Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Children Can Affect Your Fate

If only Ling Jihua's son didn't drive his Ferrari one cold night in Beijing...
Usually it's the next generation that has to figure out their career path because of what their parents did or didn't give them in terms of resources, education and/or connections.

But in the case of senior Chinese officials jockeying for a top spot, it's the other way around.

It turns out outgoing President Hu Jintao's close aide did get a spot in the committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Ling Jihua who is head of United Front Work Department is now vice-chairman of the CPPCC -- but just barely.

What's interesting to note is that 90 of the 2,191 delegates voted against him -- the highest number of opposition votes recorded yesterday. The second highest was 27.

Reporters say Ling showed no emotion when the result was announced.

Some may remember Ling as the father of the young man who crashed his Ferrari on a Beijing road in the early morning hours last March with two young women. All three died.

Which is why analysts believe the accident is still hurting Ling's reputation, because he apparently ordered a unit of the Central Guard Bureau -- which usually protects the General Secretary [Hu] -- to go the scene and cover up the accident.

When senior officials found out about what Ling did, a faction led by former President Jiang Zemin, accused Ling of using the military for his own use. Others questioned Hu's responsibility as Ling's superior.

Another question surfaced -- where did Ling's son get the money (6 million RMB or $964,536) to buy a Ferrari?

As a result last September Ling was demoted from chief of the General Office to head of the United Front Work Department.

And then two months later Ling's name was not on the list of potential Politburo members, even though he had previously been expected to be named.

So this post as vice-chairman is a token one for Ling. While he and Hu lost the battle for control over the Politburo, Ling is still somewhat prominent in political circles.

The Ferrari crash speaks to not only the privilege of senior officials, but also those of their children who are often seen as spoiled and having no morals.

Will this be a lesson to the children or fuerdai? Probably not.

But for the parents, it's a wake up call that even their children can control their fate.

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