In its relatively short existence, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has shown a remarkable resiliency. It has managed to survive one major crisis after another, evolving and emerging largely unscathed from each, a phenomenon that has baffled many China analysts. To name a few examples, CCP has withstood the economic fallout from the Cultural Revolution, the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the fiasco of the SARS cover-up.
Looking at today’s China, the CCP has a number of dilemmas on its hands, but with both the government and military firmly under the Party’s control, there seems to be at least a short-term solution to each problem. Armed suppression has proven to be effective for social unrest. The Party regularly makes high-profile examples of select officials to defuse public outcry over rampant corruption. With China’s economy overheating, the Party is slowly easing up on the accelerator, but is still using it to draw in more foreign capital. To deal with the nearly bankrupt securities industry, the Party is directing the banks and pension funds to enter the stock market to keep it afloat. As for the debt-ridden state banks, the Party still has a large reserve of foreign currency to make them look attractive in seeking market listing overseas. Overall, the situation looks manageable, though left unresolved, any number of the pressing issues facing the CCP could build up and erupt into full-fledged disasters.
As the world looks on, it may be more important to understand the CCP’s fundamental nature than to worry about what it will do. The Epoch Times, a Chinese-language newspaper based in the U.S., recently published a nine-part commentary on the CCP. The commentaries discussed the CCP’s origin and history, explored its methods and motives, and provided a chilling look into the atrocities it has committed over the past few decades.
The commentaries’ long-term impact remains to be seen, though the initial response seems promising. They have sparked a wellspring of forums and debates in and out of China. This type of open discussion, in the end, may well become the catalyst forchange in China.
In the current issue, we devote a feature article to discuss the Epoch Times commentaries and republish the first of the series. We also delve into the current state of China’s securities industry, China State Bank’s IPO efforts and more.