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Chinese Authorities' Decisions Based on Protecting "Vested Interests"—WikiLeaks

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Uploaded on Dec 8, 2010

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The Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party is usually thought of as a politically-motivated group, but a confidential U.S. government cable, leaked through WikiLeaks, suggests Chinese officials base their decisions on maintaining their own economic interests.

The cable quotes a United States Embassy contact with access to leadership circles, as saying, (quote) "The Party should be viewed primarily as a collection of interest groups. There was no 'reform wing'... China's top leadership had carved up China's economic 'pie,' creating an ossified system in which 'vested interests' drove decision-making and impeded reform as leaders maneuvered to ensure that those interests were not threatened."

The source goes on to say it is (quote) "well known...that former Premier Li Peng and his family controlled all electric power interests, PBSC member and security czar Zhou Yongkang and associates controlled the oil interests, the late former top leader Chen Yun's family controlled most of the PRC's banking sector, Politburo Standing Committee member and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin was the main interest behind major Beijing real estate developments, Hu Jintao's son-in-law ran Sina.com, and Wen Jiabao's wife controlled China's precious gems sector."

In addition the source said, (quote) "The central feature of leadership politics was the need to protect oneself and one's family from attack after leaving office. Thus, current leaders carefully cultivated protégés who would defend their interests once they stepped down."

The source suggested Xi Jinping, tipped to be the next leader, was a natural choice for former president Jiang Zemin because he (quote) "maintained a non-threatening low profile and had never made enemies."

Associates of Jiang's predecessor Deng Xiaoping found many of their businesses shut down after Jiang rose to power in the 1990s. And after Hu Jintao became China's leader in 2003, Jiang's associates received similar treatment, facing investigations and purges from the party.

WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization that publishes news and leaked information from anonymous sources. WikiLeaks is in the process of releasing more than 250-thousand documents from various embassies worldwide.

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