China’s revisionist PM’s family worth almost 3 billion

China's Premier Wen Jiabao waves during the European Union-China summit at the Egmont Palace in Brussels September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao waves during the European Union-China summit at the Egmont Palace in Brussels September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule


Revisionists do not often openly call themselves capitalists. Many revisionists do not even see themselves as capitalists or revisionists. Many misleaders do not think of themselves as such. In the 1970s, the revisionists in China began pushing hard for the Theory of the Productive Forces. They deemphasized the role of ideology in solving the problems of society and economy. They deemphasized the human factor. As they saw it, productivity, technology for production, was how to achieve their goal, which was not reaching communism, not ending all oppression. Rather, technology would serve up the Western-standard of living and more. Deng Xiaoping famously said, “Black cat, white cat. It does not matter if it catches mice.”  To the revisionists this meant: “Socialism, capitalism. It doesn’t matter as long as it develops the productive forces, i.e. technology that increases production.” While developing the productive forces was an important task, the revisionist line was to develop them for the sake of attaining for China a consumerist lifestyle like that of the First World. Communists, by contrast, seek to develop the productive forces, just as they wage class struggle, but they do so as part of ending all oppression. Of the two, communists considered the waging of class struggle as principal over economic productivity. By contrast, the revisionists downplayed struggle. Not only did revisionists fear class struggle, people power led by the most advanced revolutionary science, they also feared that they would be exposed. Liberalism is one way that revisionists shield themselves. Struggle exposes who is who. As the counter-revolution continued in China, the revisionists further revealed their true colors. “To get rich is glorious!” became an official line of the revisionist so-called “Communist Party of China” in the 1980s. It is no surprise that this way of thinking is continues to be promoted in capitalist China today just as it is in other capitalist countries. It has recently been reported that the net worth of the family of top leader, Prime Minister Wen Jaibao of the so-called “Communist Party of China” is almost 3 billion dollars, 2.7 billion to be more exact.  The New York Times reports on their wealth:

“Unlike most new businesses in China, the family’s ventures sometimes received financial backing from state-owned companies, including China Mobile, one of the country’s biggest phone operators, the documents show. At other times, the ventures won support from some of Asia’s richest tycoons. The Times found that Mr. Wen’s relatives accumulated shares in banks, jewelers, tourist resorts, telecommunications companies and infrastructure projects, sometimes by using offshore entities.

The holdings include a villa development project in Beijing; a tire factory in northern China; a company that helped build some of Beijing’s Olympic stadiums, including the well-known “Bird’s Nest”; and Ping An Insurance, one of the world’s biggest financial services companies.

As prime minister in an economy that remains heavily state-driven, Mr. Wen, who is best known for his simple ways and common touch, more importantly has broad authority over the major industries where his relatives have made their fortunes. Chinese companies cannot list their shares on a stock exchange without approval from agencies overseen by Mr. Wen, for example. He also has the power to influence investments in strategic sectors like energy and telecommunications.

Because the Chinese government rarely makes its deliberations public, it is not known what role — if any — Mr. Wen, who is 70, has played in most policy or regulatory decisions. But in some cases, his relatives have sought to profit from opportunities made possible by those decisions.

The prime minister’s younger brother, for example, has a company that was awarded more than $30 million in government contracts and subsidies to handle wastewater treatment and medical waste disposal for some of China’s biggest cities, according to estimates based on government records. The contracts were announced after Mr. Wen ordered tougher regulations on medical waste disposal in 2003 after the SARS outbreak.

In 2004, after the State Council, a government body Mr. Wen presides over, exempted Ping An Insurance and other companies from rules that limited their scope, Ping An went on to raise $1.8 billion in an initial public offering of stock. Partnerships controlled by Mr. Wen’s relatives — along with their friends and colleagues — made a fortune by investing in the company before the public offering.” [Read more at the NY Times]

It is reported that Wen Jaibao and his family use their leadership positions in a nominally “Communist” party to profiteer billions. Today, revisionists hardly need to pretend in China. While they still may toss around the terms “socialism” and “communism” from time to time, the terms have lost their real meanings. Today’s China is one of sweatshops and child labor. The regime seeks closer military ties with the United States imperialists. The United States and China have minor disagreements from time to time — over Syria, for example. However, today’s China works mostly as a kind of partner with the United States, the global capitalist beast. The exploited Chinese masses are, to a large degree, the workforce of the United States. Chinese masses work. Americans play and buy. China is the factory for the United States. The United States is China’s market. The economies are intertwined. Neither wishes the other to go under. For this reason, China buys up US debt, to further link the fates of the economies. So today, capitalism is out in the open in China. The only thing communist about the Chinese ruling party is its name. And, almost everyone recognizes this.

Even so, some still have illusions about China. There are a few who still think China is socialist. Why? Who knows. In any case, this latest report about the Chinese leadership confirms what should be obvious by now: China is not socialist nor communist-led. Its political culture, like its economy, is capitalist. China is a capitalist economy with some areas that involve heavy-state intervention and others that experiment more with neoliberal policies. China has not been headed for socialism and communism since the 1970s. When exactly the leadership departed the socialist road can be debated, but the loss of the Maoist leadership within the military in 1971 was a milestone. The death of Mao in 1976 was another. After Lin Biao’s group began to fall from power, the gains of the Cultural Revolution began to be threatened and reversed. As Mao blinked, the Maoist movement floundered. The most obvious place where this can be seen is in foreign policy. China began to align with the United States. The remaining Maoist movement also failed in its economic struggles after Lin Biao’s fall. However, while Mao was alive, Mao prevented the revisionists from reversing all the socialist gains. The Gang of Four tried with little success to kickstart mass movements again in the 1970s with campaigns such as the one to protect the new socialist art forms. When Mao died in September of 1976, the Gang was easily pushed aside by the revisionists. They were arrested. The Gang and the Lin Biao groups were put on a show trial together. Some were originally sentenced to death, but then their sentences reduced to life in prison. Mao’s wife Jiang Qing was originally to be sentenced to death, but then her sentence was commuted to life in prison for life. However, she died mysteriously of suicide. Some speculate that she was murdered by the police.

Neither the Soviet nor Chinese revolutions were destroyed by an outside invasion. The imperialists did not conquer the revolutions from outside. Rather, the capitalists destroyed the revolutions from within. This is an important point that we should never forget: Revisionism is very real. Revisionists may not be personally mean or bad.  They may hide it well. They may not seem to care at all. They may try to paint themselves in a sympathetic light. They may or may not have an agenda. They may believe their own bullshit. It really doesn’t matter. Whatever the case, revisionists are misleaders. Mao warned about those who lead astray, to paraphrase: “Be careful not to board a pirate ship.” Revisionists pop up over the years. They come and go. They cling. They wreck. They try to split. They pose. They do pig work. They have many, many faces. Outmaneuvering revisionism is training. Recognizing revisionism, combating revisionism, is part of advancing higher in the organization. It is simply part of the process of forging a more powerful, mighty organization led by the most advanced revolutionary science. This revolution is our lives. It will be our deaths. “Fight self, repudiate revisionism!”