Deng Xiaoping was China’s George Washington. What he did was what Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted. China is a republic that combines Western thought with Chinese tradition.
However, the task to create China’s Republic fell to the Communist Party so China is a Socialist Republic.
In China, Piety is important and advice from elders is often followed as if it is law. Due to this, elder statesmen such as Jiang Zemin have great power in the government even after they no longer have a political title.
After all, this is Chinese tradition.
The Economist mentioned disagreements among Chinese leaders over what the country’s priorities should be—both on the economy and on political reform.
Whatever the final decisions will be after 2012, the consensus will allow Chinese tradition to guide them and not Western thought.
The changes “some” want will not arrive in a hurry if the wisdom of the I-Ching, The Book of Changes, is followed, which says change should come slowly.
In fact, China has proven it is a republic because none of China’s first four presidents are the sons of previous presidents and eventually death removes the elders. China’s presidents did not inherit that title due to heredity as kings do or the leader of North Korea.
As Deng Xiaoping died, so will Jiang Zemin, who is the elder statement today.
If Hu Jintao lives longer than Jiang Zemin, he will be the elder statesmen offering advice from behind closed doors, which Deng Xiaoping must have done up until his death.
Return to China Following Tradition — Part 3
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