“The Chinese Communist Party’s 90th Birthday”

Willy Lam is using the 90th Anniversary as an excuse to seriously bash some heads in. His piece is here, the entire thing should be read.

The Party’s worst enemy is itself, or more preciously, its fast-declining ability to effectively manage the affairs of 1.4 billion people. Despite its bloated bureaucracy, Beijing has been unable to tackle age-old malaises ranging from contaminated foodstuffs and a deteriorating environment to endemic corruption. And it is the CCP’s worsening problem-solving capabilities that will likely prove its undoing.

A few examples suffice to illustrate this conundrum. While Chinese consumers have for more than two decades been hit by fake food, liquor, medicines and other sub-standard and dangerous merchandises, the government should have taken the milk-powder scandal of 2008 as a wake-up call.

Six babies were killed and hundreds of thousands of infants poisoned after consuming melamine-tainted milk powder. Yet despite the government’s vow to clamp down on unscrupulous manufacturers, the situation keeps growing worse. Flooding the market these few years have been sulfur-steamed ginseng, plaster tofu, dyed bread, salted duck eggs containing carcinogenic chemicals, artificial honey, donkey-hide gelatin, and cooking oil that has been “recycled” from used oil and lard scooped up from the gutters. And to top it all: contaminated dairy products, this time milk that has been “enriched” by hydrolyzed leather, returned with a vengeance this spring.

More significantly, party authorities from the central to local levels are regarded as reluctant to tackle socio-economic ills and injustices because they are in league with the perpetrators.

Given that profits from land sales and taxation from real-estate transactions make up more than half of the income of regional administrations, collusion between government officials and property developers is widespread. This explains why the land-grab phenomenon will not go away any time soon.

The same factors lie behind environmental woes. There is well-documented evidence to show that polluters have greased the pawns of officials at both the central and local levels. Yet corruption can hardly be eradicated if it originates within the CCP, which is the sole power center in the country.

This is despite the fact that China has an extraordinarily large number of party and government departments dedicated to fighting corruption. Graft-busters include the CCP Central Commission on Disciplinary Inspection, which is headed by Standing Committee member He Guoqiang; the Ministry of Supervision; and Anti-Corruption Bureaus within the Procuratorates (or Prosecutor’s Offices).

In the name of preserving stability – and the CCP’s “perennial ruling-party status” – Beijing has mothballed political reforms that could be the only answer to China’s quandary.

Senior cadres including National People’s Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo recently reiterated that China would never adopt “Western institutions” such as multi-party politics, the tripartite division of power, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, and freedom of the press.

Yet without proper checks and balances as well as media scrutiny, socio-political ailments will only fester – and tear asunder China’s already tenuous social fabric.

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