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Dienstag, 25. September 2012

Perry Link: Beijing’s Dangerous Game

What is it, today, that the people at the top in China want to achieve by stimulating and advertising anti-Japan sentiment? They do not say, of course, so the world must guess, but in broad outline the guessing isn’t very hard. The people at the top, who are used to maintaining a smooth façade, have every reason right now to distract attention from the unexpectedly messy handover of power now taking place, the results of which are hugely important to them. Not only power but tremendous amounts of wealth are at stake. The outcome of the power struggle in Beijing could affect the whole nation, but the people at the top prefer that the whole nation be gazing in a different direction. The trial of Wang Lijun—the police chief of disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai who was closely involved in the Neil Heywood murder affair—has been unfolding this week concurrently with the anti-Japan flare-ups. It should and would be a sensation but isn’t: if it were probed and reported properly, the case would reveal a great deal about corruption, special privilege, abuse of power, wealth inequality, and all those other issues that Chinese people often notice and protest about. The mysterious recent disappearance from public view of Xi Jinping, who is expected to replace Hu Jintao in the top post in government at the Chinese Communist Party’s Eighteenth National Congress this fall, also raises large questions to which a citizen would want answers. How might one divert attention from these questions toward the fate of some barren islands? Nationalism! Hate Japan!

Mein Blog befasst sich in einem umfassenden Sinn mit dem Verhältnis von Wissen, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft. Ein besonderes Augenmerk richte ich dabei auf die Aktivitäten des Medien- und Dienstleistungskonzern Bertelsmann und der Bertelsmann Stiftung.