六四也解禁了RT @szeyan1220: RT @_xskylight: 百度看来是春江水暖鸭先知！ @avb001 神马情况？百度"周永康薄熙来"出来一堆。这个总不会是BUG了吧！ http://pic.twitter.com/YeFPpoIa
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个人认为快下台，放假消息为自己弄个好名声， RT @szeyan1220: RT @westmoon 这才是突发啊RT @huangboma 英国《金融时报》3月20日发文曝料，温家宝曾三次在中共高层秘密会议中提议为六四平反，但是遭到薄熙来的强烈反对。
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FT：Wen lays ground for Tiananmen healing RT @huangboma: 英国《金融时报》3月20日发文曝料，温家宝曾三次在中共高层秘密会议中提议为六四平反，但是遭到薄熙来的强烈反对。
GLOBAL INSIGHT March 20, 2012 1:24 pm
Wen lays ground for Tiananmen healing
By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing
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The last century in China has presented a minefield of violent political events that have been expunged from history books and public discourse by a Communist party intent on denying its more painful mistakes.
So it was astonishing to hear Premier Wen Jiabao at his annual press conference last week say the country and the party must confront the legacy of the 1966-76 cultural revolution or face the possibility of repeating that disaster.
Mr Wen's persistent mentions of the violent chaos unleashed by Mao Zedong were a clear rebuke to populist "princeling" politician Bo Xilai, who was purged a few hours later as party chief of Chongqing, one of China's largest cities.
Mr Bo's critics had slammed his "cultural revolution" style policies in Chongqing, which involved the revival of Mao-era revolutionary songs and propaganda and a vicious crackdown on anyone he accused of being a "gangster".
But for those reading between the pauses in the premier's painfully deliberate oratory, the speech signalled more than the downfall of the maverick Mr Bo, who may still be charged with unspecified crimes.
According to people close to top-level internal party discussions, Mr Wen was tentatively laying the foundation for a move that would blow apart the established order in China and kick-start the political reform he has agitated for in recent years.
That move would be the rehabilitation and re-evaluation of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests and the massacre that followed on June 4, when party elders ordered the People's Liberation Army to open fire on unarmed demonstrators.
To this day the party officially regards the democracy protests as a "counter-revolutionary riot" and the entire episode has been painstakingly scrubbed from the collective consciousness of the nation.
In calling for a re-evaluation of the cultural revolution, Mr Wen was in fact signalling his intention to do the same for Tiananmen in order to finally begin the healing.
Mr Wen has already suggested this on three separate occasions in top-level secret party meetings in recent years, according to people familiar with the matter, but each time has been blocked by his colleagues.
One of the most vehement opponents of this proposal was Bo Xilai.
Bo's father, Bo Yibo, was a revolutionary hero and a senior Communist official who came to be known in the 1980s as one of the "eight immortals" – the party elders who ruled the country from behind the scenes.
As the student protests centred on Tiananmen Square in Beijing spread across the country, Bo Yibo was one of the elders who repeatedly pressed Deng Xiaoping to take a hard line and send in the troops.
Many other former senior leaders and their offspring are also tainted by the decision to kill unarmed civilians and some, such as former President Jiang Zemin, were only promoted as a direct result of the turmoil of 1989.
Mr Jiang was catapulted from Shanghai party chief to the presidency when his predecessor, Zhao Ziyang, was arrested for refusing to declare martial law. Zhao remained under house arrest for 16 years until his death in 2005.
In a famous photo that can only be viewed outside the Great Firewall of Chinese internet censorship, Mr Wen stands at the shoulder of Mr Zhao in his last public appearance in 1989 as he visited the students in Tiananmen Square to express his support and warn them of the impending crackdown.
Although it has been quite successfully blotted from the national memory, the Tiananmen massacre remains the single most divisive and controversial event within senior party ranks.
Cadres at the top of the hierarchy can be roughly divided into those who advocated for or benefited from the massacre and oppose any kind of re-evaluation, and those who were hurt by it or were not affected either way.
As time passes the first group is naturally shrinking – Bo Yibo died in 2007 at the age of 98 – and so too is the institutional resistance to revisiting the events of 1989.
As Mr Wen prepares to step down at the end of this year as part of a once-in-a-decade political transition, he may be gambling that the time has come to right historical wrongs as a way of launching political reform.
The potential reputational damage to powerful interest groups, particularly within the military, could still easily block such a spectacularly bold manoeuvre.
But in purging Mr Bo the Chinese leadership has cleared away a major impediment and sent a signal to others that spring could be in the air again in Beijing.
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Report greenback8 | March 21 1:18pm | Permalink
Harald and Longterm View - finally some comments from people who actually have a grasp of reality.
Such irony in the DM press reporting how EM governments enshrouds its citizens in propaganda....
And while the press may be freer, it does not necessarily equate to accurate reporting of the rest of the world. The mindset that the DM way should be superimposed on EM countries is a bias that underlies much of the reporting...
Report Age Olav Mariussen | March 21 1:15pm | Permalink
The reason why this discussion of history and democracy is surfacing now is another issue, the open question of how to reboot the mechanism creating economic growth. One alternative could be to weaken the role of the central and regional governments, privatise the SOEs, which today are in control of strategic industrial knowledge assets, and embrace a neo-liberal strategy. "Democracy" could simply equal a weaker role for the state in the economy. Another alternative could be to continue a more balanced approach, with a combination of a neo-liberal sector and a "German" SOE sector, including a strong state.
Report Harald Buchmann | March 21 11:43am | Permalink
All those who "hope for China" and "hope for the common Chinese" had really just once, please, ask at least one of the common Chinese. They are not the subdued, poor, exploited victims you'd like them to be. They are very proud of Chinese achievements, which have been realised under this current government. And I'd love to have an FT journalist stationed in China comment on this. You must have met normal Chinese people. 98% do not belong to the "democracy movement", this movement is about as big as the "Anarchy movement" in the west. They hate some aspects of domestic politics (who doesn't, and in which country?), but most hate much more when Western countries unjustly accuse China of all sort of things.
Report Harald Buchmann | March 21 11:38am | Permalink
@Longterm View: Very well said. The priorities in China are different. Most Chinese I talk to mean "less corruption" when they say democracy, not American polit-entertainment. Also, the Chinese government has clearly been much more successful in the last 20 years, than the American.
The cultural revolution is broadly accepted as a terrible mistake in China, from what I hear all around. Very unlike the Tiananmen Incident, because many Chinese feared a second cultural revolution (which started with protests similar to the Tiananmen protests). Protests threatening the government spreading accross the country are not "a victory for democracy" but rather a threat for stability. Any Chinese looking at Egypt or Lybia these days will be thankful they didn't have to go through yet another revolution in the 1990s. Anyone looking at former Soviet countries can see who's better off now. So discussing some of the issues of slow democratization may be a good thing, but claiming the crack down of the Tiananmen protest was a bad thing is oversimplistic. Especially after we know now (thanks to Wikileaks) that the number of people killed were far lower than Western governments wanted us to believe.
Report Lucifer_11 | March 21 10:07am | Permalink
"Longterm View" is ret@arted and misinformed.
If the Chinese government only even worked according to the Chinese constitution, it would have some democratic elements, but it does not. The nomination process for People's Congress delegates and the manner in which the Organization Dept. picks China's leaders is totally extra-constitutional....so where should they start then.....?
Report Lucifer_11 | March 21 10:02am | Permalink
Why would anybody jump to such conclusions when the Chinese Communist PArty has to such reevaluation record? This article is based on wishful thinking and nonsense.
Report Ben Strong | March 21 9:49am | Permalink
I would assume the princelings as a group, including President-in-waiting Xi Jinping, would resist this revision of history as it undercuts a primary source of their legitimacy within the regime.
Report JP Morgan | March 21 9:08am | Permalink
I hope so, but according to my observing, Mr Anderlini maybe too optimistic. It's hard to image that Communist party will against by themselves in public. Now in China, all of the laws, all of the society system are served for Communist party instead of residenters. The party members can hold higher rights, earn more money, escape from punishment. All of those is in order to keep Communist party alive on the chinese land. I only can confirm that it has a divarication between the topside leaders. The press conference of Mr Wen maybe just a political show.
Report Realist | March 21 8:01am | Permalink
Mr Anderlini has a certain view of what is right for China and how China ought to be, and the poor fellow does his level best to pass that for objective journalism.
Report Longterm View | March 21 8:00am | Permalink
I doubt that democracy, in the Western sense, would be the right way for China. Transformation requires leadership, and there are lots of democratic elements in the CP at work that serve to balance regional interests and help to avoid single minded decisions. It is politically incorrect to say so in the West, but China is well advised to avoid the spectacle of a presidency vote as ridiculous and polarizing as it happens in the US currently. Does democracy work in times of crisis? This is a question particularly Europe will need to ask itself, with spending way over sustainable levels and the left wing parties gaining ground that promise further spending - financed by who? Bottom line, Western democracy has turned into a "buy my voters" game, followed by a corrupt and cash greedy "free" press, that supports the buying process for whoever pays the best buck.
Report RationalAmerican | March 21 3:40am | Permalink
Though Mr. Anderlini seems to have solid experience covering China, it does seem like a Westerner's interpretation of events. I fear he is much too optimistic that drastic change is upon us. I tend to agree more with Simon Thom's assessment. Then again, I am an American and would love to believe...
Report Renatus | March 21 2:18am | Permalink
Wen's call for a reevaluation of the Cultural Revolution should not so easily be confounded with any reevalutation of Tiananmen.
Much more likely is the straightforward observation that the current and deepening slowdown of the Chinese economy must be prepared for by the political elites. As is plainly obvious from history and current events globaly, slowdown brings on the demagogues. Wen is protecting his faction's left flank in a way broadly similar to Mr. Sarkozy's political maneuvers in France.
As popular political discontent grows, expect more purging of China's Leftists.
Report LouGodena | March 20 11:28pm | Permalink
Sounds like Wen aspires to be another Gorbachev, who nowadays is despised in the old Soviet Union which he helped destroy; impoverishing tens of millions in the process and reducing that once mighty nation to the status of Equador. The leadership in China *has* been corrupted by its contact with western liberalism, whose goal is not "freedom" or "democracy" but total domination of economies to the benefit of a tiny elite. What good are elections or multiparty squabbles when all important decisions are made years in advance by the minions of banks and other well-placed interest. The reason the West fears another "cultural revolution" is because that was a phenomena that could not easily be controlled or predicted by the ordinary institutions controlled by the elites. Maybe Wen, upon retiring, can also -- like Gorbachev -- can secure employment via Forbes Magazine, with the legend "Capitalist Tool" emblazoned on the tail of the jet which wisks him from capital to capital.
Report trblmkr | March 20 7:40pm | Permalink
The message sent by the West after the Massacre was "Bravo! Here is billions and billions of FDI dollars." Meanwhile, the message to Russia was "Booo! Why do you have so many political parties? No FDI for you."
Ergo, Putin has strived to emulate China by becoming a one-party state. Money loves stability!
Report singtribe | March 20 7:22pm | Permalink
I made a prediction back in the late 90s that China will have political democratization before the end of last decade. It's based on the assumption that those students that went abroad to study in the 80s would return and reach the political power hierarchy high enough to push for reform; similar to what happened in Taiwan and South Korea.
Guess I was wrong with my last prediction.....may be it will happen in this decade :)
Report Bill from Ohio | March 20 6:55pm | Permalink
If this were to happen it could be the first crack of light for the hopes of billions of Chinese. What a gift it could be.
Report raj pipla | March 20 6:10pm | Permalink
Have always held Premier Wen in high esteem. He also played a constructive role in keeping India-China relations on an even keel. An orderly transition to democracy in China would be as profound an event in world history as its economic transformation.
Report David Lloyd Owen | March 20 5:30pm | Permalink
Given that a definitive judgement on the French Revolution is still pending, a change in attitudes towards Tiannemen Square will take more than 23 years to come about. Even so, this is a fascinating observation, as it alludes to what has been a taboo subject.
Report doug in japan | March 20 5:28pm | Permalink
very interesting and thought provoking article. let's hope for China
Report Simon Thom | March 20 4:32pm | Permalink
I doubt spring is in the air. The Chinese Communist leaders know full well that if so much as a whiff of fresh air breezes over the hurricane of freedom will ensue. These are words to create Western media positive vibes, everything coming from the top Chinese is veeeery calculated!