While results from the ongoing crackdown on corruption in central China's Chongqing municipality have shown the campaign's effectiveness and boosted the popularity of Bo Xilai, the high-ranking CCP official heading it, online discussion has also featured several questions.
Such as questioning of the CCP internal discipline ‘double regulation’, through which has already led to the death of one high-ranking police official suspect. Also, Bo's motives, whether the crackdown is spurred more by his political ambitions and an eye on the top spot than a commitment to transparency and rule of law. There's also the problem of how the CCP might effectively curb corruption when it's the biggest player in it.
The easiest posts to come across are those like Sina blogger Zhang Xiaofeng‘s from September 20, supportive of Bo and eager to see more tough action taken against the omnipresent corruption:
Though some people have this and that to say about Bo Xilai's corruption crackdown, the vast majority of the people have no objection whatsoever. Regardless of whatever ambitions a top-level cadre might have, as long as he is genuinely willing to put his back into it when working for the people and genuinely keep their welfare in mind, then he will be a good leader who will win the heartfelt love, affection and support of the people. If only all officials in China could be like Bo Xilai!
Clearly, crusading high-ranking technocrats aren't sufficient when those being rounded up this year are the rank-and-file as well as the leadership of China various judiciary bodies; writes the Safe Ocean Sohu blogger on September 20:
Whether what we're seeing in Chongqing is simply a crackdown on graft or actually a struggle against corruption, the fact is that is has dug up quite a few corrupt officials, and that is what's most important. With all the corrupt Party officials and cadres taken down in this crackdown action, it still hasn't smeared the reputation of the Party, in fact has displayed the central Party leadership's resolve to fight corruption, brightening up the Party's promise, you could even say this is a great gift leading up to the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the PRC.
As for this ‘strike down graft, eliminate evil’ action in Chongqing, netizens from across the country are waiting to see when their city will start following the lead of Chongqing.
The image above, taken recently in Chongqing, was saved by well-known Internet personality Wang Pei before it was harmonized, and seen by many as a throwback to the displays of excessive idol worship seen during the Cultural Revolution; Bo's campaign urging Chongqing residents to ‘sing socialist songs’ and the use of mobile phones to push revolutionary Maoist memes this year have been the sort of behavior which led prominent writer and twitter Lian Yue to state this week:
He'll do absolutely anything to gain power.
Of course, some people, in order to hold on to their power, are no different.
Is breaking the law justifiable means in an attempt to uphold it and stamp out corruption? KDNet author Wang Ce makes the case that the law must come first, in his September 21 post:
The Chinese people have the vile habit of honoring and being lenient on authority figures, beating around the bush with grand talk of “justice” and “truth” when fighting and prosecuting corruption is mentioned; also, nobody is willing to subject themselves to investigation or legal action, not like in England where they abide strictly by the letter of the law in resolving problems. Which is why local riff-raff aren't the worst, and neither are corrupt officials; what's most frightening is our pervasive defiance of laws and regulations.
At two years and running with over 2,000 arrests, how far is Bo prepared to go in his good fight? Quite possibly until 2012 if the Beijing Calling bridgeblogger is to be believed, in his post ‘Yet to be Crowned’:
Both Bo and Xi are “princelings”, whose fathers were heroes in teh 1949 revolution. Xi has the backing of former President Jiang Zemin, who seems to still hold power behind the scenes.
It'll be interesting to see what happens after October 1, when the rest and relaxation of the National Day holiday is over and the power brokering continues behind the scenes.