Having largely suspended blogging while a shedload of stuff happened in China it’s a bit hard to know where to pick up the threads.
For one thing, I’m still mulling over the most salient feature of the excellent trial like substance of Bo Xilai, namely the filial gift of unknown meat.
Back in 2010 young Guagua went on a jaunt; first to the World Cup and then to Africa, from where he returned with a big lump of meat – ‘enough for a month’, Bo said at the trial. Dad naturally enquires from which species it came. Guagua doesn’t know: just that it came from some kind of endangered species. That’s why he bought it back, this huge lump of meat. And guess what, dad: it’s supposed to be eaten raw!
Isn’t that just the great vignette from the home life of China’s apex predators. ‘Father! I bring you meat!’ ‘Meat! Huuurgh. What meat is this, my son?’ ‘I know not father, but that it is from a rare and precious example of animalkind. Let us feast upon it, and tear it apart bleeding and raw with our bare hands, that the potency of the family Bo may continue unabated! How’s mum, by the way?’ ‘Still bonkers, son.’
And so the family feasted, but Bo Xilai insisted on steaming the meat rather than eating it raw, because he’s that kind of dad.
Now let us proceed from slapstick shanzhai Greek tragedy to a couple of things relevant to current events.
From what I hear, most of China’s internet censors are corralled in a business park especially built for the purpose up in Tianjin, where the AP managed to track down a few burnouts and get them to talk about the job. It exactly resembles call centre work, except that instead of pushing unwanted conversations on people, you stop them from talking to each other.
Moving further up the Bohai Rim, here’s an intriguing account of events at the CPC’s top leadership compound in Beidaihe this summer. I’m not entirely sure I’m convinced by all the detail, but it does make the crucial point that pretty much everything going on right now – the anti-corruption campaign, the general Party rectification, the rumour crackdown, the renewed hunt on dissidents – are all part of the same operation, and that the targets are being presented as a constellation of evils from which the Party, as the natural party of government, wishes to protect the people. Also, that CDIC has apparently been given free rein to pursue who it wants to without interference from the rest of the Party.
And this presentation of Xi Jinping as the Incredible Hulk is priceless:
Sources said that, in Beidaihe this year, Xi Jinping focused on anti-corruption and on specific cases that the Central Committee was preparing. He said that he was determined to stem the malignant spread of corruption and he was severe. Agitated, he stood up from his chair; he flung his physical mass in such a forceful manner that buttons flew off his shirt, leaving his collar wide open with only one button remaining.