Operation Dragon Slayer: China being privatised and gutted like a fattened hog!
As the scandal erupted earlier this year, powerful forces out for full-scale privatisation made a concerted bid for decisive “reform”. In February, a World Bank report, backed by elements in the government, demanded sweeping deregulation and a “complete transition to a market economy”. The call was taken up at the National People’s Congress. Corporate interests that had chafed against a system in which they claimed “the state advances, the private sector retreats” launched a neoliberal offensive.
As the Chongqing crisis came to a head in April, Premier Wen Jiabao declared that the state banks’ monopoly had to be “broken”. After Bo’s police chief tried to defect to the US embassy, the backlash intensified. Wen linked Chongqing with the taboo Cultural Revolution and a string of Maoist and leftist websites were banned.
The basis for the politicisation of the scandal isn’t hard to find. Bo himself was a populist politician on the make, not a Maoist. But the policies he championed gelled into a Chongqing model which appealed to China’s “new left” and created a political pole for those looking to overcome the ballooning wealth gap and social costs of China’s breakneck development.