The Great Distraction?
In all the chatter on the sweetening bond between Pakistan and China, one point may get lost. China, for all its diplomatic bluster backing its best friend, doesn’t want new problems while putting its own house in order.
Some Chinese intellectuals suggest that maintaining its own stability while grappling with widening inequalities and social tensions is keeping Beijing anxious and so in no mood for more trouble on the international front. For now, they estimate, Beijing may not risk overplaying its Pakistan card during a politically sensitive phase at home.
In the short-term, the buzz on Pakistan’s sovereignty, which became a talking point even in corporate Chinese lunch hours in Beijing’s central business district, served as useful public distraction. China is heading for a leadership succession in 2012-13 while dealing with an internal conflict of ideas on power sharing and political reform. There is the strongest crackdown on dissent since 20 years. Its netizens have become bolder and more demanding than ever before.
India is not a regular talking point for Chinese citizens. But neither is ally Pakistan, once the headlines move on.
This week, China is talking about an unusual anti-demolition protest. An alleged suicide bombing at a government office killed three and wounded ten people in Fuzhou city in southern Jiangxi on Thursday. Chinese netizens tracking the story on microblogs appeared to be sympathising with the attacker.
Xinhua reported that the bomber was allegedly a disgruntled petitioner named Qian Mingqi who was suspected of taking ‘revenge against the local government’.
The Global Times said that he posted on his Twitter-like microblog: “I was forced to step onto a road I didn’t want to step on” due to the loss of his newly built house which was “illegally demolished.” Three others attempted self immolation last year in Fuzhou to protest demolitions.
And in the far-flung north, Inner Mongolia remained tense on Sunday as paramilitary police swarmed its capital Hohhot and sealed parts of the province to suppress calls for mass protests that were blacked out of the mainstream Chinese media.
The death on May 10 of a Mongolian herder who was hit by a coal truck driven from the dominant Han community has kept the region simmering with ethnic tension and resentment over the government’s rapid development plans that may threaten its ethnic way of life.
All this in the span of a week.
And more…The Communist Party-run media issued a terse denial to squash a daring online rumour claiming that former chairman Mao did not write the Little Red Book.
The China Daily reported the denial : Online rumours that some articles and poems under the name of China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong were written by his secretary Hu Qiaomu and other colleagues are unfounded, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The rumour says two reports concerning the issue were filed to the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee in 1993 and one in 1995. The website cpc.people.com.cn, affiliated to People’s Daily, cited the unnamed spokesman of the Party Literature Research Center, the Party History Research Center and the Party School of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC), as saying the reports are rootless. The spokesman said contrary to the rumour, Hu said on many occasions before his death that Mao often helped him edit his articles, and many of his old-style poems were learned from Mao.”