“Shocking” disclosure of extreme wealth at pinnacle of capitalist China’s power elite

[While the socialist fig-leaf of China no longer has the power to confuse all who have watched, from near and from afar, the discarding of socialist  — peasant and workers’ — power for over three decades, the Western bourgeoisie have continued to slam the emergent exploitative and oppressive Chinese capitalist system as characteristic of “socialism” — in hopes that once overthrown, socialism will not rise again.  But all this exposure in the New York Times does, is describe a common feature of capitalist systems worldwide.  Such “investigative journalism” is a good example of “the pot calling the kettle black.” “If you live in a glass house, you should not throw stones at other glass houses.”  The bourgeois Chinese state, in response, has blocked access in China to the New York Times online, in hope, no doubt, that the tattered and shredded socialist fig-leaf  may yet be a useful cover.  But, to use another analogy, “the Emperor has no clothes” that serve to disguise the reality. — Frontlines ed.]

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October 25, 2012

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader

By

BEIJING — The mother of China’s prime minister was a schoolteacher in northern China. His father was ordered to tend pigs in one of Mao’s political campaigns. And during childhood, “my family was extremely poor,” the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said in a speech last year.

But now 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind, she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show.

The details of how Ms. Yang, a widow, accumulated such wealth are not known, or even if she was aware of the holdings in her name. But it happened after her son was elevated to China’s ruling elite, first in 1998 as vice prime minister and then five years later as prime minister.

Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives — some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making — have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion.

Deng Xiaoping, who led the new and resurgent capitalists to seize power from the working people of China after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. He popularized the slogan promoting individual greed against social and collective advance: “To get rich is glorious!”

In many cases, the names of the relatives have been hidden behind layers of partnerships and investment vehicles involving friends, work colleagues and business partners. Untangling their financial holdings provides an unusually detailed look at how politically connected people have profited from being at the intersection of government and business as state influence and private wealth converge in China’s fast-growing economy.

Unlike most new businesses in China, the family’s ventures sometimes received financial backing from state-owned companies, including China Mobile, one of the country’s biggest phone operators, the documents show. At other times, the ventures won support from some of Asia’s richest tycoons. The Times found that Mr. Wen’s relatives accumulated shares in banks, jewelers, tourist resorts, telecommunications companies and infrastructure projects, sometimes by using offshore entities.

The holdings include a villa development project in Beijing; a tire factory in northern China; a company that helped build some of Beijing’s Olympic stadiums, including the well-known “Bird’s Nest”; and Ping An Insurance, one of the world’s biggest financial services companies.

As prime minister in an economy that remains heavily state-driven, Mr. Wen, who is best known for his simple ways and common touch, more importantly has broad authority over the major industries where his relatives have made their fortunes. Chinese companies cannot list their shares on a stock exchange without approval from agencies overseen by Mr. Wen, for example. He also has the power to influence investments in strategic sectors like energy and telecommunications. Continue reading

Nepal: Bourgeois leader Koirala crows about Peruvian ex-Maoist’s call to Nepali Maoists: ‘give up the struggle for power’

[Bourgeois calls for revolutionaries to surrender often seize hold of the most tarnished and discredited tools–in this case, Abimael Guzman aka “Gonzalo” who was a founder and leader of the Communist Party of Peru until he was captured and renounced the people’s war for power and for revolutionary transformation of Peru.  While some in Nepal have already taken the path of surrender, Nepali revolutionary Maoists are having nothing of it, as the struggle for revolution against revisionism continues within the UNCN(M) and, importantly, in the streets and villages. — Frontlines ed.]

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President of the Nepali Congress (NC), Sushil Koirala, asks Maoists to renounce revolutionary program, armed struggle, and to adopt peaceful reform

After Peruvian Maoist leader Gonzalo was captured, in time he sang a different tune of surrender, and denounced the Peoples War--winning him praise from reactionaries.

Koirala urges Maoists to follow Gonzalo’s advice

by SANTOSH POKHAREL, myrepublica.com

POKHARA, Jan 7: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala on Saturday has urged the UCPN (Maoist) to follow Peruvian revolutionary leader Gonzalo´s advice to renounce violence and adopt peaceful politics.

Speaking at a function in Pokhara, President Koirala urged the Maoists not to go against the democratic system and derail the peace process. He urged the Maoists to adopt the path of peace and constitution to bring about prosperity in the country.

“Even Peruvian revolutionary leader Gonzalo, who orchestrated the killing of about 70,000 people the guerilla war popularly known as ´Shining Path´, has asked the Maoists to adopt the path of peace. Maoists should follow the path of peace,” he said.

Gonzalo, who is currently serving a jail term, had reportedly sent a letter to the UCPN (Maoist) through his aides.

“The leader who led once of the greatest armed rebellion also acknowledged the importance of peaceful means. The Maoists should also acknowledge the fact,” he further said.

Koirala also warned that the Maoists would perish if they try to impose dictatorship in the country. Continue reading

Nepal One Year Later: Still Waiting to be Born

 

[In this report for the interesting blog Winter Has Its End, the writers describe the current situation in Nepal as a very contradictory and  eery calm of frustration and anticipation.  It relates the unsure optimism of grassroots activists that this could be the calm before a revolutionary storm–or a dreadful counter-revolutionary coup.  There is tension in the air, and if the calm will be broken anytime soon, it is not clear what initiative (and by whom) will break things open. — Frontlines ed.]

Photo credit: Eric Ribellarsi

By Jim Weill and Eric Ribellarsi

We have arrived in Nepal, the center of a radical Maoist revolution. We stood here last year, when half a million Nepalis declared their hope and determination to make a revolution. There has been a double stalemate since then, both in the constituional assembly and within the Maoist party. Every aspect of political life is marked by the need to break out, push aside roadblocks, and take a leap.

This time, our journey begins during the heart of the monsoon rains. Every night, dark clouds roll in and shower the city, mopping up Kathmandu’s thick, throat-burning pollution. When the morning comes, the clouds are gone just as quickly as they came. These rains muddy the streets and green the sharply rising hills that surround the city. Continue reading

Violent army crackdown on Cairo protesters shocks Egyptians

Clashes erupt around Cairo’s Tahrir Square

AlJazeeraEnglish on Apr 9, 2011
Egypt’s health ministry has confirmed the death of at least one person following clashes between protesters and the military.
Hundreds of soldiers stormed Cairo’s symbolic Tahrir square, after demonstrators formed a human chain to protect several army officers who had joined them.  Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports from Cairo.

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Tahrir Square, a scene of celebration two months ago when Hosni Mubarak fell, became a battlefield as soldiers beat protesters and tore down tents. One demonstrator was shot dead; 71 others were hurt.

By Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2011
Reporting from Cairo—Morning broke on a scene that wasn’t supposed to be in the new Egypt: burned military trucks, skeins of barbed wire, blood in the dirt, one protester dead.

In a predawn raid Saturday that stunned the nation, Egyptian soldiers stormed Tahrir Square to disperse about 2,000 protesters angry at the ruling military council for failing to deliver democracy and bring corrupt officials to justice after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Continue reading