Posted by: mulrickillion | October 21, 2011

Former Chinese premier decries corruption in memoir

Editor: Joshua Eisenman, China Reform Monitor, No. 925, Oct 19, 2011 —

September 27:

“The Authentic Speeches of Zhu Rongji,” a 2042 page, four-volume selection from Zhu’s time as vice premier from 1991 to 1998 and then as premier until early 2003, has become a best seller in China and sold out in many Shanghai book stores. Zhu’s speeches decry crumbling flood dykes as “tofu dregs” built by “parasites,” corrupt bankers as “half-wits and “criminal accomplices,” and special guest houses for Communist Party elites wasteful piles of “golden splendor.” One quote that has spread widely online is from 1998: “If this government is one of yes-men, we owe the people an apology.” Another Zhu comment, this one from 2001: “I’ve been in charge of the economy for a decade, and still today 68 percent of state-owned businesses cook their books. I should be the first official dismissed.” Reformist former officials and intellectuals are holding up Zhu’s words, many made public for the first time, as an unflattering mirror reflecting the conservatism and conformism of Chinese leaders, Reuters reports.

[Editor’s Note: Growing numbers of retired Chinese leaders have published books and memoirs. Although party censors can block some content, seniority gives these leaders some sway over what they publish and when. Zhu dragged back the Chinese economy from over-heating in the early 1990s, pushed through reforms that shut or privatized many state-owned firms, reformed the tax code, launched housing ownership reforms, and sought to push the army out of business.].

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