Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Interesting times in China

From today's New York Times. (registration may be required).

BEIJING, Oct. 3 — When Shanghai’s party boss was detained in an anticorruption probe last week, Chinese were rattled by news of the first purge of a high-ranking Communist Party leader since 1995. But the investigation’s scope and its ultimate goals are wider, as the party’s two most powerful officials aim to shake up the leadership and wipe out resistance to their policy agenda, party officials and analysts say.

Mr. Hu, 63, and Mr. Zeng, 67, have at least for now forged an alliance that dominates party leadership, party officials say. They advocate slower and more stable growth, greater attention to social inequality and pollution, and an expansion of state support for education, medical care and social security.

Mr. Zeng plans to use the Central Committee meeting to elevate Mr. Hu’s political slogan, “harmonious society,” into an official “theory.”

The catch phrase covers a range of policies intended to restore a balance between the country’s thriving market economy and its neglected socialist ideology, primarily by paying greater attention to peasants and migrant workers who have benefited much less than the white-collar elite in China’s long economic boom.


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