China Now

Under Chairman Mao Zedong the Chinese people suffered greatly.  He was a total dictator and not only repressive, but capricious as well.  When he died and his surviving leaders were thrown out, Deng Xiaoping became China’s leader.  Below I describe how he was heading China toward much more democracy and freedoms.  He hand-picked China’s succeeding Presidents who were also leading China into more democracy and freedoms. 

Upon Deng’s death, Xi Jinping was elected President.  He proceeded to change the Chinese Constitution and make himself a total dictator for life.  There is not indication that he will ever be repressive like Mao, but no one is sure just where he will now lead China.  However, since China is such a very major player in the world’s economy and the #1 consumer of oil and most other minerals.  And since China has such a huge influence upon the US and the US economy, it is really important to know all about Xi Jinping.  If you will read the info that I have provided below, you will understand much more about him and his close relations with the US in his past life.

China Now

I have written earlier about how Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore very soon after becoming the new leader of China; and how he brought back to China the freedoms that he saw among the ethnic Chinese there and the policies as respects the freedom for businesses that Singapore’s famous leader, Lee Kuan Yew taught him

Lee kuan Yew

I mentioned how he granted freedoms first to the farmers and how they became rich.  The freedoms eventually were granted to all of the different groups across China and the people did become rich in great numbers.  Never in the history of our planet has so much wealth been accumulated in such a short time.  I would go there and visit with regular common folks as respects assets.  I would come back two years later and they would be worth 100 and 200 million US dollars.  It was amazing.

When Deng told them to “go get rich” they did.  Even the military officers were getting rich.  I could hardly believe the sight of Chinese Army trucks delivering goods to Wal-Mart.  Finally, they had to ban Chinese military officers from being in business.  That is when so many of them resigned their commissions and left the Army to peruse their businesses instead.

Deng Xiaoping

Even though Deng gave businesses freedoms, left over from the Communist system they still had all of this monstrous, stifling system of regulations.  You needed to get permission to do most anything.  However, as you probably know, just an average Chinese has a really high IQ.  You have probably observed how on occasion just an average Chinese will get permission to live here and bring their children.  The child will speak no English upon arriving, but in only two years he will be the valedictorian upon his graduation from one of our high schools.

It did not take these clever Chinese long to learn how to deal with this plethora of stifling regulations.  If you were going to start a business or build a building or even a cluster of high-rise buildings, you just made it part of your budget to allocate the money needed to pay whatever official needed to be paid to get that specific permission.  It just became their system.  Since the municipalities there own most all of the land, you had that as part of your budget also, to pay that municipal official for permission to buy the land you needed and to get a very fair price for it.

Another part of this system was taking whoever you needed the favor from out to a fabulous dinner.  I have been to many, many of those dinners.  They were usually at lavishly outfitted restaurants in one of their many private upstairs paneled rooms.  They were always at one of those huge, round tables with the whole center part revolving.  You eat at only a small space between the big revolving part and the edge.   The more lavish the dinner, the more exotic the food.  On my last trip to China I ate eleven different kinds of snakes. 

They nearly always start with turtle soup, and the whole turtle shell must be showing.  Literally tons of turtles are being shipped to China out of the Port of Houston.   Most are being trapped along the whole length of the Trinity River and other rivers leading into the Gulf of Mexico.  It is quite a thriving business as long as the turtle population lasts.

These dinners will have a vast array of different foods.  Toward the end, they serve different fruits.  Finally the main ending soup of the meal is served.  That signals the end; when the soup comes.  They don’t serve desert.

However, these meals do not constitute the end of the evening.  The host and principle guests all go to one of the big facilities owned and run by the hospitals in that particular city.  There you are met by male and lovely female greeters garbed in hospital clothing.  The women are ushered off to the right, and the men to the left.  You go down a stairway to a huge shower room.   There are all manner of steam baths there for taking off weight, but for the occasions I am describing, each male host and guest take a shower.  Then they are ushered

into another room where a young man scrubs down their body to take off all the old skin.  After you survive that, you go back and take another shower.   You are then issued a sumptuous terry cloth robe and are ushered upstairs to a private room where you meet the ladies in the same type of robes.  These rooms have a long line of massage tables where beautiful, tall Chinese young ladies lay you down for a fantastic full body massage. 

The ladies then discuss lady things, and the men discuss sports and sometimes business.  I just wish they would all be quiet so that I could enjoy that massage in peaceful quiet.

If the hosts and hostesses of the evening think you have already had massages earlier in the week, they take the whole party to another kind of facility.  It is not run by hospitals, but it has private rooms for each such party.

You enter that room and there is a long line of very comfortable recliner chairs.  In front of each chair is an oak bucket that is filled in the bottom with small round river rocks.  You sit down, and the bucket is filled with very warm water and different kinds of herbs.

At that point a very beautiful young lady takes off your shoes and proceeds to bath and massage your feet.   I have timed these, and they usually last at least two hours.  She knows so very many ways to pleasure your feet.  You would think that after two hours this would “get old”, but I have never wanted her to quit.

But, the evening still does not end there.  The hosts and hostesses and guests all travel to one of the special Chinese Tea Houses.  There you all sit together in a fairly private room.  At the head of the little room is a lovely young Chinese lady who goes through their elaborate tea ceremony and continuously serves tea to everyone in their special, small tea cups.

At this point, the women continue their lady discussions and the men get down to their real business.  After about two hours the tea party is over and everyone goes home.

99% of the Chinese, other than the country and farm dwellers, live in high-rise buildings in what we would call condos.  If you want to build such a condo or office building in Dallas or Atlanta it takes at least two to three years to get all the permissions and zoning that you need.  If you live in California or New Jersey or New York it takes 6 to 7 years in most cases.  In the “payoff system” the Chinese developed, you were finished with all permissions and land purchase and zoning in only 2 weeks in most cases and ready for construction.  Anywhere in the world wherever this kind of accelerated, freedom of business activity has existed, amazing growth and enormous wealth creation has developed.  China’s GDP growth under most of Deng’s tenure was 10 and 12% and more, per year.

I pass no judgment on the “pay-off for permission” system that they developed.  It was their system under all of Deng Xiaoping’s tenure of leadership.  Toward the end of his life he appointed new Presidents, but everyone knew he was still the boss.  His reign lasted from 1978 until his death in 1997.  The last Presidents that China had before its present one were appointed by Deng after he went into semi-retirement.  They pretty much continued Deng’s policies on increasing freedoms for the people.  The first was Hu Yaobang.  He allowed even more freedoms.  Next was Jiang Zemin who was still controlled by Deng.  Then they had Hu Jiantao who was groomed by Deng for the job.  He served until the present President/Chairman, continuing Deng’s policies.

On March 14, 2014 Xi Jinping became the President of the People’s Republic of China.

President Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping was born in Beijing on 15 June 1953. He is the second son of XiZhongxun and his wife QiXin.  After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 by Mao ZedongXi‘s father held a series of posts, including propaganda chief, vice-premier, and vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress

However, Mao Zedong was just like Stalin, who he patterned his life after.  He was always suspicious of those under him and continually purged them.  Sure enough In 1963, when Xi was age 10, his father was purged from the Party and sent to work in a factory in LuoyangHenan Province.  Then in 1966 that horrid Cultural Revolution broke out. 

Student militants ransacked the Xi family home and one of Xi‘s sisters, Xi Heping, was killed. Later, his mother was forced to publicly denounce his father, as he was paraded before a crowd as an enemy of the revolution and was put into prison.  Without his father’s political “shield”, Xi was sent to the countryside like so many others to work on a farm in a little village near Yan‘an in Shaanxi Province.  Life was so severe and oppressive as so many others experienced, that he ran away to Beijing.  But they found him.  He was arrested and sent to a work camp to dig ditches.  He worked diligently and became boss of his production team.   When asked later about this experience by Chinese state television, Xi recalled, “It was emotional. It was a mood. And when the ideals of the Cultural Revolution could not be realized, it proved an illusion.

He continued to advance there “where he was planted”.  From 1975 to 1979, Xi studied chemical engineering at Beijing’s Tsinghua University as a “Worker-Peasant-Soldier student“. There engineering majors spent about one-fifth of their time studying Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong thought, doing farm work and “learning from the People’s Liberation Army”.

From 1979 to 1982, Xi got a job as secretary for a fellow who had once worked for his father, GengBiao, the then vice premier and secretary-general of the Central Military Commission. At this job Xi got some military background and experience.  Then in 1985, as part of a Chinese delegation to study U.S. agriculture, he stayed in the home of an American family in the town of Muscatine, Iowa. This trip, and his two-week stay with a U.S. family, is said to have had a lasting impression upon him and his views on the United States.

He continued to “climb the ladder” in the Communist party and the political establishment.  Then in 2007 he was ranked above LiKequiang on the 9 man Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, a sure indication that he was gong to succeed HuJiantao as China’s next leader.  In 2008 he became Vice President of the Central Secretariat and also in the same year he was put in charge of preparations for the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing.

In 2012 he traveled to Ireland and Turkey and to the United States again.  He visited with V.P. Joe Biden and  President BarackObama, but he insisted on that trip that he go back and visit the family in Muscatine, Iowa that he had lived with years before.

I read a translation of Xi’s inaugural address to the nation at the People’s Party Congress in the Great Hall of the People upon his becoming the new President of China.  He stressed a few things directly and specifically.  He promised to immediately and completely do away with the “pay-off system” that had become a Chinese business norm, and to do away with the multitude of “permissions” demanded by Communist Cadres on businesses.   I was greatly heartened by this.  I hoped that he would drift toward a democratic system as Deng and his picked successors had been doing.

One reason that I was hopeful of this was that Xi’s daughter, XiMingze, had just returned from getting her degree in the US at Harvard.  Xi’s first wife wanted to go and live in Britain.  He did not, so they divorced.

He then married the beautiful PengLiyuan who was one of the most popular entertainers in all China.  She is a celebrity soprano.  XiMingze is their only child.  She attended Harvard under an assumed name.  They say that only 10  people knew her true identity.  She majored in Psychology and English.  She crossed the podium at Adams House for her degree, the same dorm that housed Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger, at age 22.

No one knows how much of an influence she may be on her father.  I am hoping that she may be an influence for tolerance and freedoms in China, but it does not look that way.

After his inaugural address, Xi immediately started to crack down on any payoffs.  However, his big mistake as respects business, is that he stopped the payoff system without stopping the red-tape of all the permissions demanded of businesses first.  Gone were most all the lavish dinners, the different massage treatments and the trips to the lovely tea houses.

In his inaugural address he has promised to purify the Communist Party.  This turned out to be a purging of anyone who may be even the slightest threat to his power.  This was easy to do.  Since everyone was getting payoffs, he could easily purge anyone by showing that they had been taking money for permissions.  He called this purging program “Tigers and Flies”……. Meaning that he would not only get rid of the big officials that he did not want, but a multitude of little people.  He purged former Central Military Commission vice-chairman XuCaihou, former Politburo Standing Committee member and security chief ZhouYongkang and former HuJintao chief aide Ling Jihua.

So much of the power in China rests with the many municipalities and their leaders.  Xi initiated the formation of “centrally-dispatched inspection teams”. These were essentially cross-jurisdictional squads of officials whose main task was to gain more in-depth understanding of the operations of provincial and local party organizations, and in the process, also enforce party discipline mandated by Beijing. 

Many of the work teams also had the effect of identifying and initiating investigations of high-ranking officials. Over one hundred provincial-ministerial level officials were implicated during a massive nationwide anti-corruption campaign. These included former and current regional officials (SuRongBaiEnpeiWan Qingliang), leading figures of state-owned enterprises and central government organs (Song LinLiuTienan), and highly ranked generals in the military (GuJunshan).  In June 2014, the Shanxi provincial political establishment was decimated, with four officials dismissed within a week from the provincial party organization’s top ranks. Within the first two years of the campaign alone, over 200,000 low-ranking officials received warnings, fines, and demotions.  And in China a clean-up is not like here, many of these people were just shot.  I would come back to China and ask about a former friend, only to be informed that he had been shot dead by firing squad.

In consolidating his power, Xi formed several new commissions.  A new National Security Commission was formed with Xi at its helm.   The Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms…….another ad-hoc policy coordination body led by Xi…….was also formed to oversee the implementation of the reform agenda.   Termed (“comprehensive deepening reforms”), they were said to be the most significant in 25 years.

Xi also became the leader of the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Information, in charge of cyber-security and Internet policy.   He has also formed a multitude of working groups with himself as each group’s leader.

In 2013 at the Communist Party’s Third Plenum they created the National Security Commission of the Communist Party of China, another body chaired by Xi. This is believed to have ultimateoversight over issues of national security such as combating terrorism, intelligence, espionage, ultimately incorporating many areas of jurisdiction formerly vested in others. 

Xi has been really active in all Chinese military affairs.  He has taken a direct, hands-on approach to military reform.  In addition to being the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and the leader of the Central Leading Group for Military Reform founded in 2014 to oversee comprehensive military reforms, Xi has delivered numerous high-profile pronouncements vowing to clean up malfeasance and complacency in the military, aiming to build a more effective fighting force. In 2014 he held a conference of all of China’s top military officers to re-emphase the principle of “the party has absolute control over the army”.  One university professor in the US who closely studies China’s military says:  “Xi has been able to take political control of the military to an extent that exceeds what Mao and Deng had done”.

On 21 April 2016 Xi was named commander-in-chief of the country’s new Joint Operations Command Center of the People’s Liberation Army.  That puts him as head of all military affairs for China.  Another military affairs expert in the US says:  “Xi not only controls the military but also does it in an absolute manner, and that in wartime, he is ready to command personally”.

Finally in an ultimate stroke of consolidating power, in March 2018, the party-controlled National People’s Congress passed a set of constitutional amendments including removal of term limits for the president as well as enhancing the central role of the Communist Party.  Then on 17 March 2018, the Chinese legislature reappointed Xi as president, now without term limits ……….President for life.

Xi claims that all this concentration of power is so that he can better the country by streamlining the cumbersome government bureaucracy.   For instance, he caused the whole legal system to be changed “for more transparency in legal proceedings, more involvement of ordinary citizens in the legislative process, and an overall ‘professionalization’ of the legal workforce.”   It was stated that “the reform of the legal system was needed because it had been perceived as ineffective at delivering justice and affected by corruption, local government interference and lack of constitutional oversight.” 

Xi caused the Plenum to announce that “market forces” would begin to play a “decisive” role in allocating resources. This meant that the state would gradually reduce its involvement in the distribution of capital, and restructure state-owned enterprises to allow further competition, potentially by attracting foreign and private sector players in industries that were previously highly regulated. This policy aimed to address the bloated state sector that had unduly profited from an earlier round of re-structuring by purchasing assets at below-market prices, assets which were no longer being used productively.

He even caused the one-child policy to be abolished, resulting in a shift to a two-child policy from 1 January 2016.

All this sounds great, but his dogmatic thoughts about “anti capitalism” and his other highly Marxist thoughts have been actually inculcated into their current Constitution.

Communism did not enjoy an immaculate conception in China.  Rather, it was grafted onto an existing ideological system…..the classical Chinese dynastic system.  China has an unusual veneration for the written word, and acceptance of its value for teaching principles about life and systems.  China’s veneration of the written word causes stories, histories, and teachers to have great moral authority.  As a result we are seeing Xi making his claim to be the true Revolutionary Successor of Mao.  Xi’s language of “party purity;  criticism and self criticism”; his obsession with “unity”; his attacks on elements of “hostile Western liberalism”, “constitutionalism” and other variants of ideological “subversions”……..this is all Marxism-Leninism as interpreted by Stalin as re-interpreted by Mao.

So, we have this new leader of China, with highly concentrated power who can take the country in most any direction……toward liberation and freedom for the people, or as a despot holding on to power through coercion and total thought control of the people.

I suggest that we sincerely pray for him to take the course that God would have him to, for the benefit of the people and for him to allow policies that will lead to the Gospel being further spread across that huge diverse country.

P.S. This is to all my many friends in China who read these stories ……………这是向所有读过这些故事的中国朋友问好。 请,请,如果您不介意,请给我发电子邮件并告诉我有关您的信息。我的E-mail地址是………

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