In a country with rigid dos and ‘don’ts and a military-oiled administrative machinery, one would think that the Presidentwould not have much to do. Unless, you go for the jugular of it all – striving to give a shape to humanity itself!
The proponent of a ‘Harmonious Society’, Hu Jintao had initially given an impression that unlike his predecessor and almost everyone around him, he was bit of liberal. But as the world learned soon, when it comes to the crux of Chinese governance, there is not much room for a ‘weak’ word like ‘liberal’. And that Hu is a pragmatist and hard-liner as far as any effort of political reform is concerned.
As a matter of trivia, GLOVADIs would be amused to learn that Hu’s son-in-law, Mao Daolin used to be CEO of Sina.com, a well-known internet portal of China, which has a history of blocking foreign websites!
Alarmingly for supporters of democracy, in late 2004, the Hong Kong magazine Open had quoted an alleged instruction by Hu to propaganda officials in September in which he was said to have suggested that when managing ideology, China should learn from Cuba and North Korea. Although North Korea had encountered “temporary economic problems”, its political policies were “consistently correct”! So there, did anyone talk of liberalism? Not Hu.
Ba Rong Ba Chi (Eight Honors (and) Eight Shames)
The Ba rong ba chi (“Eight Honors and Eight Shames”), officially the Core Value System or the Eight Honors and Disgraces, is a set of moral concepts developed by Hu Jintao for the citizens in socialist China. It is also known as “Eight Virtues and Shames”, or “Hu Jintao’s Eight-Step Programme”. Its formal name in China is “Socialist Concepts on Honours and Disgraces”
In the afternoon of March 4, 2006, Hu released this list calling it the “new moral yardstick to measure the work, conduct and attitude of Communist Party officials.” It is being promulgated as the moral code for all Chinese, especially Communist Party cadres.
- Love the country; do it no harm
- Serve the people; never betray them
- Follow science; discard superstition
- Be diligent; not indolent
- Be united, help each other; make no gains at other’s expense
- Be honest and trustworthy; do not sacrifice ethics for profit
- Be disciplined and law-abiding; not chaotic and lawless
- Live plainly, work hard; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures
Hu might be talking about morality et al now for mainland China, but where does that leave the death of hundreds of Tibetans that was caused by his harsh crackdown on independence activists?
Don’t even try asking him about it.