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The Real Local Poop on China's Plenums

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jeff J. Brown     Permalink
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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.


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)
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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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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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