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The Real Local Poop on China's Plenums

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(Article changed on December 1, 2013 at 21:21)

(Article changed on December 1, 2013 at 17:02)

(Article changed on November 29, 2013 at 23:09)

(Article changed on November 29, 2013 at 22:36)

(Article changed on November 29, 2013 at 21:48)

Why, it's really quite elementary, Mr. Watson

It has been amusing to peruse all the Western lamestream media blather about Baba Beijing (the Chinese leadership) and its much ballyhooed Third Plenum meeting the weekend of November 9th

Chinese plenums are when Baba gets together for a big Sino-powwow to discuss and reach consensus on the strategic vision they want to take their country and its citizens -- 20% of the human race, over the next five years. These masters of the 21st century's future are led by the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC). The current PSC is the 18th since 1927.1 It is composed of Baba's most powerful decision makers, typically a group of 7-9 men. It is something akin to a Western leader's cabinet. The PSC oversees these plenums, which include the Central Committee (CC). The CC is composed of 300 or so elite members of the Communist Party.2 This two tiered model of governance is what pulls the levers of Sinoland statecraft, and steers the country and its people towards the future.

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The leaders of China's PSC will determine our Western standings of living and lifestyles in the decades to come.
(image by Jiangxi Yuzhou Vocational College of Science and Technology)


A sexist glass ceiling as thick as a nuclear blast shield

There has never been a woman member in the all-powerful PSC. Not surprising in such an uber-patriarchal, Confucian infused society. The great philosopher-teacher instructed women to obey their fathers and husbands, remain chaste before marriage, remain chaste until death if their spouse dies before them, always remain silent in the presence of men -- and sew. Doris Lessing and Emma Goldman would not approve. 

Like most Communist revolutions, Mao's vendetta's against old thoughts (in this case, very sexist Confucism) opened up many avenues professionally for women (doctors, engineers, managers, etc.), after independence in 1949. Since 1980, when China hopped into the economic cockpit for warp speed take-off, work opportunities for the silent, sewing sex have exploded exponentially. But in the political mosh pit of power and persuasion, a glass ceiling as thick as a bank teller's window on the wrong side of town is still very much in place. These days, there is a score or two of women in the CC, but it all still feels very much like tokenism, considering China's history, modern and ancient.

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/57868312@N00/9858414654/: Confucius is at least as influential on human society today as Jesus or Mohammed. By
Confucius is at least as influential on human society today as Jesus or Mohammed. By
(image by Matt From London)

Symbols and Oblique Phrases

Symbolism among their leaders is carefully scrutinized by the Chinese people, along with omens, signals, oblique phrases, and arguments over which Chinese character was used and why not this or that variant synonym instead. Like Ronald Reagan, they all dye their hair pitch black and invariably wear spiffy, Western, coal black suits, with China-flag-red silk ties.

Western pundits snivel with acid sarcasm about what they see in this as Orwellian Newspeak. What they forget is that Barak "I'm really good at killing people" Obama has to wear a flag pin on his Whitehouse pajamas, in order to not be called a traitor. 

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Jeff is the author of 44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013), Reflections in Sinoland -- Musings and Anecdotes from the Belly of (more...)

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