Ex-Top Official Says China’s Xi Not Serious in Tackling Graft; “I can only see one thing: he has continued suppression. Besides that, I can’t see what else he wants to do. So I think he probably just wants to do one thing: to maintain his stability, maintain his position.”

Ex-Top Official Says China’s Xi Not Serious in Tackling Graft

By Sui-Lee Wee on 2:47 pm August 10, 2013.

File photo of Bao, a former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, smoking at home during an interview in Beijing

Bao Tong, former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, smokes at home during an interview in Beijing, in this February 20, 2013 file photo. (Reuters Photo/Petar Kujundzic/Files)

Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping is not serious about fighting corruption and is more intent on maintaining his position than curing the country’s “sickness,” the most senior official jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests said on Friday. Bao Tong, the most trusted aide to purged reformist Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang, characterized the new president as no different from Mao Zedong — the leader who led China into the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. It was Bao’s harshest criticism to date of Xi, who many liberals and intellectuals are hoping will emerge as a reformer, like his father, Xi Zhongxun, a liberal-minded former vice premier. “I can only see one thing: he has continued suppression,” Bao, 80, told Reuters in his apartment in Beijing. “Besides that, I can’t see what else he wants to do. So I think he probably just wants to do one thing: to maintain his stability, maintain his position.”Bao was once a political high-flyer, and as secretary to the Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee held a rank equivalent to a cabinet minister.

He was jailed for seven years for his opposition to the decision to send in troops to crush the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989. He remains an outspoken government critic and is kept under close watch.

His criticism reflects fading optimism among Chinese intellectuals that Xi will launch political reforms.

Xi, who took office in March, has made fighting pervasive corruption a central theme of his administration, warning the problem is so severe it could threaten the party’s survival.

The party has targeted everything from the use of government cars to liquor served at official banquets, and vowed to spare no one in its efforts to fight graft.

‘Looking good’

But Xi’s stability obsessed government has also detained at least 16 activists after they demanded officials disclose their wealth.

“I think this means he does not want to fight corruption,” Bao said of Xi. “Such anti-corruption efforts are just for looking good, for fooling the ordinary people.”

“If he really wants to fight corruption, why doesn’t he dare disclose the assets of officials? Why does he want to arrest citizens who are requesting officials to disclose their assets?”

Bao said the president was “taking the road of Mao Zedong.”

“That is, he’s not prepared to solve the problems in China. All he wants to do is put on some make-up. He does not want to treat the sickness, have surgery or take medicine.”

Few high-level officials have been caught in the dragnet and the party has shown no sign of wanting to set up an independent graft-fighting body that could challenge the party’s authority and reveal embarrassing secrets to the public.

On Thursday, state media said the party had expelled a former deputy head of the top planning agency and will prosecute him for corruption, following lurid accusations of bribery and sexual impropriety.

The trial of one-time high-flying politician Bo Xilai, on charges of corruption and abuse of power, is also expected to start this month as authorities attempt to close the door on China’s biggest political scandal in decades.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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