采访/易如 编辑/宋风 后制/薛莉
Zhu Rongji Appears in Public to Support Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.
The 18th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist
Party (CCP) will take place in a few days.
Former Premier Zhu Rongji, accompanied by CCP
senior officials, has recently appeared in Beijing.
Zhu Rongji is another CCP veteran heavyweight that
has appeared in public after Li Ruihuan and Wu Yi.
Political observers say that the resurfacing
of Zhu Rongji is in sharp contrast to Jiang Zemin.
This highlights that Jiang Zemin forces are fading.
On October 29, the official website of Tsinghua
University School of Economics and Management,
released news about Zhu Rongji’s reappearance.
Zhu Rongji, honorary president of the School Advisory
Council, met with council member attendees on October 24.
Other CCP senior officials present included Wang Qishan,
current CCP Vice Premier, State Councilor Liu Yandong,
and secretary general of the State Council Ma Kai.
The news of Zhu Rongji was swiftly reproduced by China’s
major portal websites, published in eye-catching positions.
Zhang Tianliang, visiting professor of George Mason
University: “When he stepped down, Zhu Rongji said that he hoped the public would forget him.
Now on the eve of the 18th Party Congress,
Zhu Rongji’s appearance is very unusual.
In particular, the venue was Diaoyutai State Guest House.
The timing and the venue are very sensitive,
Which I believe is linked to the 18th Party Congress."
Zhu Rongji was accompanied
by Wang Qishan and Liu Yandong.
Wang and Liu are deemed strong candidates to become
members of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee.
In addition, besides Zhu Rongji, was
a group of incumbent CCP senior officials.
They include the Governor of the People’s Bank of China
Zhou Xiaochuan, Education Minister Yuan Guiren.
It also included Guo Shuqing, Chairman of Chinese
Securities Regulatory Commission and Chen Yuan, President of the National Development Bank.
Present was also Lou Jiwei, President
of China Investment Corporation, and Chang Zhenming, President of CITIC Group.
Earlier on, former CCP General Secretary
Jiang Zemin, reportedly appeared in Beijing.
Jiang met with Shanghai Ocean University
leaders, but was not accompanied by officials.
The meeting took place at a makeshift venue.
Observers comment that this formed a sharp
contrast to Zhu Rongji’s appearance.
This shows that Jiang’s faction is fading.
Critic Chen Pokong: “Zhu Rongji appeared
to stand up for his ideal leadership candidates.
Zhu Rongji has feuded with Jiang Zemin, holding
opposite views on economic and political policies.
So, his appearance aimed to support anti-Bo Xilai
faction, or the liberal faction within the CCP.
It’s a curb on Jiang’s clique, conservative
forces and on the pro-Bo faction.”
Chen Pokong remarks that as the CCP18th Congress
will be held soon, it’s time for a showdown.
The list of members for the Politburo and its Standing
Committee will not be finalized until the last minute.
That is why CCP veterans have successively appeared
in public, to support their ideal leadership candidates.
Shen Yuan, a democrat in the U.S., comments that
Zhu Rongji was struck out during his tenure by Jiang Zemin.
Now his appearance implies that he stands
alongside for Hu-Wen, says Shen.
Shen Yuan: “Zhu Rongji spent years in disgrace
for being labeled a rightist by the CCP.
As Premier, his views on governance and on
Falun Gong were different from Jiang Zemin’s.
In view of these aspects, I believe he is not
satisfied with China’s present course.”
Shen Yuan thinks that Xi Jinping, after
taking office, should purge Jiang’s faction, and any remaining left-wing Maoist forces.
Only by doing this, China’s politics can
see an initial change, Shen Yuan remarks.
Zhu Rongji has been labeled a rightist for 20 years
since the CCP “Anti-Rightist Movement” in 1957.
During tenure as Premier, Zhu Rongji
was restrained by Jiang Zemin.
Zhu intended to strictly deal with
the Yuanhua smuggling case.
This involved many core members of Jiang’s faction.
However, the investigation was
finally blocked by Jiang Zemin.
Jiang even arrested Zhu Rongji’s right-hand man,
Zhu Xiaohua, then-president of CITIC Group.
Zhu Xiaohua was accused of “taking bribes,”
while Jiang’s six cronies got promoted.
One of them was Jia Qinglin, who entered CCP Politburo
Standing Committee at the 16th Party Congress in 2002.
Zhu Xiaohua was sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Zhu Rongji saw his right-hand men being removed.
Reportedly, he sighed, “I’m determined to serve
the country, but powerless to reverse the situation.”