Monday, October 22, 2012

China and the Fuerdai

Many Chinese had heard rumors for half a year. A Ferrari had crashed on a snow slicked Beijing ring road early in the morning in March and the sports car had split up into two separate pieces
 The crash allegedly involved  a well known member of the "fuerdai," the rich second generation that seems to believe they are entitled to fast sports cars, multiple women and a world that resembles that of Western rich kids.
The truth finally emerged last night into a  China, where worries about political corruption have become very important to not just 38%, of the people, as in an earlier poll, but to 55%  of Chinese citizens in a recent poll. Details are in today's Wall Street Journal.
The event occurred in March, three days after Bo Xilai, the disgraced, former mayor of Chongqing, was placed under arrest. The crash involved two Tibetan women who were stuffed into the car . One Tibetan woman is still alive. The car's driver was the 23-year-old son of Pres. Hu Jin Tao's closest adviser, Ling Jihua. His son, Ling Gu, was speeding along at 4 AM and died in the wreck.

The Beijing Evening News the next day wrote about the story, mentioning no names. It was then completely hushed up.  Hu Jin Tao had apparently been trying to have Ling Jihua placed on the all-important politburo that runs the Chinese Communist Party. After a time, Ling Jihua was demoted from an important party position and disappeared from sight, although he still has his important connection to Hu Jin Tao.
In the midst of a peaceful transition from one set of communist leaders to another (after 10 years in power), the behavior of Bo Xilai, a princeling, has been described as an anomaly,  something that was not "zheng chang," (a normal part of Chinese life). The revelations about Ling Gu shows it to be an everpresent part of Chinese life that could not have been exposed at a worst time.In America we don't seem to be upset that rich people run our country, but the Chinese people seem to be disturbed by the concept.We will have to see what impact this will have on a country that didn't need another example of bu ping dang (inequality)

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