Fresh off Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's abysmal visit to Beijing and the execrable appointment of cadre-sympathizer Chas Freeman, it should come as no surprise that Washington has resurrected military talks with the "People's Liberation Army" (Agence France Presse via Google). One of the "engagement" floozies called the talks "the single best set of talks I’ve been to" (Bloomberg).
Meanwhile, the new Commerce Secretary-designate (Gary Locke) prides himself on "reluctance to link trade issues to alleged human rights abuses in China" (Los Angeles Times).
Clearly, the new Administration prefers the cadres to the people. It's maddening; it's depressing; and it's an outrage.
But is it enough for the CCP to stave off its inevitable demise? I don't think so.
It will postpone it - and that postponement could lead to a painful loss of blood and treasure for the free world - but the Soviets gained a similar reprieve in the 1970s, and their decline continued apace in the 1980s.
In the case of the CCP, the problems that they face cannot be reversed by Washington, no matter how pliant or cooperative Washington may be. For starters, while President Obama has run away from his tough-on-Beijing rhetoric far faster and with more callousness than either Bush the Younger or Bill Clinton, the fact remains that neither of Obama's two predecessors stuck to their rhetoric for very long. Anti-Communists are still smarting from the betrayal, but it is a pain they've felt before.
More importantly, matters inside the CCP's realm continue to depart from the "engagement" script. There is no better example of the problems Zhongnanhai faces - and the appeasers' impotence in solving them - than the very "stimulus" package Beijing repackaged for the world today.
If one believes Wall Street, the Communists' stimulus plan is just what the doctor ordered. Markets zoomed upward today (MSNBC). Unfortunately for the cadres, optimism about the package is greater abroad than at home.
Take a look at what Peng Yunliang, a Shanghai Securities analyst, had to say (MSNBC):
Obviously, this unusual rally suggests that investors are overly optimistic about what to expect from the legislature.
A ringing endorsement this is not, but it was tame compared to the reaction of several "liberal Communist Party elders" (Int'l Herald Tribune), who had the audacity to demand the funds not be stolen by their fellow cadres:
A cluster of liberal Communist Party elders recently wrote to President Hu Jintao and the rest of the party leadership, seizing on the economic troubles and the need for more accountability to promote democratic reforms.
"We very much endorse the central government investment of 4 trillion yuan" — $586 billion — "to invigorate the economy," they explained in the letter, dated Jan.
20, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.
"At the same time, we are extremely worried that the privileged and the corrupt will seize this opportunity to fatten themselves, damage the relationship between the party and the people, and intensify social conflict."
They pressed for checks and balances on the recovery program. More sweepingly, they urged that state media be freed from censorship and courts allowed to operate without inference from the governing party, reforms the party has repeatedly rejected in the past.
In other words, not even the cadres trust each other with the "stimulus" money! This comes despite another rash of "anti-corruption" measures (AFP via Yahoo), although given the regime's history with these things, it may actually be because of them.
After all, it is become more and more clear that bribery fueled the Communist expansion of the last generation (Times of London).
Finally, and most importantly, there is the reaction of the impoverished interior. This is typical (AFP via Google):
The central government is always promising us beautiful things, but in reality these things never happen.
There is one organization sure to be happy with the CCP: the PLA. After all, they got another whopping increase in funding (15% - London Telegraph).
Meanwhile, the very West that is bending over backwards to be nice to the CCP is - accused by the CCP of stirring up trouble in Tibet (BBC and AFP via Google) - and the people of Macau are told the true meaning of one-country, one-and-a-half systems (BBC).
The mutual distrust between the CCP and the Chinese people is still there; the economy - stimulus aside - is still unable to provide the funds necessary to keep the urban elite happy; and the regime must still rely on radical nationalism to survive.
Unfortunately, another Administration is determined not to take advantage of these weaknesses within the CCP, but that doesn't make the weaknesses go away. The CCP will limp along, adding more names to the tens of millions of victims inside and outside China, until the Chinese people finally have a partner in the democratic world ready to help them take their country back.