Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Self-Destructive System

The Bo Xilai story is fast snowballing into an intense story no creative writer could come up with -- there are now allegations that he wiretapped top senior officials to find out not only what was going on, but also what they thought of him.

"This society has bred mistrust and violence," said Roderick MacFarquhar, a historian of Communist China's elite-level machinations over the past half century. He was quoted by the New York Times. "Leaders know you have to watch your back because you never knew who will put a knife in it."

On the pretext of cracking down on triads and corruption, Bo and his former right-hand man Wang Lijun, set up a comprehensive bugging system covering telecommunications and the internet.

They even enlisted the help of Fang Binxing, president of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, who is also known as the father of China's "Great Firewall" that censors websites internet users can see online.

This resulted in many of Bo's adversaries to resort to old school communication, including writing notes or using stacks of unregistered SIM cards to avoid surveillance.

One political analyst claims Bo tried to tap the phones of virtually all high-ranking officials who visited Chongqing in the last few years, including Zhou Yongkang, who overseas law enforcement; he is said to have backed Bo for a seat on the Standing Committee of the Politburo.

"Bo wanted to be extremely clear about what leaders' attitudes towards him were," said one analyst.

This spy-vs-spy game at senior levels shows how the entire political system is a dangerous combination of politics but also intent on destroying the other for advancement.

How is this a productive way to lead the country and 1.3 billion people?

In any event, this latest development of wiretapping is a serious charge, but may not necessarily be released to the public.

However the Chinese will eventually find out. They have always been told that political change is tumultuous and could lead to serious unrest and set back the country economically.

Nevertheless they are beginning to realize how corrupt the entire system is and are perhaps starting to think political change is the only hope for the country.

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