- Lang Xianping said, "I do not hope to see the anti-corruption matters to be linked to the sucession of the [CCP] leadership matters. I do not think there is necessary connection between the two.
Conspiracy theories are interesting. There are media values in them. Conspiracy theories are also easy to fabricate. All one needs is some 'confidential source' which may not even exist, and an audience who refuse to accept the simple (but often factual) explanation. "Look, how can the CCP have any intention to do anything morally right?"
When Beijing Mayor Chen Xitong was caught, the same conspiracy emerged. It was said the Jiang's Shanghai Gang used corruption as an excuse to oust the Beijing Gang. Back then, I have my own little conspiracy theory as well:
- Chen was so corrupted in 1989 that he feared that he would be caught once the student movement in 1989 succeeded. He then plotted and misled Deng Xiaoping and engineered that tragedy in June that year. This is, of course, not the full story. But if we look at history, the overwhelming examples of anti-democracy suppression, from Marcos to Ceausescu, have been plotted by corrupted officials. Because the corruptors are those who fear the consequence of a transparent system the most.
What I believe to be more likely, is that the CCP leadership has realized by now that it is impossible to continue the economic reform without tackling the corruption problem. Because corruption leads to unfair competition and discourages business innovation. A more sophisticated economic system, as China is developing into gradually, requires a fair system and infrastructure. Corruption hinders such development. As most people can now agree, the first priority of CCP is economic development (some said it is the only way to continue the 'legitimacy' of its rule). It is only logical that they are focusing on anti-corruption now. The motivation for anti-corruption can be very simple, i.e., economic.
Aside from the above discussion. I do not care if Hu Jintao (or Wen Jiabao) is a black cat or a white cat, if he has caught the corrupted mice, he is a good cat, at least at this particular job.P.S. more in the comment section.
* in China's bureaucratic system, head of province and the 4 municipalities, together with the Ministries, are one rank below Deputy Prime Minister. Shanghai is one of the most important province/municipalities, making Chen Liangyu among the top of the promotion list among these provincial chiefs. i.e. Chen is only 2 steps from the Premier Wen and Party Boss Hu.
** NYT is even worse. Joseph Kahn reported, "It is exceedingly rare in China for members of the ruling Politburo to face legal trouble, even when the authorities have evidence of corrupt activities by them or people close to them. Mr. Hu almost certainly would not have approved of the action unless he considered Mr. Chen an obstacle to his political control or his policy agenda." 1) It is rare because it is hard to collect evidence 2) How about "Mr. Hu almost certainly would not have approved of the action unless he considered there is sufficient evidence for the charge"? 3) It is also rare because the more senior the criminal is, the more careful (and harder it is) the investigation needs to be.