Search This Site:

Monday, 19 December 2011

Renewed Tien An Men threat to Chinese one-party rule

The Financial Times reports "Wukan villagers form own administration".

This is significant because it highlights political risk in China, which affects their long term economic outlook.  Embedded corruption and unaccountability fostered by the Chinese Communist Party state has resulted in increasing numbers of people being brutally evicted from their homes to make way for private property developments.

There is no land ownership under communism:  all property is ultimately the property of the state - collectively owned by "the people", apart from insignificant property such as tooth brushes.  To retain absolute political power, the totalitarian regime needs to keep the populace "happy", by furnishing their needs, but also, by imposing "harmony".  On the other hand, one-party states suffer deeply entrenched unaccountability which results in widespread violation of justice and individuals' rights.  Ownership of significant private property is contingent upon arbitrary official sanction, which is open to corruption.  There is the outward perception that property or businesses can be owned, but that ownership can be transferred to the state, overnight, arbitrarily.  (For a light reading example, see "China Cuckoo", by Mark Kitto.  For more serious examples, consult corporations who sought spearhead investments over the last two decades.  Investment in China is of course vulnerable to central committee strategic aims.)

Rest assured:  the Chinese Communist Party central committee will demonstrate a very coherent response to the Wukan villagers, when opportune.  From the central party committee's viewpoint, for their political survival, they must at all costs extinguish that Wukan uprising.

Two factors will dominate their response.  Firstly they will use the situation to identify all counter-revolutionary ringleaders throughout the nation.  They may well "encourage" others to embolden themselves, to identify themselves as ringleaders, and to emerge to challenge the ruling party and their subordinate officials.  The Wukan situation may be manipulated by the authorities to eliminate as many of them as possible, and to make a brutal warning to all others, in order to preserve the "Chinese harmonious" society, and the rule of the elites, for the coming years.

Secondly, the Communist Party committee has not fully controlled the internet.  They will likely be assembling plans to minimise domestic and international internet and other media exposure to any crackdown.

The prospects for the Wukan villagers are horrifying.

I acknowledge the Financial Times.