The John Batchelor Show

VIDEO: Party Turmoil

May 05, 2016

Wednesday   4 May 2016 / Hour 1, Block A: Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, in re:   In China, Capo No. 1 (Xi Jinping) seems to be trying to kill Capo No. 2 (Li Keqiang); which leaves No. 2 with little chance but try to kill No. 1 simply to save his own life.  Two cars drove wildly across the street, tried to crush the van that No 2 was in.   The fact that 1 and 2 come from vastly different social networks means that they can quickly divide the country into two opposing groups at war: if the top two people split, that split goes straight down the pyramid. In a parliamentary system you'd have a vote, or go to a court of law, or have a referendum, but China has never developed anything remotely like these networks.  All of Mao’s comrades perished or disappeared; it was only Chou En-lai’s death in early 1976 that kept him from being killed by Mao, who then died in September 1976.
We take for granted a Starbucks stability in China, but that’s not accurate. Historically, a Party adversary was killed; Deng Xiao-ping’s contribution was to back everyone back off from actual murder.
May 16 is the fiftieth anniversary of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which killed 1.5 milion Chinese people. Note that China is now antagonistic to its neighbors, anticipating war. The US needs to be prepared.
There used to be a bargain that the Party would no longer kill rivals; if you’re of high-enough rank that still applies, but numerous dissenters and those of lower rank have been and are being killed for many reasons, incl to get (and sell) their kidneys.