Or should that be whose Peiping now? Who runs China these days? For that matter, does anyone run China these days? Either of the Chinas?
I have long been puzzled by this, and am no closer to the answer than I was in the 1960’s. In fact, if anything it has become more obscure.
I used to think there was a real China run by a government. We saw pictures of Chairman Mao up in the central square in Peip…oops…Pek…oops…Beijing and figured he was the Red Emperor. But then it turns out he wasn’t and it was his wife and three other people. And then it wasn’t them and it became a committee of other people who were replaced by another committee and they weren’t and…and you can add as many so-ons as you like.
I was immensely encouraged when the then President of the United States decided to go to Pe, ah the hell with it, and suck up to Chairman Mao. It was just what they wanted and didn’t cost shit – and opened the way for the rest of the world to dump their polluting industries onto the Chinese mainland while skimming the finished goods off the top. Sort of like goading the Russians into making enough leaky atom bombs and poisonous missiles to ruin their own countryside without letting them shoot them off anywhere else. A mean trick but successful.
Well, I read about the time in China when it was run by feudal warlords – like England in the 1200’s or Iraq right now – and wondered if it had stopped. I think it did in the 50’s when the CP grasped the place firmly around the neck, but I suspect it is back in the old pattern now – instead of being warlords they are warehouselords – they still have the power of life or death over their subjects but they organise them into manufacturing companies instead of infantry companies. It’s a slower death and you get more appliances out of them before they go.
Still, they have got it better than North Korea and Japan. At least in China they do not have to believe in the divinity of the leader – the bosses might be powerful and they might be expensive, but they are still eatin’ rice like everyone else. The ones to be REALLY afraid of are the ancestors…