Hu Jintao, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, continues to show us that the Russian translation of his name is Leonid Brezhnev.
Outwardly, the CCP is all ambition and repression. The alarming and horrifying expose by Ethan Guttman (f.d., friend of the C e-L since 2004) about the organ harvesting of religious dissidents (Weekly Standard) is sure to get the usual dismissals, cat-calls, and opprobrium. Never mind that similar tales of Soviet abominations (ecological nightmares, the Katyn massacre, and millions upon millions of Red Army rapes in occupied Eastern Europe, to name a few) were similarly dismissed with haughty laughter, only to be horrifyingly confirmed as European Communism collapsed. For the CCP, it's all about being the indispensable part of the global economy (Epoch Times and Washington Post), building aircraft carriers (BBC), maneuvering the Korean colony to win more concessions and praise for Beijing (One Free Korea and the Washington Times), and feting celebrities (Boycott 2008).
Still, while the rule of Western naivete in the face of Communist dishonesty still holds firm on the organ harvesting issue, exceptions are starting to pop up all over the place.
For starters, the half-trillion-dollar-plus "rescue package" that was supposed to symbolize the CCP's arrival as a global economic powerhouse is coming under more scrutiny - never a good thing for the cadres. In fact, according to the Washington Times, "the central government would only be coughing up a quarter of the money, with the rest coming from local governments and state-owned enterprises." In other words, the Communists are expecting the local robber-barons to fix their own messes - the very messes said robber-barons created with land seizures and rampant corruption. Moreover, there's hardly any "new" action in the plan: "Some international experts who specialize in Chinese economics believe that over 60% of the projects in its rescue package plan are just recycled ideas given a new title" (Epoch Times).
Once again, as Beijing repeats Moscow's old fantasies, China repeats the old USSR's painful realities - over 66,000 factories shut down in the last six months (Epoch Times), and there's plenty more where that came from (Epoch Times).
Meanwhile, the melamine poison scandal has been joined by other food poisons: clenbuterol and formaldehyde (Epoch Times), and the regime's lead soccer league has become so corrupt it was taken off the TV (BBC).
All of this was merely in China proper. Occupied Tibet may become a much trickier file (BBC and CNN), and even long-time ally Pakistan is becoming a headache - albeit for vastly different reasons (Epoch Times).
So there's plenty of things to keep the regime busy, but instead, the cadres continue to focus on imprisoning dissidents (Between Heaven and Earth and the Epoch Times), intimidating overseas Chinese communities (Epoch Times), and enjoying the fall of political enemies abroad (BBC and CNN).
In other words, the tragedy of Eastern Europe's degradation during the Brezhnev era has indeed been reborn as the farce of Beijing - except that the Chinese people aren't laughing.