Things That Make You Go Hmmm - Such As A Power Struggle (To The Death) Within China's Power Elite

Tyler Durden's picture

For those who have not been following the Bo Xilai drama unfolding with furious pace over the past month, we have some advice: you should be, as the fate of China will be defined by who is left standing at the end, which in turn will have momentous consequences for the entire Developed World. But where does one start? Luckily, Grant Williams' latest TTMYGH has one simple plot line: presenting the past, present and future of the epic power struggle between Wen Jiabao and Bo Xilai which has already claimed at least on death, and within China's top power echelon, the Politburo Standing Committee.

From Grant Williams:

This week’s edition of Things That Make You Go Hmmm..... is a little differ- ent to those that have come before it in that it is more of a murder mystery/whodunnit and focuses on the machinations behind a very significant power struggle currently raging in the shadowy world of China’s ruling party.


For those amongst you who like tales of drunken British businessmen, unexplained deaths, cya- nide poisoning, swift autopsies, mysterious polit- ical figures, Lady Macbeth-type wives and police chiefs fleeing for their lives - read on. For those of you who prefer less sensationalist tales..... well read on anyway - this one’s a doozy!


As bizarre and salacious as this story is, the implications for the immediate future of China are extremely important and, with China-watchers split between those who believe a hard landing is not only assured but imminent, and those of a more sanguine disposition, the search for clues as to the outcome will be meticulous.




The Bo Xilai story is not over. It will continue to grace the pages of the more sensationalist West- ern media outlets for months to come and you can guarantee that with every new wrinkle, ev- ery new twist and each new turn that the story takes, some extremely powerful people are be- hind the dissemination of the information that we in the West are allowed to digest.


In a first, this particular Chinese power struggle looks as though will be fought largely in the pag- es of the Western press, with just enough freedom for the Chinese microblogging universe to ensure the required information reaches those for whom it is intended.


However it pans out, one thing is for certain, the stakes are incredibly high.


The removal of Bo Xilai is widely seen as market positive by many experts as it heralds the demise of the ‘Chongqing Model’ with its echoes of the Cultural Revolution, and with a senior official in the shape of Vice Premier Zhang being quickly installed as Bo’s successor in Chongqing, the return to the more private sector-oriented ‘Guangdong Model’ looks set to be cemented in the coming months, but should the Wen faction not completely extinguish the challenge of Bo and his allies, we could be in for some major upheaval.

Full report here (pdf)


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Colombian Gringo's picture

NoBo Know Nothing


Bo was in the pocket of the US and British interests and got burned by them when things got too hot.  This is the REAL story.


Oh regional Indian's picture

All the worst of global intrigue, underhand dealing, shady chinaman and his shadier wife, creepy englishman with clear connections to intelligence gathering....transition in the "party"....

Goes to show that a nation can be "upset" by so many levers.

Generally, if you notice, it looks like the putsch is on. In India, lot's of out-of-favour pols are facing all kind of leaks and general scrutiny they all thought they were above.

So, Chindia can take it to the chin in so many ways, it's hard to count.

Such is out world...




hedgeless_horseman's picture



How yu say bullish in pinyin?

Bicycle Repairman's picture


It is the only truly international word.  Except for 'Coke'.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


How yu say bullish in pinyin?

Burrish! Don't you ever watch South Park?!


The Alarmist's picture

Well, since pinyin is the written form, you would express it as ??.  (Sorry, some things might translate, but they don't always display).  ?

Colonial Intent's picture

Gotta disagree on this one ORI.

"clear connections to intelligence gathering"

This is the noob whose singapore vehicle licence plate has 007 on it, he is a liability and not even MI6 would be daft enough to employ him.

rotagen's picture

Whatever happens, Israel will have its sleazy oily hand involved.

spiral_eyes's picture

This was very much a struggle between the Maoists (Bo) and the Confucians (Wen).

Pretty sure the Confucians have won a devastating victory.


vato poco's picture

Same Shit, Different Country. This sort of thing is how noble families and organized-crime syndicates operate, & have for millenia: if you let the underlings smell blood in the water, there's gonna be an ungodly feeding frenzy right quick. Wen probably studied his 'Godfather', waited to see who would come to him about seeing, "Bo".

If one of the "different" political parties here gets slaughtered this November, you'll get to see all this up close & personal. Personally, am looking forward to it.

DormRoom's picture

Games of Throne: China edition


House of  Deng Xiaopeng vs House of Mao Zedong.

tmosley's picture

I guess they call them the white walkers because they forgot how to make cars, and became dependent on them for their industry before they rebuilt The Wall.


bank guy in Brussels's picture

Older folks in China often have some fondness for the Mao era, when there was essentially universal access to some medical care from the great pioneering 'barefoot doctor' programme.

That ended after Mao died and China became capitalist; for the last few decades, Chinese without money for medical care have been left to die at the hospital doorway. The Chinese leadership have been currently working fiercely to restore minimal medical care to everyone, but there are many Chinese who feel the capitalist era has made things very unfair.

In Eastern Europe as well, the majority of older folks who remember Communism, would vote to have the Communists back.

In China, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has pointed out, the wild card is perhaps the young Chinese military officers, who are proud and nationalistic and who may feel that China became too submissive to the West these last few decades.


LetThemEatRand's picture

With all of the great wealth in China among the new oligarch class, you'd think some of those folks overflowing with money would do the right thing and take care of their felllow citizens wiho have life-threating medical needs given that they are not encumbered by mandatory taxes for such things.  After all, we are reminded constantly on ZH by dedicated anti-tax types that private citizens will take over all of the critical needs of the poor if the government just gets out of their way and stops forcing them to do so.  

jwoop66's picture

Both of you(rand/brussels) are truly party men(persons).  

LetThemEatRand's picture

If by that you mean I am dedicated to looking at reality instead of relying on an ideology which is really nothing more than a cloak fashioned to conceal pure selfishness and greed and created by a group of sociopaths to sell their ideology as somehow better for society as a whole as opposed to themselves and a few lucky elite who will rise to the top, guilty.

Breaker's picture

"an ideology which is really nothing more than a cloak fashioned to conceal pure selfishness and greed and created by a group of sociopaths to sell their ideology as somehow better for society as a whole as opposed to themselves and a few lucky elite who will rise to the top, guilty."

You must be referring to American progressives, who, in the past 70 years, have acquired control over trillions of dollars every year and almost untold power by arguing that giving them the money and power is better for society as a whole.

caconhma's picture

I agree that a government MUST provide min basic medical services to its citizens.

Presently, insurance companies (as a part of the US ruling banking oligarchy) neither provide adequate medical coverage nor do anything controlling medical expenses, abuses, and runaway fraud.


The bottom line: a government must provide certain vital/essential services such as (but not limited to)

·      National defense and national integrity

·      Conduct of Foreign affairs

·      Boarder and immigration control/enforcement

·      Basic medical services

·      Interstate commerce

·      Protection of major citizens liberties, freedom, and political equality


It is absolute BS that citizens in civilized societies must be at ruling oligarchy mercy.  In other word, a promotion of limitless “private liberties” is basically a promotion of slavery!

hedgeless_horseman's picture


"I agree that a government MUST provide min basic medical services to its citizens."
What about food, comrade?
What about shelter, comrade?
What about water, comrade?
What about fuel, comrade?
What about transportation, comrade?
What about clothing, comrade?
What about education, comrade?
What about work, comrade?
What about capital, comrade?
What about a pension, comrade?
What about internet access, comrade?
What about sex, comrade?
What about God, comrade?
What about vacation, comrade?
What about leadership, comrade?


GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Comrade President Obama will lead us to a Workers' Paradise.

DosZap's picture

Comrade President Obama will lead us to a Workers' Paradise.


Sure he will,after he destroys the rest of the middle class...........................Carry On.

The Alarmist's picture

First of all, you do not refer to the Maximum Leader as Comrade, for we are not worthy to lift ourselves up to his status.  Chairman might suffice, but Maximum Leader always.

john39's picture

how about just permitting a medical system that isn't wholly controlled by big pharma and other medical special interests that  are bleeding people dry financially while providing useless and destructive "treatment".   A system that outlaws effective holistic treatments, and puts no investment into educating the population about what makes them ill and what makes them healthy.  its a system purposefully designed to fail.   This is not about communism vs. capitalism, it cronyism, just like the financial system.   Now the gov won't even allow you to opt out, you will buy shitty insurance or you will be fined.   how fucking fascist is that?

The Real Fake Economy's picture

ok i need to clear things up a bit. very basic medical care is quite cheap - 100-200rmb for a routine check up assuming you have no major work done. This is about the equivalent of 15-30USD. Now if you find yourself going to the emergency room over something more serious, you're going to shell out a little more dough. Anywhere from 2k-25k usually depending on your condition. The ambulances suck, aren't equipped with much other than a little oxygen and a 1970's stretcher. Far cheaper than US emergency room costs, but given the salaries for the average Chinese, this can set them back quite a bit. The other thing to remember about China is that you pay first, then you get treated only after paying. None of this we'll see you, then pay us later like in the US. So yes, if you haven't saved money, you will die in the waiting room. Not to worry though as most Chinese have a good chunk of savings for such situations. Amazing that people will save money when they know their government won't bail them out.

Acorn10012's picture

Hard to help a person who lives on junk food. Always have the choice to buy fruits, vegetables, water. Most illness is brought on by lifestyle choices.

The Alarmist's picture

What about self-reliance, Comrade?

dolly madison's picture

What about sex, comrade?

I really don't want the government supplying sex!

However, I do think that it would be good for government to supply infrastructure, such as hospitals, libraries and schools, courts, police and fire fighters.

I think a big problem is that the banksters play their bankster games, and through it end up with most of the property.  That is what makes the people poorer.  Land can feed.  Land can be a pension.  When people farmed, the old people stayed taken care of at the farm with their grown children running the farm.  If the people have land, then they shouldn't need food or pensions.  It is the keeping of land from the people that causes the need for food stamps and pensions.

jonjon831983's picture

"What about sex, comrade"

EBT! Just swipe my EBT, EBT, EBT!


Chips n hoes! Just swipe my EBT EBT EBT!  Something hot n juicy, swipe my EBT! EBT!


Note: /sarc

No OB Wan Kenobe's picture

And whom will they force to provide this min basic medical sevrice and what constitutes basic medical services--to be decided by some bureaucrat I suppose. If medical care is a "right" then any physician who does not provide this basic medical service is in violation of the law. Come to think of it, to be forced to do somethng against your will is the same as slavery! 

insanelysane's picture

Governments only have to provide a basic amount of services to their citizens because if they don't the citizens will oust the government.  History shows us that most governments can't handle balancing these services and all governments eventually fail.

nmewn's picture

"After all, we are reminded constantly on ZH by dedicated anti-tax types that private citizens will take over all of the critical needs of the poor if the government just gets out of their way and stops forcing them to do so."

We're talking about a government & culture that values a males life higher than a females life to begin with here LTER.

Those "critical needs" were dealt with rather "economically" under Mao were they not? Got a headache? with their heads...problem weak to produce? with their heads, so as to not be a burden on the state.

They probably had a nice little select group of statists who made those important calls for the sake of the poor.

DosZap's picture

private citizens will take over all of the critical needs of the poor if the government just gets out of their way and stops forcing them to do so."

Worked for nearly 200 yrs, before the statists took over.............and are we better off?.

NO,our most  benevolent masters took over the job the church/private charities/the states/ citizenry had done for years.( we were called neighbors, and we knew each other)

If one were to do a real NEEDS based study of every welfare recip, 75% would be off the roles in a nano sec.

nmewn's picture


I'd like to see LTER give an itemized account of expenses incurred vs results gained, starting with ObamaCare going backwards through "shovel ready" and ending with LBJ's War on Poverty.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say she's not up to it ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

I know it's tempting, but you really need to stop blaming external forces like evil "collectivism" for your own failures, Nmewn.  Gates, Ellison, Walton, Jobs, and countless others have made fortunes in your hated collectivist society.   Somehow I don't think that the meager taxes you have contributed to our roads and schools (bet you went to public school) and hospitals and minimal health care for the poor etc is the true reason for your own lack of personal success.

nmewn's picture

lol...don't worry about me LTER, I'll be fine I can assure you of that ;-)

But tell me about these poor you fret about constantly. Do you think its better (long term) for "chronically poor" to have opportunity or handouts? And where is my itemized list of statist accomplishments vs expense?

Lastly, two things, do you provide health insurance to your employees at your florist shop?

And where is my answer from you on Soros' morality when we last engaged?

tmosley's picture

Yes, that's what they need for "progress".  More fucking government.

Yes, I'm sure they can afford universal health care with a GDP per capita of $5,400.

That money would not be better spent on building up productive capital to make everyone wealthier, pulling the population into the middle class such that the vast majority could afford their own health care, and have enough money left over for charity such that there would be help for those who couldn't afford it.  

No, capitalism is bullshit because it doesn't give everyone everything in five minutes like big government promises to.  A government promise is always better than real freedom.

Do I need to label that as sardonicism?

LetThemEatRand's picture

How about you and your "taxing me to pay for the poor is slavery" friends stop arguing that the poor will magically receive food, shelter and free health care from generous fellow citizens if we do away with all government programs on the subject.  Then we can have a conversation about how to fix the current problem which includes a lot of people abusing that system, an overblown government, etc.  You and all Rand followers start the debate with a fantasy ideal that does not and never would exist.  If you believe it is okay as a society for its poor to die in the street and ER waiting rooms with treatable conditions when the tax funded safety net goes away, say so.  If you don't, then you need to revise your idea of a solution.

Moe Howard's picture

Give us your address so we can see what you have that the poor need. Stop taking everybody's stuff until you have given all you have. Once you have given all, come back here and start telling us how to give ours. Idiot.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Right, better for me to give everything of mine than for you to contribute anything at all.  That's what it all comes down to for you clowns.  You gladly enjoy the benefit of public roads, public utilities, the interstate system and all of the private commerce it made possible, GPS and telecommunications developed through the collectivist work of NASA and all of the private commerce it made possible, and on and on, but you don't want to contribute to it.   It's called living in a society.  We all sacrifice a little for the common good.   I realize that purely selfish people like you have a hard time with that.

Acorn10012's picture

"...than for you to contribute anything at all."

Yes, most of us contribute nothing in the way of taxes. All he's suggesting is for you to lead by example. Nothing says you can't take a vow of poverty.

Often, I find liberals want someone else to pay for their mental and emotional comfort.

JOYFUL's picture

Please do not group anti-statists with "Rand followers"'s like calling Clint Eastwood a "gun nut'" cause he liked to make westerns & movies bout cops with a bad attitude...some stuff just comes with the territory.

You scored a couple of good points up above, no use losing it all for the sake of a mosley mashup.

Yes, it's hard to imagine people with wealth spending it to help their poorer neighbours, but wasn't all that long ago it was hard to imagine China would ever amount to anything other than a derelict museum of Stalinist archetypes....tell ya what...let's just try the no-state thing to get it out of our systems...if it doesn't amount to much, well hey, we'll be that much further ahead in knowing what doesn't work!

Poverty is not socialism. To be rich is glorious\Deng Xiaoping


Oh regional Indian's picture

Well said Joyful. 

i do believe though that the simulacra are all full of violence and on+hyper-reality...

Pav's Lovs are being readied for a Bladerunner future...


masterinchancery's picture

We have to remember that in China there is no guilt in the western sense, they only worry about shame, which is public disgrace.  Hence, poison in baby formula is ok as long as it isn't discovered and publicized.

akak's picture

Apparently, in China there is neither guilt nor shame inherent in constantly and very publicly spitting, nose-picking, or even shitting on the roadsides either --- all perfectly acceptable in the People's Republic of Blobbing-Up (let's not even bring up the rape of Tibet, or the enforced abortions, or the tens of millions killed by Mao's megalomania in the "Great Leap Forward (into Starvation)", or the innumerable crimes and cruelties of the so-called "Cultural Revolution", or the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 --- mandatory organ "donations" tend to follow the discussion of such heresies). Nor is there any societal shame in the rampant levels of pollution and environmental destruction currently "enjoyed" by the citizenry under their benevolent one-party rule. 

Sometimes, when dealing with the Chinese (as with our dear dishwasher friend AnAnonymous here), I wonder if we are not in fact facing a different species of human altogether: Homo formicensis, a.k.a. "Ant Man".

Ramboy's picture

People don't control doings in china.  It's all illuminati who are tired of western JudeoZionSlutz and moved on to kung pao

Whiner's picture

No charitable tradition such as built crumbling Christian institutions of West. Communists turn out to be gangsta thugs by another name doing only enough to keep their billions. There will be an ugly reformation and like here, it will come from economic collapse ala USSR