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Reblogged:Corruption: That's What Xi Said.

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Over the years, I have come to expect very little at best of Western media outlets covering dictators, and borderline fawning at worst. (Even today, few "journalists" would try to get away with open admiration of a despot, even one whose policies, like zero Covid, they support.)

This is particularly true of left-wing media covering Communists like Fidel Castro and those who pay lip-service to that bankrupt ideology, like Xi Jinping.

An AP story covering Xi's further consolidation of power at China's Communist Party Congress recently fits that mold.

The piece, although somewhat informative, reminds me of the way media outlets used to gush about Fidel Castro being one of the world's "longest-serving" rulers -- as if he would have won a fair election, serving were a synonym for impoverishing and oppressing, and that this kind of "service" was a good thing.

That said, the below paragraph takes the cake:
Xi has led an anti-corruption crackdown that snared thousands of officials, including a retired Standing Committee member and deputy Cabinet ministers. That broke up party factions and weakened potential challengers. [bold added]
Li Keqiang, who favored market-style reforms, in happier times. (Image by Foreign, Commonwealth and development Office, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
Corruption?! Please.

They did get "crackdown" right, -- although not in the vein of the force-worshipping compliment it comes off to me as: It doesn't take much in the way of brainpower to read this piece and see that Xi is all about ruling for life and "valuing loyalty over ability."

Set aside the fact that any system of central planning is inherently corrupt: I am sure that whatever bribe-taking or other more obvious corruption Xi caught, this was cover for getting rid of anyone who might inconvenience his appetite for power and length of "service."

Speaking of "service," the following would be funny if we weren't talking about someone who is a threat to world peace and is quite likely to make life progressively miserable for his countrymen for as long as possible:
Xi is on track to become the first leader in a generation to pick his own successor but has yet to indicate possible candidates. Hu Jintao and his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, both were picked in the 1980s by then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping. [bold added]
Why in hell would Xi pick a successor until he's on his deathbed, if ever? That might undo all Good Work of that "anti corruption" "crackdown" by creating "party factions" and strengthening "potential challengers!"

Don't let any undeserved deference or repect to Xi put you off from reading the whole article: It is full of bad news. For example, Xi is preparing to abandon the semi-freedom that has brought a great improvement in his country's prosperity in a short time in favor of more centralized control. Notably, he removed an advocate "market-style reform" "was dropped" from the seven-member Standing Committee so it could be full of Xi's cronies and yes-men.

Xi claims to want to bring prosperity to China, but he is ignoring recent history and making sure nobody will bring it up.

The article reports all of this as if it's just the way China does business, with one exception:
Xi and other Standing Committee members -- none of them women -- appeared for the first time as a group before reporters in the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China's ceremonial legislature in central Beijing. [bold added]
Could you imagine the knee-jerk condemnation and wails of protest about this committee not being "diverse" enough were it, say, a corporate board in the West?

But, hey, let's not offend "China's most powerful leader in decades" by coming down on him too hard just because women were left out of Xi's personal cheeleading squad.

-- CAV

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