Handicapping China’s Leadership Transition
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  • Anthony

    Once new PBSC has been established, Chinese leadership as seen from Western point of view will probably exhibit little geo-political difference short term – despite jittery neighbors or perhaps because of.

  • I hadn’t realized China had recently abolished habeas corpus.

    See this interview by the author of The Fat Years:


  • OT, but a nice quote on how fortunes were made in China a dozen years ago. No cherubs allowed:

    “Feng Lun, who is now the chairman of the Vantone Group, described the Hainan period to me as resembling the gold rush in the American West: weak government controls, vague regulations, a stampede of fortune hunters. “Lots of strange things happened there,” he told me as we sat in a cigar chamber at a plush Beijing hotel. A wiry, genial man with rimless glasses, his thinning hair carefully brushed across his scalp, Feng looked more like a scholar than like a business tycoon. “For example, in a business quarrel you’d be tricked into a night club where you’d be shoved up against a wall in a dark room, with a gun pressed in your belly, and you’d be forced to sign a contract. This happened to people in our company. From time to time, someone would just disappear—murdered. Official seals were being faked all the time. But it was a very happy time. Because you suddenly arrived in a completely free zone—no law, no restrictions, no need to care about all that rotten traditional stuff.”

    Feng told colorful tales of uptight Beijing cadres going to Hainan night clubs—brothels, essentially—where they were ministered to by “little misses,” and of their evolution from excruciating awkwardness to debauchery. “When your local hosts asked you to go to a night club, you could not refuse,” he told me. “Because that’s where people discussed business. You say, ‘I’m pure’? Then no business for you.” It took Feng, with his State Council background, a while to get used to the absence of order and security. “Then you discovered that life was very free and very crazy, and you enjoyed it very much. Experiences like that would change your view of the world, your norms of right and wrong.”


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