Time for a new song — “The East is shaking” (to the tune of “The East is Red”)

The time when ”singing red songs” (唱红歌) was considered to ”fill us with enthusiasm and unbounded confidence” (激情满怀、信心百倍) is over for this time. Many people thought that time passed already in the 1970s. As much as Bo Xilai dismissed as ”complete nonsense” (无稽之谈) the claims that ”red songs” were ”leftist” and a way back to ”the Cultural Revolution”, he was himself dismissed from the politburo (政治局). His wife Gu Kailai (谷开来) is under investigation for murder on British businessman Neil Haywood (尼尔·海伍德), along with Zhang Xiaojun (张晓军), an aide to the Bo family. These recent events could have been a novel plot by Qiu Xiaolong (裘小龙) – or maybe a chapter in Wang Lixiong’s China Tidal Wave (黄祸) – but it is for real. The question now is if these events will cause any political tsunami (海啸) for China.

The Wang Lijun case could have functioned as a kind of ”tsunami warning system” for the top party leaders, and maybe it did give them time to stop some rumours (谣言), and prevent a few people from escaping. Things seemed a little out of hand, however. These events show how vulnerable the party-state is, even its top leadership, despite all the control mechanisms.

Bo Xilai looking at eggs at a market in Xining, Qinghai

Official media now talks about justice and discipline, and gives an idealized image of how the legal system works: ”Our country is a socialist country ruled by law, and the respect for law and the status of the law cannot be trampled. No matter who it involves, if you offend the law, you must be dealt with in accordance with the law” (我国是社会主义法治国家,法律的尊严和权威不容践踏。不论涉及到谁,只要触犯法律,都将依法处理). This is especially interesting in the PRC, where the constitution defines the special role of the Communist Party to lead and guide the Chinese society, including the improvement of ”the socialist legal system”.

Things must be rather shaky now with preparations for the 18th party congress this autumn, and the next politburo meeting should perhaps start with a new song called ”The East is shaking” (东方摇)? ”东方摇、太阳升、中国出了一个薄熙来…” Trustworthy sources tell me that such singing fills you with ”enthusiasm and unbounded confidence”. ”Shaking” is also a homophone of ”rumour” (谣) in Chinese…

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