Two days ago, an open letter allegedly from a member of Bo Xilai’s family popped up on the internet, expressing the desire for a public hearing (“此信来自薄家亲戚, 希望公开发表”). Epoch Times – the media arm of Fa Lun Gong – broke the “story” saying that Bo’s son, Guagua may have written the letter. Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever else it may be, I believe that the letter is interesting for four reasons. First, in the absence of political opposition, satire formulates an alternative position. Second, the level of moral outrage that compelled the implied author to write seems genuine. Third, the fact that this letter is circulating as “news” reveals the extent to which the sentiments reflect popular dissatisfaction with the Center and its melodramatic backbiting
political infighting Two Meetings. Fourth and relevant to Shenzhen, is the call that Chongqing might have been a Special Zone, like Yan’an and implicitly not like Shenzhen.
Translation of the Guagua letter below.
A FATHER’S TRAGEDY, A PEOPLE’S LAMENT – BO GUAGUA’S PUBLIC LETTER TO THE NETIZENS
In my last open letter to my father, I urged him to return the Chongqing Sing Red, Attack the Black back to the Yan’an years, making Chongqing the flag bearer for a democratic Party and the living spirit of Yan’an; to truly become a Special Zone for political reform. Unfortunately, my father has been too-long educated by the Party, ultimately prioritizing the Party and national power. I had hoped that through reflection and regret, the negative effects of the Chongqing model could be ameliorated. I had hoped that by sacrificing your political future, my Father could have restored the Party and the Country’s stability and harmony.
Today, the Party and the Country are stable, harmony and face have actually been secured; Father also sacrificed. However, the excuses and methods that they employed to resolve the situation, weren’t simply to resolve my father’s problem. Instead it was more a case of astute and crafty planning to kill two birds with one stone.
In just one afternoon, they silently approved evil laws that had previously did not exist, measures that further consolidated and strengthened their power. The next morning, they immediately and shamelessly put forward reform slogans that had never existed, preparing the ground against the common people’s deep disgust for evil laws as well using Father’s affair to achieve another agenda.
The way they promulgated the reform news was in fact quite effective to the extent that exceeded their expectations. For those people who thirst and long for political reform, news about reforms was enough to make them dance for joy and forget why. The Center’s method made the People forget their fundamental nature and instead feel hope. However, history will prove that this was just a colorful performance. I was worried about Father during the meetings and thus paid particular attention to the news. Every must still remember when the spokesperson for the the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee, Zhao Qizheng (赵启正) said at the CPPCC Opening ceremony. First, was that Reform successes had already attracted the world’s attention (which is another way of saying that Reform had gone far enough). Second, was that deep reflection was necessary and that we could only go forward in in a systematic way (which is to say there’s no hope). This was nothing other than Wu Bangguo’s (吴邦国), “Persevere… with exceptions…”
After these feints, their true agenda was revealed.
First, they determined Father’s crimes. This didn’t hold ay surprises because Father had early on prepared himself to take full responsibility for Uncle Wang’s fiasco. The point is that the way they discredited Father was too superior. They restored the Cultural Revolution that everyone hated by claiming that’s what Father was doing.
In fact, Father never intended to restore the Cultural Revolution. Moreover, given Father’s position and actual appeal to the masses, you clearly didn’t have either the ability or the possibility of starting a Cultural Revolution. Even today’s Party leaders and highest officials would become a laughingstock by advocating “Cultural renewal”, let alone Father.
As everyone knows, Father took on illegal and corrupt practices in Chongqing, only coming into contact with Society’s elite for the benefit of the People of Chongqing. That’s why people said that Chongqing “officials don’t worry about their quality of life (官不聊生)”. And where do the most of the worlds’ “officials who don’t worry about their quality of life” live? What country? None other than the one place in Greater China that makes Mainlanders jealous — Taiwan! If there were ever a fair election for provincial and city level leaders, I believe that the People would choose Father.
That’s what they’re most afraid of!
How can the leaders of a country of people who don’t worry about their quality of life condone the officials who don’t worry about their quality of life? How could they allow for a lower ranking official to receive the People’s support? This was the first point.
Second, the cause of the Cultural Revolution was the highest authority and zealous masses. Today, no one has that level of authority, but they fear zealous masses. Then the People were stupid, but today they’ve come to their senses. Thus, they definitely won’t let any zealous masses exist. And Father was singing Red in Chongqing, doing precisely that and attracting the attention of the People.
Third, the People of Cuba-Chongqing [自古巴巴渝之地 puns Cuba-Chongqing] have ever been valiant. If there was also a leader who had won the People’s hearts as well as an awakened and united People, what would that mean for increasingly corrupt government officials? How could they not be thrilled by the fall of such a man?
From all this it’s not hard to see that their treatment of Father was just a pretense. What they actually wanted to do was exploit the situation to relieve their fear and to remove roadblocks to extending their power. Their brilliance lies in having discovered a way of using the People’s universal hate for restoring the Cultural Revolution to do so. What’s more, they’re getting cooperation by plucking people’s heartstrings with empty reform slogans. Once again the best actors are taking the stage. It really does make one surrender to them.