Zheng Yongnian: Xi Jinping’s Political Roadmap

Translator comment: Prof. Zheng Yongnian graduated from Beijing University, got his PhD in Political Science from Princeton and now directs the East Asia Institute at the Singapore National University.

One of the enduring characteristics of the Chinese political system is its decentralization under the “dual leadership system”.  According to this system, functional bureaus and departments at the various local levels are under the leadership of both the corresponding bureau/department or ministry at the next higher administrative level and by the Party/government leader at their own level.  In practice, since the local level controls the budget, the local level influence is often much stronger than the influence from higher levels.  Sometimes Chinese academics point to this characteristic weakness of the dual leadership system.  China appears to be by its nature a federal system yet without the federal institutions that could tie it together and makes its institutions more effective.

To be fair, however, one of the strengths of China’s decentralized political system has been the willingness to allow localities to implement policy according to local conditions.  The dual leadership system with its characteristic phrasing of top level guidance as “opinions” does have its strengths, however.  Policy experiments in areas such as birth planning policy (a literal translation of what is usually referred to as family planning) and in land policy reform in selected counties and cities have often preceded adoption at the national level.

Press censorship dims the view of the local government from the center although an elaborate system of intelligence collection by an array of agencies from the Xinhua Press Agency confidential internal only “press” reports for middle and senior leaders to reports to senior leaders by the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Tiananmen Guards. Chinese intelligence collection is much more focused on domestic issues and political stability than on potential external threats.   In practice, the center knows more than it lets on about local corruption and abuse of power, but seems to prefer not to crack down until it is in a position to do something about a problem (perhaps not to appear weak) or local anger breaks out with severe protests or violence that local officials are unable prevent the center from knowing in a difficult-to-deny manner.

Professor Zheng believes that Communist Party Xi Jinping is moving the PRC away from the “dual leadership system” to a more centralized system that will enable China’s leadership to fight endemic corruption more effectively.  Zheng sees bold leadership from the top by the good and wise leader Xi Jinping as the essential force that will make possible an array of economic, social and political reforms of the next thirty years will make China a much more prosperous, just and democratic country than it is today.  Zheng sees Xi leading an opening up of the Communist Party to real democratic participation in decision-making by the 80 million Chinese Communist Party members.   Zheng says that if the Party does not open up, it will become merely the tool of special interest groups.   Zheng sees the rising power of special interest groups to be a critical problem for China that has become worse during the leadership of former Communist Party secretaries Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Zheng’s analysis of Xi’s program is interesting.  The question that must be asked is to what extent can a great man be trusted?  There is a precedent in the case of Deng Xiaoping who tied the future of China and the Communist Party (both near collapse after the Cultural Revolution) to a program of opening and reform.  Some Chinese historians see Deng as leading a second founding of the PRC since the policy direction of the first thirty years and second thirty years of the PRC were so different.  Zheng expects Xi will be the third major figure in PRC history after Mao and Deng and expects that his imprint will be on China’s next three decades as Mao’s was on the first 30 years and Deng’s on the second 30 years.   Perhaps Xi will be able to tie the regime to a reform program so that it will have great impetus despite setbacks just as Deng’s program of opening and reform did survive the Chinese nationwide protests and bloodbaths of June 1989.

Zheng Yongnian: Xi Jinping’s Political Roadmap

October 16, 2014

[original Chinese text below and at http://news.ifeng.com/exclusive/lecture/special/zhengyongnian01/ ]

On October 4, the famous China expert Professor Zheng Yongnian gave a talk in Singapore. Prof. Zheng gave his predictions on China’s future political development. He also presented concepts on the Xi Jinping era along with his personal views on the anti-corruption campaign, political reform, Xi Jinping’s charisma, and the fourth session of the Party Congress which is about to open. Phoenix University obtained the exclusive rights from the professor to present selected parts of the presentation to our readers.

Introducing the author:

Zheng Yongnian: China expert, currently director of the East Asia Institute of Singapore National University, professor, chief editor of “International Journal of Chinese Studies” and “East Asia Policy”, and author of publications such as “Globalization and China’s Transformation”, “China Behaves Like a Federal System”, and “Technological Empowerment: The Internet, State, and Society in China”.

The talk is presented below.

China is now entering the true post-Deng era. Xi Jinping Picks Up the Torch from Mao and Deng, Plans for the Next Thirty Years

Zheng Yongnian: I will only speak for an hour today in order to allow time for questions. You may ask any question you please. I won’t focus on China’s domestic politics because China’s domestic politics are particularly difficult to understand. You can get a fairly good understanding the Hong Kong issue, China-Japan relations and other issues by reading the papers. Where I touch on China’s domestic politics, I will discuss what Xi Jinping’s recent speeches. As our moderator said, China has already changed considerably in the two years since Xi Jinping took office. People outside China are always asking what is Xi Jinping doing? What is he thinking? Actually many Chinese are asking: Where is our country, this ship of state, going? Xi Jinping is the captain, and I want to answer the question what direction is China’s ship of state heading.

Today I will present my personal views. I am not representing my Institute. There are just some personal observations. I think that in order to understand what Xi Jinping is doing, we need first to understand just what is the Chinese Communist Party. In China, the Chinese Communist Party is a tremendously important organization. When it comes to other countries, people will talk such things about the power of civil society and of society. But for China, the Communist Party is still the principal organization. There is no organization in China that can challenge it. There are strong forces in Chinese society but there is no force in Chinese society that can challenge the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party is the chief actor in China’s reforms. I wrote a book about the political parties. I believe that that the Chinese Communist Party is not a political party in the sense that a party is by those who are not Communist Party members. It is not like the Democrats or the Republicans in the United States, not like Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and not like parties like Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP). It is a different kind of organization.

The Chinese Communist Party has been in power for a long time and so it needs to take a long-term perspective. Long range goals are very important. Elsewhere, most other countries have a multiparty system in which parties only think about what may happen during the term in office of a president or a premier. They don’t think beyond their term in office. There are not many political parties that take such a long term view as Singapore’s People’s Action Party. There are fewer and fewer such parties today. Therefore we need to keep in mind that Xi Jinping cannot think only about himself. The Chinese Constitution limits the State Chairman to ten years in office but Xi cannot just think of his two five-year terms in office. Personally, I think what he is thinking about now is about are the three decades that will follow his coming to power. That makes him different from Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Let me explain this idea. I believe that Chinese history since 1949 can be divided into 30 years of Mao Zedong and thirty years of Deng Xiaoping. It is very important that today Xi Jinping is thinking about the next thirty years. The Communist Party led by Mao Zedong came to power in 1949. What he should have done after coming to power was to build the country and build a system. Unfortunately, Mao was an idealist and so he continued in his revolutionary ways after 1949. The result was many social problems and in particular the Cultural Revolution. Deng Xiaoping learned the lessons of the Mao Zedong era and put China on the path of modernization and national construction for thirty years. Looking at matters this way, we can see that the ten years each of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao both belong to the 30 years of Deng Xiaoping. Today we are truly entering the post-Deng era although the Hu Jintao era can be thought of a decade of transition from the Deng Xiaoping era to the post Deng Xiaoping era. Now we have formally entered the post-Deng era. Xi Jinping is thinking about the next 30 years. The basic idea is that Mao Zedong was the first generation, Deng Xiaoping the second generation and Xi Jinping the third generation.

Xi Jinping Strives to Create a Synthesis of the Historical Contradictions Between the Mao and Deng Eras

Xi has a great deal of work to do to create the conditions that will make this possible. From my perspective, Xi has been very successful since he took office.

First, he has striven to make Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping less contradictory – that is he is working to create a synthesis. As we all know, in China, there are fierce debates between the left and the right. The left is relatively more inclined towards Mao Zedong and the right relatively inclined towards Deng Xiaoping. Now they have now split into two factions that engage in bloody battles and refuse to speak to each other. What Xi Jinping has done is to create a synthesis of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. I think he has done the right thing. History cannot be cut into neat periods. If there had been no Mao Zedong, there would have been no Deng Xiaoping. As a scholar, I think Xi has done this well. There are solemn commemorations of the births of both Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. After all, history is history. A recent television movie about Deng Xiaoping was very popular. The film gradually returned to historical consciousness some facts that had been forgotten. Our former Premier Zhao Ziyang also appeared in the film. That is because the fierce struggles of the previous generation are over so later generations need not have the same evaluation of those struggles as the older generation. Xi has done this well. But he still faces big challenges.

The course of reform over the next thirty years is another issue facing Xi. What will reform be accomplished? Many people ask me why Xi set out on such a big anti-corruption campaign. This anti-corruption campaign is unlike previous anti-corruption campaigns. Today I will discuss my understanding of Xi Jinping’s reforms in their political, economic and social dimensions.

Xi Jinping is ending the dispersal of power and moving towards centralization. This is extremely important.

First of all, from a political perspective, the most important thing that Xi Jinping has done is to end the dispersal of power and move China towards the centralization of power. I believe that this is very important. Ever since Deng’s reforms began in China in 1978, every reform has involved decentralization. The 80s were a decade of decentralization. The reforms that followed Deng’s trip to southern China were also decentralizing. During Premier Zhu Rongji’s term, China began to centralize economically but the whole era of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao was one of decentralization. The decentralization of those days was not a the center deliberately decentralizing, it was rather the result of the center’s inability to centralize. Why does China today need to centralize? Xi Jinping says that the easy reforms have already been done and the ones that are difficult haven’t been done. The days of eating meat are past: now we have to gnaw on the bones. Gnawing on bones is tough, so we need to centralize. That is the first reason.

The second reason is that special interests grew very powerful during the 30 years of opening and reform. Special interests became an obstacle to reform. When China’s reforms began, everybody was very poor. Poverty makes it easier for people to change their thinking and so reform was easier to accomplish. Everybody is selfish. If you free up the selfish character of people, then all you have to do is to tell them to go out and make money and they will. However, reform is not just a matter of economics, it is also political and social. If you separate reform into economic reform, social reform and political reform, then economic reform is the easiest to do. Economic reform is encouraging everybody to make money. Social reform is everybody putting aside some money to give to the poor. That is harder. Political reform is even harder since it means taking power away from the people who have it. Therefore the easy reforms have all been done and what is left are the reforms that need to be done but are hard to do. Centralization of power is needed. Today, special interests have grown up that believe that things are just fine as they are. They say no more change. When everybody was hungry, everybody wanted things to change. Today, the people who eat well don’t want things to change. Some have eaten so much that they can barely move. They too don’t want to change. What is to be done? If you want reform, you need centralization of power.

The most important thing is that the centralization of power is ending the dispersal of power that characterized the era of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. When Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao came to power, they too wanted to get many things done. I remember how after SARS they put forth policy objectives such as the harmonious society and the scientific view of development. They set out a big road map. Why didn’t they succeed? Of course they did have some accomplishments such as social security and guaranteeing a minimum income. But they never made a breakthrough in reform. Why? The fault was in the system. That system was what was called at the time the “collective leadership system”. Then it was the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo. The Standing Committee of the Politburo is China’s highest policy making body. In the Politburo, the rule is essentially one man, one vote. Everyone is equal. One man, one vote is a big problem.

Professor Hu Angang of Qinghua University is an old friend of mine. He says that which China has a collective president system, the United States has a single president system. He says that we have nine presidents and that a collective presidency is better than a one-man presidency. But it doesn’t work really work that way. If you have a collective presidency, at the end you may have no president at all since collective responsibility means in the end that nobody is responsible. Collective leadership in the end means no leadership at all. That won’t do. The most important aspect of any political system is that there is someone who bears ultimate political responsibility. The nine person one man, one vote system of the Chinese Politburo means that everybody counterbalances everybody else. Sometimes I jokingly saw that while the West has the tripartite separation of powers political system, China has a nine-way separation of powers system. Why did someone like Zhou Yongkang appear? The problem is in the design of the top level of the system. The top level design of the system is that the nine standing members of the Politburo split power nine ways – you handle this sector and I’ll handle that sector. This is a system of fiefdoms – a kind of feudalism. The case of Zhou Yongkang clearly demonstrates that that system of dividing up responsibility does not work.

I think the main problem with the top leadership failed was because everyone was vetoing everybody else. Nobody was subordinate to anyone else. In that era, people grumbled that they didn’t know who was in charge. The result of this kind of system was not only that often nothing got done but it created Zhou Yongkang as well. Therefore what we need today is the centralization of power. I believe that Xi Jinping’s judgment is exactly right.

Let’s take an example. Vietnam’s reforms used to follow China’s closely step-by-step. If China made a certain reform then Vietnam would make the same reform. But now things are working out for Vietnam. Why? Just because Vietnam’s leaders decided to go in the opposite direction from China. While China is moving towards increasing centralization of power, power in Vietnam is very divided. Now Vietnam is like an oxcart with four drivers. There is the General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party, then there is the Premiers, the National Assembly and the President. They are four different people. The groups that they are leading are very divided. Analysts say that Vietnam is in a dangerous situation. The recent riots in Vietnam were very dangerous. You shouldn’t be surprised if one day there is a “color revolution” in Vietnam because the necessary conditions for that already exist.

Xi Jinping established centralized leadership by small working groups. These small working groups are open and can be institutionalized.

Everyone is a bit worried about the centralization of power going on today. People are asking the question, ‘Is this centralization being done just to strengthen the personal power of the leader?’ Naturally to answer that question, we’ll have to keep watching. But from what I have seen to date, I think Xi Jinping is doing well. The centralization of power underway is manifested in the founding of four new organizations. The first is the Leading Group for Deepening of Reform, the second is the Leading Group for Informatization and the Internet, the third is the National Security Council, and the fourth is the Leading Group for Military Reform. In addition to the Leading Group on Military Reform, which Xi Jinping as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, naturally leads, he leads the the other three leading groups as well. Premier Li Keqiang is the vice chair of all the leading groups. Formerly there were nine Politburo members. Now there are seven. In the previous system, each of the Politburo members led his own slice of the pie. Now it is different. Xi is in charge of everything. The other members of the Politburo are distributed among the various leading groups. I think this is a better system and one that is easier to coordinate.

There is another issue that has been ignored. There was some debate about Xi Jinping also leading the Central Leading Group on Finance. Some thought that Premier Li Keqiang should head that leading group. But they are wrong. The Central Leading Group on Finance should also be led by the General Secretary. In the Jiang era, Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin led it. What is more important is that formerly the central leading groups had an ‘underground’ character. Who chaired them, who was the vice chair, who the members were not disclosed to the public. Xi Jinping opened up the four leading groups so that they are formal organizations. Formalized organization are more open and transparent. When they meet, when they don’t meet, what they discussed is public information. Formal organizations can be institutionalized and can develop further.

Xi Jinping has been strongly influenced by people like Lee Kuan Yew. I don’t believe that he will follow Mao Zedong. He wants to inherit some different from Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. He wants to stress the continuity of Chinese history. He wants to follow the example of powerful Asia figures such as Lee Kuan Yew and Jiang Jingguo who were successful institution builders. At the fourth session of the Party Congress that will meet this month he will certainly have much to say about institution building. So don’t underestimate Xi Jinping. This kind of progress is extremely important.

Concentrating power also has negative effects. The fourth session of the 18th Party Congress will still be working at dividing powers.

There are negative consequences to the concentration of power. Some people will say, ‘Boss, the power is in your hands. You want to do something, go ahead. Other people will just watch.’ This is a problem. I believe that the concentration of power in itself is not the objective. Both Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang stress that the center will devolve the authority of oversight over administrative examination of applications for permission and their approval. [transl. Note – ref August 2012 and February 2014 State Council http://baike.baidu.com/view/1200633.htm ]

Fighting Corruption Means Fighting Special Interest Groups, Fighting Monopolists and Fighting Oligarchs

The second point is that concentrating power is linked to the fight against corruption. Fighting corruption means fighting special interest groups. As a scholar, I just can’t understand the kind of corruption that we have seen in China in recent years. If you are corrupt and steal hundreds of thousands or millions of renminbi, I can understand. You can use that money to live a better life. But stealing billions, tens of billions or even hundreds of billions – that I can’t understand. You won’t be able to spend all that money in a lifetime. Therefore to fight corruption, we need to concentrate power. If we don’t have power, how can we fight corruption? Ever since the 1980s when Deng Xiaoping started anti-corruption campaigns, every group of top leaders has had to carry out anti-corruption campaigns. They have kept doing it down to this day. Given that, how can corruption still be as bad as it is today?

Today’s anti-corruption campaign differs from its predecessors. This anti-corruption campaign’s main target is the oligarchs. In the post-Soviet era, in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine there appeared oligarchs. During the preceding planned economy era, the economy was divided up into sectors such as industrial sector, steel, telecommunications and there was only one department controlling the entire field. Therefore during the transformation from the planned economy to the market economy, oligarchs emerged. However, once an economic oligarch has money, he wants to be a player in politics. Economic oligarchs became economic oligarchs. This is the biggest problem for post-Communist countries.

The era of Yeltsin in Russia was the era of the oligarchs. Only after Putin came to power was the power of the oligarchs brought under control. The problems of Ukraine today are the problems brought by political oligarchy. All their economic oligarchs changed into political oligarchs. One political party for each oligarch. Each oligarch would gather together their own people and then start fighting one another. Once the economic oligarchs had changed into political oligarchs, so-called democracy became merely a struggle between oligarchs. Once political oligarchs are created through the democratic process, that country is finished. I think there is no hope for Ukraine. Behind every Ukrainian leader is an oligarch. Some of them obey Russia, others America. Once a multiparty system appears, the country will be on the path to dissolution.

China’s situation is just like this. Before the Eighteenth Party Congress convened, some economic oligarchs had changed into political oligarchs and those political oligarchs were interfering in politics. Zhou Yongkang himself was a big oligarch who started meddling in politics. Today, the anti-corruption efforts of the top leadership focus on eliminating the pathway that enables an economic oligarch to change into a political oligarch. This is important. Once that is accomplished, the big and small tigers down below aren’t very important. Everyone can this in the current anti-corruption campaign. Why was it that most of the people who were caught had ties to Zhou Yongkang? This was true for people in many sectors from the Central Television Station to local political leaders, and even industrialists like Liu Han. Everybody saw this at the big dinner to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. Both Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin appeared at the dinner. I believe that Xi Jinping is wise. He doesn’t aim at particular individuals but at the groups. I believe that this is very important.

Fighting corruption takes political wisdom. Look, behind every anti-corruption case is a group of wealthy businesspeople. I believe however that the Communist Party’s Central Disciplinary Commission is taking a measured approach. If the businesspeople can be left along, they are left alone and left off the hook. Therefore there are only a very few cases like those of Liu Han. In fact, if they wanted to put them away, many businesspeople could be arrested. There was a great deal of corruption among Chinese businesspeople because of China’s previous policies and because of the gaps in the legal system during the period of transformation from a planned economy to a market economy. That is the nature of Chinese society. You can’t say it but you just do it. If you were to say what you are doing then people would be unhappy with you. I believe that Xi Jinping is doing very well.

Local officials must not do nothing for fear of getting caught. Doing nothing is the worst kind of corruption.

There are also, however, contradictions between fighting corruption and reform. Recently, I took a trip all around China. What I noticed is that all the officials at the office director and above spent their entire day worrying whether they would be detained the next day. Thinking about cases like the Guangzhou Municipality Party Secretary who was suddenly detained just as he was walking into a meeting, everyone is very worried. If you want to reform, you have to do something. But if you do something, you will be hurting someone’s interests. If you do that, people will be collecting materials to make you look bad. They might be together a file on what you have done and put it on the Internet. That would be a big problem for you. So everybody is just not doing anything.

Some local leaders are just plain dumb. Shanxi Province because they wanted to “cage up power in a box” made a negative list about what the Communist Party Provincial Committee leadership including the Provincial Party Secretary, the Governor, and the members of the Provincial Communist Party Standing Committee may not do. Many local leaders don’t put much of an effort into doing anything, not even into fighting corruption. That is very strange. It is as if even though they are the Provincial Party Secretary and the Governor, they lack political resources. That they occupy that position but for the sake of being a clean official just don’t do anything at all. That is also a kind of corruption. I believe that if you in order to stay clean don’t do anything, that is also a kind of corruption, and perhaps a more serious kind of corruption. There will certainly be problems in places like that. Today, most of the top officials in Shanxi Province have lost their positions. It is only to be expected that when you do business that you are honest. Doing nothing for the sake of staying clean is certainly a problem.

Some people whose interests are threatened keep on saying that this anti-corruption campaign will affect the Chinese economy. I said that is not a problem because you certainly don’t want China’s sustainable economic development to be built on a foundation of corruption. I believe that the anti-corruption campaign may hurt the economy in the short term but it will have a positive effect over the long term. For example, if the price of maotai falls, more ordinary people will be able to enjoy it. If the price doesn’t go down, then only the general managers of state enterprises will be able to afford to drink it. The anti-corruption campaign will certainly be very beneficial to China’s sustainable economic development over the long term.

There are few systems to stop corruption. The key question is who is responsible for these systems. If corrupt officials are responsible for them, then they will just be as corrupt as usual.

Is the anti-corruption campaign really a mass campaign? What everybody worries about is that Xi Jinping is imitating Mao Zedong-style mass campaigns against corruption. I think differently on this question. I strongly agree with Wang Qishan’s view that the problem is created by the people. He says that there are just so many corrupt officials who manipulate the system that even the best possible system would just create the same old kind of corruption. Therefore something different is needed. A system set up by honest people is a good system. A system set up by corrupt people is a corrupt system.

China has more anti-corruption systems than any country in the world. Singapore has only one Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. Hong Kong has only one Independent Commission Against Corruption. Why are those two societies so honest? How many anti-corruption systems does China have? There is the Disciplinary and Inspection Commission

of the Chinese Communist Party, there is the government’s Corruption Prevention Bureau and the Anti-corruption Bureau, there are anti-corruption systems in the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Consultative Congress. Every university has one. But what we often see is that there people fighting corruption are actually themselves very corrupt. I think about former Beijing Municipality Vice Mayor Wang Baosen. He was the head of the Beijing Municipality Anti Corruption Bureau but he was himself very corrupt. How can this situation be tolerated? Wang Qishan made a proposal that I strongly agree with. First cure the symptoms and then cure the disease.

Anti-corruption systems themselves are not the answer. China already has many systems. The key question is the kind of system we have. Chinese intellectuals say that China is corrupt because of its one-party system because it concentrates power too much. I disagree. Power within China is too divided. China has so many directors and vice directors and it has so many anti-corruption organizations. But nobody assumes responsibility. Even worse, they give corrupt people many opportunities. In the end, who will take responsibility? In Singapore it is simple. If corruption occurs, it is the responsibility of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. It cannot evade its responsibility by placing the blame elsewhere. Hong Kong is the same way.

The Central Disciplinary Commission is concentrating power to fight corruption. Wang Qishan is doing well.

China has very many agencies but just who is responsible? China needs to centralize power in order to fight corruption. Wang Qishan is doing well. Anti-corruption work being led by the Central Disciplinary Commission is going well. There are several aspects of their anti-corruption work that I think are being done very well. The first is further centralizing power. What does that mean? The various commissions of the Central Committee are not relying on their own devices to fight corruption. The people doing anti-corruption work for them are people sent down from the Central Disciplinary Commission. If there were corruption in the Ministry of Information Industry, then the Central Disciplinary Commission would send some people over. These anti-corruption officials are independent and have no ties to the information industry.

As for the relationship between the center and the localities, the Central Disciplinary Commission takes charge of fighting corruption at the first level down from the Center. China has always had the problem of “the boss is corrupt”. On Communist Party provincial committees, the secretary of the provincial disciplinary commission is subordinate to the secretary of the Communist Party committee. How can you expect then that the secretary of the provincial disciplinary commission do anti-corruption work against a corrupt provincial party secretary? Of course he can’t do it. Most anti-corruption work is just the right hand fighting the left hand. Now things are being handled better. Now the next level down is managed by the next higher level. This means that the Central Disciplinary Commission will be in charge of fighting corruption in the members of provincial committees. No longer will be the provincial committee be in charge of fighting its own corruption.

One more point. Anti-corruption work used to rely on ordinary citizens making reports. Now it is different. The last time that I visited the Party Central Disciplinary Commission, the person showing me around said that Wang Qishan said that we too need to reform ourselves. He set up a website for the Central Disciplinary Commission of the Communist Party. Why? You can still make a report, anyone can make a report on the website of the Central Disciplinary Commission. Now it is centralized. You don’t need to go to Hong Kong anymore to make a report. This is very effective. Now the Central Disciplinary Commission receives many reports. They are sorted into categories. Some are handled directly by the center while others are the business of the provincial party committee and so are sent to the top level of the provincial committee for handling.

Xi Jinping has is very bold man. I am confident about China’s political and economic development.

Naturally, the most important issue is what kind of system shall we build? What will the Fourth Session of the Eighteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party do? I believe that there will be many reform proposals. Many people do not understand what Xi Jinping is doing. For example reforming how official vehicles may be used. Former Premier Zhu Rongji wanted this reform, but when the reform plan came out, many people opposed it and so it was abandoned. But now Xi Jinping wants to carry out this reform. I believe Xi Jinping has the boldness of a leader. Xi Jinping is able to look beyond his own personal interest. He is a leader who sees the big picture. I think that any national leader, and any leader of a party organization, if they can’t see the big picture, they will end up merely serving their own private interest. That is the “virtue” which thousands of years of Chinese tradition speaks about. You need virtue. If you don’t have virtue, then how could you manage a country like China.

I have confidence in Chinese politics. As far as the economy goes, people worry that the economy is under too much pressure and so wonder that there will be so big shakeup. Growth last year was 7.5%, we don’t know what the figure will be this year. I personally don’t think there is a serious problem. There is no way that the Chinese economy will be able to grow at a pace of 8% or greater indefinitely. All economies are alike this way. The Four Dragons of East Asia are that way too. Their era of rapid growth has ended. China has already entered a phase of moderate growth at the 6 – 7% level. That is enough. Why did people say in the time of Premier Wen Jiabao that China had to maintain an 8% growth rate. The main reason was to keep the unemployment rate low as millions of new workers joined the Chinese work force. In recent years the economy has been slowing down but employment is rising. This means that the Chinese economy is undergoing structural changes with the growth of the service sector and rise in domestic consumption. I believe that over the next ten to fifteen years including Xi Jinping’s time in office China should be able to maintain 7% growth.

Today Chinese per capita income is about USD 7000. China has already built its large scale infrastructure and has completed its period of massive industrialization. Unlike India. India will have great difficulty setting onto the path of rapid growth. Several years ago I had dinner with the former Singapore President Sellapan Rama Nathan. I learned a lot from him. He said that the difference between China and India is that China has had a revolution and India has not. I think what he said makes a lot of sense. It was Mao Zedong who laid the foundation for the capitalistic rise of China today. If it were not for Mao Zedong, China would not have had the rapid development of capitalism that we see today. India capitalist economy is only in the formal sector or about 30% of the economy. Sixty to seventy percent of the Indian economy remains traditional. Land in China belongs to the state. If the state wants to take it, it takes it not matter how much the Chinese people complain. This would be very hard to do in India. Therefore it is China and not India that is capitalism’s final frontier. It will be interesting to look back in ten years and see if I will have been right about this.

Today, many Westerners are asking whether a financial crisis like the one on Wall Street could have happened in China. I believe that would be impossible. Local governments have much property, so if there were not enough money, they could just sell some. Increasing privatization somewhat would solve the problem. Today, the problem of local government debt has been brought under control. The expansion of the state-owned enterprises has also been brought under control. Those are two positive trends.

China’s problem today is the unequal distribution of housing. There are many empty houses yet there are also many people who can’t afford to buy a house. This is abnormal. If the ruling class can solve the real estate problem, maintaining political stability over the next thirty years won’t be difficult. Solving the real estate problem will test the resolve of the ruling class. According to the decisions taken at the third session of the 18th Party Congress, about 300 new reforms will be put in place. I believe that pushing ahead will all 300 at once would be impossible. A breakthrough reform will need to be found among the 300 reforms planned. Real estate could can at least become the breakthrough point for social reform. Today, we will have to wait to see what methods that the fourth session will propose. This is the end of the talk, now we’ll open it up to discussion. Thank you!

Discussion:

China’s Three Step Procedure: First economic reform, then social reform, then political reform. During the time of Xi Jinping, China will accomplish its rejuvenation.

Xu Guanlin, honorary president of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University: I personally strongly agree with Prof. Zheng Yongnian’s views. Xi Jinping is moving ahead very systematically. First he is consolidating power and fighting corruption, and then moving on to institution-building. From the perspective of Chinese history, the time of the third generation leader was a time of strong development and prosperity, for example the time of prosperity during the time of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. I want to ask Professor Zheng if this is historical perspective is correct?

Zheng Yongnian: China previously was ruled by dynastic houses, today it is governed by the Communist Party. This is somewhat different. A dynasty is a family affair. A party is different. The Communist Party has over 80 million members – more than the population of many countries. A dynastic house by its very nature cannot democratize – that is to say the emperor decides whom his successor will be and that settles it. The Communist Party can be democratized. That will take opening up, competition and participation. The Communist Party needs to open up. If it doesn’t open up, it will the party of a small group of special interests.

The West often talks about multi-party systems, but I believe that the USA and Europe have have systems based on the power of families. The Communist Party stresses that interests within the Party must be harmonized. Democracy within the Party can accomplish that. I believe that Xi Jinping will be able to see the objective situation and apply his personal wisdom to it. I believe that China can be reborn. At the least, the Xi Jinping era will bring China from a middle-income society to a developed society.

A member of the audience told me that he had just purchased a copy of my book “China’s Three Steps Plan for Reforms”. In that book, I summarize China’s three-step plan for reform: first economic reform, then social reform, and finally political reform. First production, then redistribution and then democracy. That sequence works better.

Japan and the Four Dragons of East Asia developed that way. In their economic development, the “Four Dragons” of Asia did better than the Europeans. Why did socialist movements and working class movements appear in Europe about the time of the first and second world wars? Marx said that primitive capitalism would not protect society. Therefore workers movements appeared and then a social welfare system began in European societies. Reforms were made with each trying to outdo the other. Asia was different. Japan the Four Dragons of Asia (including Singapore) , the government took the initiative to protect society during economic development. Society construction also moved along and so there was very peaceful. One example, which I personally strongly approve, is the openness of Singapore politics today. Singapore’s people all have a middle class or better income and so everyone is peaceful and rational. The Communist Party does not need to be giving out directives, what it needs to do is get China to the level at which it is 70 – 80% middle class. Once China becomes a middle class country, adopting democracy or some other system becomes possible. If the middle class is not large, than you won’t be able to do anything well.

A question from the audience: The gap between the rich and the poor is large. Among ethnic Chinese people there have arise left-wing liberalism. They stress equality and oppose giving priority to market solutions. What do you think about this?

Zheng Yongnian: My own view is that the first contradiction between democracy and the economy is as I just said before the rise of the welfare society – a contradiction between the working class and capital. Now the contradiction is between the middle class and capital. Today when people protest, they want to protest against the government. But capital is not under the control of government. Once government could control capital but today if a government puts pressure on capital, then capital flees. Therefore today governance is getting more and more difficult. I very must sympathize with these political leaders. Actually this is a world-wide problem. When our think tanks have exchanges with European think tanks or political leaders, the know what the problem is and how to solve it. However, they are unable to form an effective government. So the problem of capital flight is a world-wide problem. This is nothing new. It is normal in any era to see some alternation between the left and the right.

(Phoenix web copyright manuscript, when reproducing please note the source: Phoenix Internet University, Editor-in-charge Wang Demin, Singapore correspondent Jin Luying)

Original Chinese text:

http://news.ifeng.com/exclusive/lecture/special/zhengyongnian01/

郑永年:习近平的政治路线图

2014-10-16   144


(资料图)

104日,著名中国问题专家郑永年在新加坡发表演讲,预判中国未来发展路径,提出了习近平时代的概念,并就目前的反腐、政治改革、习近平的个人魅力、将要举行的四中全会谈了个人看法。凤凰网大学问获得独家授权,选编文章内容,与广大读者分享。

作者介绍:

郑永年:中国问题专家,现任新加坡国立大学东亚研究所所长、教授,《国际中国研究杂志》和《东亚政策》主编,著有《全球化与中国国家转型》、《中国行为联邦制》和《技术赋权》等著作。

以下是演讲内容:

中国真正进入后邓小平时代,习近平承接毛、邓,规划未来三十年

郑永年: 我今天想先讲一个多小时,多留一些时间给大家提问,大家有问题可以提,什么问题都可以提。我讲还是聚焦中国的内政方面,因为中国的内政方面比较难了解。实际上香港问题、中日关系等,大家看看报纸也是知道得差不多了。内政方面我主要是围绕习近平来讲,刚才主持人说习近平上台以后一、两年的时间中国已经发生了很大的变化,海外会问习近平在做什么,他想做什么。其实中国很多人也在问:我们这个国家这个船往哪里开,习近平是船长,要回答这个船往哪里开的问题。

我今天就讲一些个人的看法,也不是代表我所在的研究所,只是我自己的一些观察。我觉得要理解习近平在做的,就首先要理解中国共产党。在中国,中国共产党是一个非常关键的组织。如果你看其他国家,人们讨论的是市民社会和社会力量等。在中国,共产党还是主体性的组织,没有任何一个组织可以挑战它。中国的社会力量在长大,但是也没有任何一个社会力量可以挑战中国共产党。中国共产党是改革的主体。从党的角度来说,我专门写过一本书,认为中国共产党实际上不是我们外面所理解的政党,像美国民主党、共和党,日本的自民党、新加坡的人民行动党(PAP)等,它是不一样的组织。

中国共产党长期执政,一定要考虑长远的目标。长远的目标非常重要。世界上其他的地方,大多数国家的多党制只能考虑我当总统、总理任期之内的事情,超过任期就不考虑了。像新加坡的PAP这样的能为长远考虑的党也不多了,越来越少。所以,从这个角度来说,大家要了解习近平首先要理解他不是完全在考虑自己。因为中国的宪法规定国家主席任期十年,他考虑的并不是他要做的两个任期的事情。我个人感觉到他现在要做的就是考虑他后面三十年的事情。这一点跟以前的江泽民、胡锦涛不一样。

这是什么概念呢?我觉得中国1949年以后,毛泽东三十年,邓小平三十年,现在习近平将考虑后面的三十年,这个非常重要。毛泽东领导的共产党掌握政权是1949年。四九年以后他应该搞建设,搞制度建设。很可惜的是他是理想主义者,四九年以后还搞继续革命,所以出现了很多的社会问题,尤其是文化大革命。邓小平就是接受了毛泽东时代的教训转向搞现代化建设的三十年。从这个角度来说,无论是江泽民,胡锦涛,他们的各十年都属于邓小平时代。现在真正进入后邓小平时代。胡锦涛可以说是邓小平时代向后邓小平时代过渡的十年,现在正式进入了后邓小平时期。习近平考虑的就是下面三十年的事情,这是一个什么概念呢?有人说毛泽东是第一代,邓小平第二代,那么,习近平就是第三代。

习近平努力使毛、邓的历史矛盾统一起来

他要做这样的事情就需要很多的条件。他执政以后一直在做,我觉得他做得蛮成功的。

第一,他努力使得毛泽东和邓小平不是那么矛盾,就是把他们统一起来。在中国,大家都知道左、右派之间争论非常大,左派是比较相信毛泽东,所谓的右派比较相信邓小平,所以今天分为两派,打得头破血流,互相不说话。习近平所做的就是使得毛泽东和邓小平统一起来。我觉得这件事做得对。实际上,历史是不可以分割开来的。如果没有毛泽东就没有邓小平。我是从一个学者的角度来说,我觉得这一点习近平做得不错。无论是毛泽东的诞辰还是邓小平的诞辰都隆重纪念,我觉得历史是历史。最近有关邓小平的电视片很火,它慢慢地恢复历史上的一些事情,我们的前总理赵紫阳也在电视片上出现了。因为老一代人恩恩怨怨、斗来斗去斗过去了,后一代人就不要像老一代人那样。这样,历史会比较公正一点。我觉得这个事情,他做得不错。但是他的挑战很大。

另外一个事情他要做的,就是他后面三十年的改革怎么办?怎么走得下去?很多人问我为什么要发动那么大规模的反腐败运动?这次反腐败运动和前面的不一样。今天想讲的就是从政治方面、经济方面、社会方面把我所理解的习近平改革的那些事情。

习近平结束分权状态,走向集权,我觉得这是非常重要的

首先从政治上,习近平上台以后最主要的就是结束了以前的分权状态而向集权发展。我觉得这个非常重要。中国从邓小平1978年改革以后,每一次改革都是分权的,八十年代是分权的,邓小平南巡以后也是分权的。中国的集权从朱镕基当总理开始经济上集权,但是整个胡温时代是分权的。那个时代的分权不是说中央主动分下去,而是集不起来了的结果。现在为什么要集权?习近平说,改革容易做的已经做了,不好做的没做;肉吃完了,要啃骨头了,啃骨头就难一点了,所以要集权。这是第一个原因。

第二个原因,中国改革开放三十年以后既得利益成长得很大了,既得利益阻碍改革了。中国改革刚开始的时候,每个人都很穷,穷则思变,改革比较好改。人都是自私的,把自私的方面放出去,叫他去赚钱就行了。但是,实际上,改革也是社会改革和政治改革。如果大家把改革分为经济改革、社会改革、政治改革,经济改革是最好改的,经济改革就是鼓励大家去赚钱,社会改革就是要大家掏出一部分钱来给穷人,这就比较难。政治改革更难,要把权力拿出来。所以,好改的改完了,不好改的东西,需要改革,就需要集权。现在,有些既得利益长大了,觉得已经很好了,不想再动了;以前大家都饥饿的时候都要改,现在他觉得吃得好好的他不想改了。有的人吃得太肥了就跑不动了。他也不想改了,怎么办?你要改,就要靠集权。

更重要的是,现在的集权结束了胡锦涛、温家宝这个时代分权的状态。胡锦涛、温家宝他们上来的时候也是想做很多事情的。我记得SARS以后就提出了和谐社会、科学发展观等政策目标,他们也提出很大的一个蓝图。但为什么做不了?当然他们也是做了一些事情的,像社会保障、低保等做了一些,但没有一个改革的突破口。为什么?就是体制不行。这个体制就是当时所说的集体领导。当时是9个常委。政治局常委是中国最高的权力决策机构,9个常委基本上一人一票,大家一样的,一人一票,这就很麻烦。

清华的胡鞍钢教授是我的老朋友。他说中国是集体总统,美国是一人总统,我们有9个总统,集体总统要比一个总统好。但实际上不是这样的,集体总统到最后可能一个总统都没有,集体负责到最后没人负责,集体领导到最后没有领导。这样不行的。任何一个政治制度最重要的一个环节就是谁负政治责任,9个常委一人一票的情况下大家就互相制衡,所以我有时候开玩笑说西方人讲三权分立,中国党内是九权分立。为什么会出现周永康这样的例子?是顶层设计出问题了,顶层设计就是九个常委分工负责,你管这一块,他管那一块,这就是分封制,就是封建主义。周永康的事件很明确地说明这种分工的东西不行。实际上,我觉得,当时的领导层做不成,是因为大家互相否决,谁也不服谁。那个时代,老百姓都在抱怨不知道谁在负责。这样的体制就使得很多情况下什么事情都做不了,反而出现像周永康这样的事情。所以现在要集权。我觉得习近平的判断很准。

我们这里要做个比较。比如越南。越南以前跟中国的改革是非常跟紧的,中国做什么越南就做什么。但是越南现在不行了。为什么?因为越南高层跟中国刚好走的是两个方向。中国现在就在走比较集权的路线,越南高层非常分权,他们现在就是四驾马车,党的总书记、总理、国会、国家主席分别是四个人,不一样的。他们领导集团非常分化。人们分析越南时,就感到很危险。上次越南骚乱就很危险了。如果什么时候越南发生一个颜色革命大家都不会惊讶,因为什么条件都已经具备了。

习近平建立中央小组集中领导,而这些小组是公开的,是可以制度化的

对今天的集权,大家有点儿担心。人们问,这个集权是不是为了巩固领导人的个人的权力呢?当然,我们需要继续观察。但到现在为止所做的,我是觉得还是做得不错的。集权主要的表现是成立了四个新的组织,一个就是全面深化改革领导小组,第二个就是关于信息化互联网的领导小组,一个就是国安会,第四个就是军事改革领导小组。除了军事改革领导小组,习近平是军委主席,是当然的组长,其他三个组习近平是组长,李克强是副组长,下面的政治局常委分到各个组。以前9个常委,现在7个常委。在以前的体制,7个常委各管一块。现在不是这样了。习是组长,哪一块都要管;李克强是副组长,其他几个常委就分到不同的组。我觉得这个比较好,协调性会比较强。

还有一个更重要的问题大家没有看到,以前有争论说中央财经领导小组的组长也是习近平自己当。一些人觉得应该李克强当。其实不是这样的。中央财经领导小组也应该是总书记当的,江泽民时代也是江泽民当的。我觉得更重要的是,以前中共党内高层的领导小组都是“地下”性质的,是不公开的,谁是组长、谁是副组长、成员是谁也不知道。但习近平所做的就是这四个小组全部公开,是正式的组织,这样就比较好办。如果是非正式的组织,就容易变成个别领导人政治操纵、政治弄权的一个组织,但是正式化的东西比较公开透明,大家什么时候开会、什么时候不开会,开会讨论什么都公开了。这个就比较好。正式的组织可以制度化的,可以继续发展的。

习近平受李光耀等人的影响很大。我觉得他不会学毛泽东,他是想继承毛泽东和邓小平之间所不同的地方,强调历史的延续性。他要学的是东亚的那些权威人物,比如李光耀、蒋经国,在制度化方面做建设。这个月马上要开的四中全会肯定要讲很多制度建设的。所以绝对不要小看他,这个方面的进步非常重要。

集权也有负面效果,四中全会后还会分权

但集权了以后也会产生一个负面效果。现在一些人就说,老大,这个权力都在你手上,那你去干活吧,其他人就看着。所以就比较麻烦。我觉得,集权本身不是目标。无论是习近平、李克强他们也是在强调行政审批权的下放。集权主要是向既得利益方面拿回一些权力,最后要把权力放到地方政府、放到企业、放到社会,否则没有办法改革。不是说改革是习近平一个人的事情,改革的权力还是要下放下去的。我的估计是四中全会以后,目标主要是要放权。这个会非常重要,否则的话没有人给你干活,没人给你干活就比较麻烦了。

反腐败就是要反既得利益集团,反经济垄断和寡头政治

第二个就是集权跟反腐败有关系,反腐败就是反既得利益。中国这些年来的腐败,我作为学者是不理解的。假设你贪污几十万、几百万,我是觉得可以理解的,你可能是为了改善生活,但是你贪污几十个亿、几百个亿,甚至几千个亿,你几个辈子都用不完。所以反腐败,要集权。没有权力哪来反腐败?从邓小平八十年代开始,每个领导层上来都进行反腐败运动,从来没有中断过,为什么还是腐败成这个样子呢?

这次反腐败和以前的反腐败不一样。这次反腐败主要是反寡头。前苏联之后的俄国、东欧、乌克兰,都产生了寡头。在以前的计划经济时代,经济被分成几块,工业部门、钢铁、电信、银行,每一领域就是一个口。从计划经济到市场经济转变过程当中就形成了经济寡头。但经济寡头一有钱就玩政治,经济寡头就会转向政治寡头,这是后共产主义最麻烦的事情。

俄国在叶利钦时代就是个寡头时代,直到普京上来寡头才有所遏制。今天乌克兰的问题就是寡头政治的问题,他们的经济寡头全部转变为政治寡头,一个寡头一个政党,所谓的民主就是寡头之争,寡头你拉你的人,我拉我的人,互相斗。大家都有一个政党的名义。一旦当经济寡头转换成政治寡头,政治寡头以民主的方式出现了以后,这个国家就完蛋了。我想乌克兰没有什么希望,每一个领导人背后都有寡头。有些听俄国的,有些听美国的。在寡头主导的国家,一旦出现多党制,整个国家就会解体。

中国的情况也是一样。十八大之前,一些经济寡头开始转变成政治寡头,政治寡头要干预政治了。就像周永康,周永康是个很大的寡头,他就开始干预政治。今天,最高层次的反腐败就是要切断经济寡头转向政治寡头的途径,这是最重要的。然后下面的大老虎、小老虎都不太重要。这次反腐败大家看到,为什么大部分被抓起来的人,都是跟周永康有关系的,无论中央电视台也好,各个地方也好,包括刘汉这个企业家也好。这次国庆65周年晚宴大家看得出来了,胡锦涛、江泽民全都出来了。我想,习近平是有智慧的,他不是针对人,而是针对这些集团。我觉得这是非常重要的。

反腐败必须具有政治智慧。大家看,每一个反腐败案背后都有一大帮企业家,但是我觉得中纪委是有分寸的。企业家能不动就不动,放他们一马。所以说像刘汉这样的情况基本上很少。实际上,如果要抓的话,一大批企业家都会进去。中国企业家因为以前政策、法制不健全的缘故,在过程当中出现很多的腐败问题。中国社会就是这样,你不能说只能做,说了就有人不满意了。我是觉得习近平做得很不错。

地方领导不能怕被抓就不做事,不做事是更大的腐败

同样,反腐败和改革也是有矛盾的。最近,我到中国到处跑一跑。我的观察就是,司局级以上的干部整天都在担心明天会不会被抓起来了。像上次广州市委书记开会时,一进去就被抓走了,大家都很担心。要改革就要做事情。但一做事情就会冒犯别人的利益,你冒犯别人的利益人家就给你整黑材料,把你以前的材料整理出来公布出去。现在互联网公布很容易,这就很麻烦了。于是,大家就不做事情了。

有的地方的领导也是没有头脑的。山西省当时因为“要把权力关进笼子里”,就弄了个负面清单,省委领导,包括省委书记、省长、常委,这也不能做,那也不能做。很多地方的领导都做事情了,连反腐败也不出力。这就很怪。省委书记、省长,也是稀缺的政治资源,你占在这个位置,但为了清廉你不做事情,那也是腐败。你为了保清廉什么事情也不做,我觉得也是腐败,可能是更大的腐败。这样的地方肯定要出事情的。现在,山西的整个领导班子一大半都下去了。你要做事情,既做事情,也清廉,这是本事;你不做事情保清廉肯定是有问题的。

一些既得利益者一直在说,这场反腐败运动会影响中国的经济。我说不会,因为你不能希望中国的可持续的经济发展老是建在腐败的基础之上。我觉得反腐败短期会有些影响,从长期来说绝对是有好处的。比如说茅台酒的价格下来了,更多的老百姓也可以消费了,否则的话只有国企老总喝得起茅台酒。反腐败绝对是对中国的可持续经济发展非常有好处的。

反腐制度不在多,关键看谁负责,让腐败官员去操作照样会腐败

反腐败到最后是不是一个群众性的运动?大家所担心的就是,习近平是否也是在学毛泽东群众性的反腐败运动?我的想法是不一样。我非常赞同王岐山的判断,先要治标再治本。腐败范围太广了,你要治本,如何治,如何建立制度?不要迷信制度,因为任何制度都是人建立的,都是人操作的,有那么多腐败官员,去操作制度,最好的制度,照样会腐败。所以,需要加一点,清廉的人去建立的制度才叫好的制度,腐败的人建立起的制度还是不好的制度。

中国反腐败的制度是世界上所有国家最多的。新加坡只有一个反贪局,香港只有一个廉政公署,为什么这两个社会很清廉?中国反腐败制度有多少,党有纪检,政府有预防腐败局、反贪局,人大有,政协有,每一个大学都有,但是往往可以看到这些反腐败的人是最腐败的。我以前看北京市副市长王宝森,他是北京反贪局的局长,他自己最腐败,这样的情况哪行?所以王岐山提出一个思路就是先治标后治本,我是非常赞同的。如果从制度来说,也不是说制度越多就越好,中国的制度已经太多了,关键是什么样的制度。中国的知识分子说中国的腐败就是因为一党制,因为太集权。我说不是这样的。中国的内部分权太多了,党内那么多的正副职位,那么多的反腐败机构,但谁也不负责,反而给腐败的人很多的机会。到底谁负责?新加坡很简单,如果出现腐败了,就是反贪局负责,不能把责任推卸给其它什么机构。香港也是一样。

中纪委集中权力反腐,王岐山做得不错

中国那么多的机构,谁负责?党内反腐败要集权。王岐山做得就不错。反腐败由中纪委领导,现在做得很好。中纪委反腐败有几点,我觉得做得很好。第一更集权。从什么意义上说呢?中央各个部委、人大、政协等机构,不是靠他们自己的反腐机构反腐败,而是中纪委直接派到人过去。假设信息产业部腐败,中纪委就派人过去,这些反腐败官员是独立的,和信心产业部没有关系。从中央地方关系来说,纪委下管一级。中国一直由“一把手”腐败问题,纪委书记只是省委书记的下属,你叫纪委书记怎么反省委书记的腐败?肯定是反不了的。反最多也是左手反右手。现在做得比较好,就是下管一级,省委的反腐败由中央来管,不要你自己管了。还有一点,以前的反腐败都是靠老百姓报料,现在不一样了。上次我去参观中纪委,介绍说,王岐山说这个我们也要改一改,建中纪委系统的自己的网站。这什么意思呢?你同样可以举报,中纪委的网站上谁都可以举报,但是它集中起来了,你不用去跑去香港举报了。这个非常有效,现在中纪委每天接到很多举报,先分类,有属于中央管的就直接管了,属于省委管的,那就把这个转到省一级。

习近平有魄力,我对中国的政治和经济发展是乐观的

当然,最重要的是怎么做制度建设?四中全会到底要怎么做?我觉得会有很多的改革方案。习近平现在做的很多人不理解。比如说车改,就是领导人用车制度的改革。以前朱镕基总理也想改,但改革计划一出台,大家反对他,就收回去了。但现在习近平要做就做了。我觉得他这个人是有领导魄力的。 习近平能超越他个人的利益,他是有大局观念的领导人。我想任何国家的领导人,任何党组织的领导人,如果没有大局观念,老是为了个人的利益,这个国家、这个党肯定治不好。这就是中国几千年说的“德”。你要有德,没有“德”的话,怎么能管理这样一个国家。

我对中国政治还是比较有信心的。经济这一块,大家最担心的就是现在经济下行压力很大,会不会有大的震荡,去年7.5%,今年多少不知道。但是,我个人觉得问题并不大。如果再希望中国经济增长8%或者更高,不可行。任何一个经济体都一样,亚洲“四小龙”都这样,高增长时代已经过去了,中国现在已经进入了一个中速增长阶段,就是6%-7%,这样已经足够了。以前温家宝总理的时候,经济为什么要讲保8%?当时主要考虑到就业问题,每年要有好几百万学生要就业。但这几年经济增长减缓了,但就业状况反而好了,这就表明中国经济结构在转型,主要是服务业涨了,内部消费增长上来了。中国未来十年、十五年,包括习近平的任期里,有7%的增长,其实没有问题。

现在中国人均收入7000美元左右。中国大规模的基础设施、大规模的工业化早就已经建起来了。不像印度。印度要高增长还是很困难的。几年前,我们和前总统(纳丹)餐会,他说了一个观点,对我很有启发。他说中国和印度不同,主要是印度没有革命,中国有革命。我觉得蛮有道理的。毛泽东奠定了当代中国资本主义崛起的基础。中国如果没有毛泽东就不会有资本主义那么快的发展。印度的资本主义经济,也就是正式部门,仅占整体经济的30%,其他60%-70%是传统的。中国土地的国有制的,征收也就征收了,不管老百姓怎么叫都能搞定,这在印度很难。所以,中国才是资本主义最后的边疆, 印度不是。十年以后,我想我的看法是正确的。

很多西方人老是说中国会不会发生华尔街这样的金融危机?我说不会。中国不一样,地方政府的资产很多,没有钱的话就卖掉点、私有化些就行了。现在地方债务危机也遏制住了,国有企业扩张也遏制住了,这两个是好的方向。

中国现在的问题就是住房分配不均,很多空房子,但也有很多人买不起房子。我觉得这个不正常。如果领导层能把房地产这个事情做好,中国政治稳定三十年没有问题。房地产问题能否解决,还是看领导层有没有这个魄力。根据三中全会的决议,现在有将近三百项的改革。我觉得,全面地推开不可能,三百多项一定要找一些突破口。房地产至少可以成为社会改革的突破口。现在,我们就等着四中全会将有什么样的方法。我先讲到这里,希望大家讨论。谢谢!

对话部分:

中国三步走:先经济改革,然后社会改革,再政治改革。习近平时代,中国会实现复兴。

新加坡南洋理工大学荣誉校长徐冠林:我个人是非常同意郑永年教授的想法。习近平做得非常有条有理,先集权、反腐败再搞制度建设。从中国历史来看,过去的朝代都是第三代的执政者有盛世的发展,比如乾隆盛世,我想请问一下郑教授,从历史的观点来说这个有没有正确性?

郑永年:中国以前是王朝政治,现在是共产党执政,有点儿不一样。王朝毕竟是一个家庭的事情,党不一样,共产党是八千多万个党员,比很多国家的人口还多。王朝本身是不可以民主化的,就是这个皇帝的位置皇帝叫谁继承就谁继承,共产党作为党是可以民主化的,就是开放、竞争、参议。共产党需要开放,不开放的话就变成少数既得利益者的党。

西方老是讲多党制度,但我觉得美国和欧洲都是家族式的。中国至少到现在为止还没有家族式。习近平不会,我想以后也不会。共产党强调党内协调利益。党内民主是能够做得出来的。我觉得习近平能够把客观的形势和他自己的智慧结合起来。我觉得可以中兴。至少,习近平时代能够把中国从一个中等收入社会提升为发达社会。

刚才一个听众告诉我,他买了我一本书叫《中国改革三步走》的书。在那本书里面,我总结出来了中国改革要分三步走,先经济改革,再社会改革,最后政治改革;先生产,后分配,再民主,这样的顺序比较好一点。

日本、亚洲“四小龙”就是这样发展的。先经济发展,亚洲“四小龙”比欧洲人做得还要好。一战、二战的时候,为什么社会主义运动、工人阶级运动都产生在欧洲?马克思所说的原始资本主义是不保护社会的,因此产生了工人运动,之后欧洲社会才开始做福利。但是,一做又做过头了。亚洲就不一样,日本、亚洲“四小龙”(包括新加坡),在经济发展过程中政府主动地去保护社会,社会建设做得很好,所以很和平。像新加坡现在政治开放,我个人就非常赞同。老百姓都是中等收入以上,大家和平理性。中国共产党什么指标都不需要有,只要这二十年把中产阶级做到70%80%,中产阶级做大之后,你做民主或者其它什么都可以。中产阶级不大,你做什么事情都做不好。

自由提问:内地贫富差距很大,在华人世界掀起了所谓的左翼自由主义,他们主要是主张平等,反对市场至上的,您怎么看这个现象?

郑永年:我有一个想法。实际上,民主和经济之间第一次产生矛盾,就是刚才说的福利社会之前,工人阶级和资本之间的矛盾,现在这一次就是中产阶级和资本之间的矛盾。现在人们一有抗议,就抗议政府,但是政府是管不了资本的。以前政府可以管资本,现在政府对资本增加压力,资本就跑掉了。所以现在的政府越来越难做。我到非常同情这些政治人物。其实,全世界都一样。我们和欧洲的智库或者政治人物交流,他们知道问题出在哪里,也知道这些问题怎么解决,但就是产生不了一个有效政府,所以这是一个世界普遍的问题。如果你是学历史的话,这并不是一个新鲜的东西,每一个时代一会儿左一会儿右都是正常的。

(凤凰网版权稿件,转载请注明来源:凤凰网大学问 责任编辑王德民 驻新加坡通讯员金璐颖) 

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