of the effort, US$1.5 million. The revolution has not yet succeeded, comrades still need to work hard!
Lastly, on behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to thank you all again. The grand opening ceremony will be held on June 4 next year.【Back to Top】Dialogue China Viewpoints1. Why Does Xi Jinping Remain on the Throne?Wang Dan – UP Media Commentary – August 30, 2022Sometimes when observing the political situation in China, the more one ponders the more bewildering it becomes. Xi Jinping’s strong grip on power is one example.
Everyone knows that in the decade since Xi Jinping took power, he has made a mess of China and created enemies on all sides. The economy is plummeting, the people have lost confidence in the government, and by normal standards this man has no political achievements to speak of. When Xi Jinping first came to power, some people had high expectations and respect for him. But now, except for a few people who are not clear headed, the vast majority of Chinese people are disgusted with him, but they dare not speak out against him. He has lost the popular support of the people. Even within the Communist Party, the discontent with him is an open secret. From princelings in Beijing to regional bosses, from Communist Party patriarchs to Premier Li Keqiang, he has offended almost every interest group there is. Even his past supporters – Wang Qishan, Liu He, etc. – are all now keeping silent. However, everyone knows that the chance of his renewing his term in office as Communist Party leader at the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China looks very strong. In other words, he is likely to hold unparalleled power in China, and his consolidation of authority looks secure. It is paradoxical, but the reality in China is that a man this incompetent, crude, unreasonable, who has enemies on all sides, and is hated by everyone, is so secure in power.
There are many explanations for this, such as control over the military and personnel decisions, but this is not the whole story. The most dangerous people are often cronies, such as Khrushchev* abroad and Wang Dongxing** here at home. Human hearts are hard to know. People are unreliable. The other theory is that political factions are unable to reach agreement and cooperate with each other, so Xi Jinping plays them against each other and defeats them one by one. Of course, there is also the problem of Chinese cowardice, not daring to revolt or create a crisis for the Chinese Communist Party. And since there is no crisis, it is difficult to challenge the ruler. But I believe all of these factors are just drops in the bucket. The most important factor is structural, that is to say Xi Jinping’s position as paramount leader, which is determined by the rigid Chinese Communist Party system.
* Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953-1964. During his rule, Khrushchev stunned the communist world with his denunciation of his predecessor Joseph Stalin’s crimes, and embarked on a policy of de-Stalinization. He enacted relatively liberal reforms in domestic policy. After some false starts, and a narrowly avoided nuclear war over Cuba, he conducted successful negotiations with the United States to reduce Cold War tensions. In 1964, the Kremlin leadership stripped him of power, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.
** Wang Dongxing was a Chinese military commander and politician, famous for being the chief of Chairman Mao Zedong’s personal bodyguard force, the 9th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security (which included the 8341 Special Regiment). Wang held many important positions, both in the Chinese Communist Party and the government. He was Deputy Minister of Public Security in 1955–1958 and again in 1960–1970, and notably served as CCP Vice Chairman from 1977 to 1980, under Chairman Hua Guofeng. Wang and his trusted security force played a very significant role in ending the Cultural Revolution by arresting Mao’s widow Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four shortly after the chairman’s death.
Looking at China and the Chinese Communist Party through a modern lens is already a mistake. Because China’s political system is far from modern, and retains to a large extent the characteristics of a feudal imperial dictatorship. These characteristics include not only the fact that the emperor holds all the power and is difficult to overthrow once he is enthroned, but also the important fact that the emperor and state power are interconnected. Xi Jinping often says: the people are state power, and state power is the people. Of course he is talking nonsense. In fact in China, the leader of the Communist Party is state power, and state power is the leader of the Communist Party. In other words, if the top leader of the Chinese Communist Party is overthrown, it means that state power has been challenged, not just that individual. That is why most people in the Communist Party are unhappy with Xi Jinping, but few are willing to challenge him. Challenging him is no big thing, but challenging him is de facto challenging the single party dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party. Those inside the system – no matter how much they dislike Xi Jinping – will not challenge the system because they are the system and they depend on it for survival.
At the end of the [1966-76] Cultural Revolution, from the masses to the old Communist Party cadres, there was a lot of anger and dissatisfaction with the originator of the Cultural Revolution Chairman Mao. At the 11th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1977, demand for the complete negation and criticism of Mao Zedong became almost mainstream. However, Deng Xiaoping issued an edict: he ordered everyone to look ahead, and rejected ongoing criticism of Chairman Mao. Mao’s portrait still hangs on the Tiananmen Square rostrum. During the Cultural Revolution Deng Xiaoping suffered political blows, he was purged three times and rehabilitated three times, and his eldest son Deng Pufang was persecuted to the point of attempting suicide by jumping from a building and being left a wheelchair bound paraplegic for life. Deng cannot in his heart of hearts have love and respect for Mao Zedong. So why maintain the personality cult of Chairman Mao? The reason is as mentioned above, attacking Mao is tantamount to attacking the system. Deng Xiaoping had to rely on this system to remain in power and the Communist Party to continue to rule China. The reason Xi Jinping cannot fall is the same reason Mao’s portrait cannot be taken down from where it hangs above the Tiananmen Gate.
Some people ask, then why were Communist Party leaders Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang purged? Did Deng Xiaoping not fear shaking up the system then? That is because neither Hu nor Zhao were paramount leaders of the Communist Party. Although they served as General Secretary of the Communist Party, they were only puppets of Deng Xiaoping. As long as Deng Xiaoping remained paramount leader, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang being purged did not threaten the survival of the system. Xi Jinping is different. He is now both General Secretary and the paramount leader of the Communist Party, with no patriarchs to keep him in check. In the tradition of the Chinese Communist Party, no matter how badly he mismanages and harms the nation, as long as he does not endanger the rule of the Chinese Communist Party there is no pressing reason to overthrow him.【Back to Top】Policy2. What to Do About Beijing’s Accelerated “Aging”?Pang Bo – Southern Weekend – September 6, 2022Why Read This?
By the end of 2021, 20.18% of Beijing’s population will be aged 60 and over, while 14.24% will be aged 65 and over, the fastest growth rate in the past five years. It is expected that Beijing will be heavily aged by 2035. Our current public policy on aging should take into account women in the aging process, especially women who are economically and healthily disadvantaged. Most elderly people want to live closer to their children, resulting in a very high vacancy rate in nursing homes in the suburbs of Beijing. The re-employment of the elderly requires a new design. In industries like manufacturing and coal, the emphasis on senior participation may have a negative effect.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Policy3. “It Is Hard, But I Cannot Say It”:
A Dive into a Survey of Young Grassroots OfficialsDeng Lei – China Youth Research – August 23, 2022Why Read This?
In recent years, the civil service application fever has continued to rise, and there is even a slang saying that “the end of the universe is the system.” However, the public still knows very little about the real situation of the civil service, especially the young civil servants. In recent years, the media has reported from time to time that a few post-80s and post-90s civil servants have been involved in cases of investigation, and this group has begun to face social pressure. The author argues that young civil servants are faced with the realistic task of self-restructuring. On the one hand, they need to promote self-restructuring through professional identity; on the other hand, they need to recreate social relationships so that they can truly become the “middle youth.”（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Politics4. Why is the Dollar Getting Stronger When Everyone is Acclaiming United States Decline?Gao Bai – Journal of Shanghai University of International Business and Economics – September 11, 2022Why Read This?
After the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the United States issued various economic and financial sanctions against Russia, even going so far as to weaponize the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency. In addition, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the purpose of curbing inflation, which continues to destabilize the international financial order. However, the dollar index has been rising since 2022, even hitting new highs in the past 20 years, how to understand this situation and its implications? I’m afraid we must first clarify the logic and influence of the dollar hegemony. In short, the world has now entered a new era: the formation of the future international financial order and the U.S. domestic political and economic interactions.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Finance and Business5. From Left Behind Children to Working Youth:
Socialization and Self-identity of the New Generation of Migrant WorkersZhao Wei – Seeking – September 5, 2022Why Read This?
China’s new generation of rural workers, separated from both the urban and rural division of labor, do not consider themselves as either urban or rural people. Previous studies have attributed the formation of this identity to the dual external forces of the city and the village, neglecting the self-identity construction process of the new generation of rural workers. This study adopts a combination of online and offline survey methods to analyze the mechanisms of the “four worlds” in which the new generation of rural workers find themselves in the process of socialization, and points out that the construction of their self-identity has gone through a process from “legitimacy identity” to “resistance identity.” The construction of their self-identity has gone through a process of change from “legitimacy identity” to “resistance identity.”（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Finance and Business6. Sichuan Power Restrictions Triggered a Wave of Enterprise Shutdowns.
What Underlying Problems Were Revealed?Wei Yingjie – Glacial Thinking No. 1 – August 19, 2022Why Read This?
This year, the weather in southern China has been abnormally hot, with the first 45°C (113ºF) high temperature outside of Xinjiang. In front of the high temperature, to protect people’s livelihood or the economy? Undoubtedly, it is the former. But a letter from Shanghai asking Sichuan to deploy electricity to ensure as much industrial power as possible for some enterprises in Sichuan, in order to protect the supply of raw materials for Shanghai enterprises as a downstream, has triggered a strong protest from the public. However, in the era of globalized division of labor, it is difficult to distinguish between you and me, not to mention domestic economic cooperation, and insisting to distinguish between each other will only hurt the peace. The shortage of electricity in Sichuan and the emergency in Shanghai is a case in point.（Read the full text）
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