SE­CU­RITY SPEND­ING TOPS DE­FENSE

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

For two years in a row, China will spend a huge por­tion of its an­nual bud­get on forces used to check grow­ing so­cial dis­con­tent and for pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nist regime from pop­u­lar chal­lenges. The of­fi­cial bud­get fig­ure for in­ter­nal se­cu­rity spend­ing re­leased this week high­lights Bei­jing’s anx­i­ety about mount­ing so­cial un­rest and its de­ter­mined fo­cus on coun­ter­ing it.

On Mon­day, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment made public this year’s spend­ing plans. The amount slated for in­ter­nal se­cu­rity will be boosted by 11.5 per­cent to $111 bil­lion, larger than the much-talked-about Chi­nese de­fense bud­get that will jump by 11.2 per­cent to $106.4 bil­lion.

China’s Lenin­ist state legally de­fines “in­ter­nal se­cu­rity” as zhuanzhengjiqi, or “dic­ta­tor­ship ma­chines.” The ac­tual con­sti­tu­tional ex­pres­sion of this in­ter­nal se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus is, as the pream­ble to the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion states, “the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Dic­ta­tor­ship . . . in essence the dic­ta­tor­ship of the pro­le­tariat.”

These dic­ta­tor­ship ma­chines in­clude po­lice, state se­cu­rity, armed po­lice, la­bor camps and jails un­der the over­all cat­e­gory of “public se­cu­rity.”

Last year, China’s spend­ing for this cat­e­gory grew by 13.8 per­cent, sur­pass­ing for the first time the spend­ing on the al­ready-ex­plod­ing bud­get for its army.

China’s eco­nomic and mil­i­tary ex­pan­sions have sur­prised and alarmed many through­out the world. It also has come with volatile so­cial dis­con­tent against the com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment that has been man­i­fest in tens of thou­sands of demon­stra­tions and other ex­pres­sions of so­cial un­rest.

Of­fi­cial Chi­nese sta­tis­tics re­port that in 1998 there were 8,700 cases of “mass in­ci­dents,” a eu­phemism for large-scale so­cial and po­lit­i­cal protests and at­tacks against gov­ern­ment poli­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions; by 2010, the last time public fig­ures were pub­lished, “mass in­ci­dents” in China topped 90,000, an in­crease of more than 1,000 per­cent.

The most ob­vi­ous ar­eas of iron-fist sup­pres­sion by China’s “dic­ta­tor­ship ma­chines” are Bud­dhist Ti­bet and Mus­lim Xin­jiang, where eth­nic ten­sions re­main at an all-time high.

But other ar­eas in China are equally jit­tery about the pos­si­ble ex­plo­sion of the “Big One,” the one ma­jor out­burst of un­rest that could lead to the top­pling of the com­mu­nist regime. ma­jor Com­mu­nist Party ses­sions.

But the fo­cus of the na­tion’s at­ten­tion re­mains on one par­tic­u­lar del­e­gate, Bo Xi­lai, the party boss from the south­west me­trop­o­lis of Chongqing whose po­lice chief, Wang Li­jun, dra­mat­i­cally spent a night in the U.S. Con­sulate in Chengdu, where he re­port­edly sought po­lit­i­cal asy­lum but was turned away and given over to a se­nior of­fi­cial of Bei­jing’s Min­istry of State Se­cu­rity, the civil­ian po­lit­i­cal po­lice and in­tel­li­gence ser­vice.

The most-ju­nior and yet most-am­bi­tious and flam­boy­ant mem­ber of the rul­ing Polit­buro, Mr. Bo is widely re­ported to be ma­neu­ver­ing for a spot in the party’s core lead­er­ship group, the nine-mem­ber Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Polit­buro.

The Wang Li­jun af­fair ap­pears to have heav­ily dam­aged Mr. Bo’s po­lit­i­cal stand­ing and thus his chances to reach that goal, most an­a­lysts say. But he sur­pris­ingly showed up at the Bei­jing con­fer­ences, leav­ing the en­tire na­tion at a loss as to what will hap­pen next.

The na­tion’s de­sire for a clear an­swer about Mr. Bo’s fate was par­tially, yet ar­tis­ti­cally, sat­is­fied when He Guo­qiang, the top pros­e­cu­tor of the Com­mu­nist Party’s in­ter­nal dis­ci­pline or­ga­ni­za­tion and a mem­ber of the all-pow­er­ful Polit­buro Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, went to the Chongqing del­e­ga­tion Satur­day morn­ing to make an im­por­tant state­ment about the weather: “Com­rades from Chongqing have just told me a few min­utes ago that the weather in Chongqing and the weather in Bei­jing at this mo­ment are very dif­fer­ent,” Mr. He said.

“This year,” he an­nounced, “cold weather in Bei­jing lasts longer than usual. But right now, we are in a good pe­riod of sea­sonal tran­si­tion, es­pe­cially with a long dry span and a lack of rain and snow. And in Bei­jing tem­per­a­tures in the morn­ing and in the evening change greatly. I wish all of you from Chongqing give suf­fi­cient at­ten­tion to guard­ing your­self against cold air, keep­ing your­self warm, and mind your own health.”

The com­ments are viewed by ob­servers as clearly more about pol­i­tics than the weather, as shown by the un­prece­dented promi­nence given to Mr. He’s weather talk in state-run press. The en­tire weather talk was printed by the Peo­ple’s Daily, Xin­hua and all other ma­jor state-run me­dia, fur­ther adding to the mys­tique.

Mr. He’s weather com­ments be­came an in­stant sen­sa­tion na­tion­wide and went vi­ral on Chi­nese In­ter­net.

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