[FOUNTAIN]Booking businessIn the 1990s, a political joke became popular in China. One day, Premier Li Peng came home from a cabinet meeting. His wife asked him, “What did you discuss today?” Mr. Li said, “I have no idea.” He complained that everyone else was speaking in the Shanghai dialect, which he could not understand. The Shanghai clique, a group of officials from Shanghai, had dominated key positions in the Chinese government.
The leader of the Shanghai clique was President Jiang Zemin. In Beijing’s diplomatic circles, he was nicknamed, “Master of Three Talents.” He enjoyed talking, singing and dancing. There are many anecdotes and jokes about Mr. Jiang’s loquacity. Mr. Jiang is said to insist on face-to-face meetings with VIP guests from two countries, namely the United States and Japan. He is fluent in English, and he needed to teach the Japanese the history that they were not aware of. Even today, China’s position on Japan is, “Take history as a mirror and face forward to the future.”
A few days ago, “The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin” was published in China. The publication of an anthology is an honor given only to the top leaders of China. Only the likes of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping have had their “Selected Works” published so far. The series is compiled by the Party Literature Editing Committee and published by the People’s Publishing House.
“The Selected Works of Mao Zedong” is comprised of five volumes, and “The Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping” has three volumes. While the committee prepared plenty of Jiang’s writings and speeches, “The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin” contains three volumes, out of respect for Deng Xiaoping.
The more interesting part is the reason the book was published. The Chinese Communist Party published the anthology to acknowledge Mr. Jiang’s historical achievements. However, there are other reasons, such as his effort to regain political influence and to celebrate his 80th birthday on Aug. 17. Anyhow the anthology is largely educational.
“The Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping” was published in order to inspire the reformist spirit. “The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin” advocates the fact that the Chinese Communist Party represents productivity, culture and the fundamental interests of the Chinese people. In short, the party wants to embrace even private entrepreneurs and is willing to become a corporate-friendly Communist Party.
It is said that there are nearly 30,000 Korean companies in operation in China, and that seems to be one reason they left Korea and headed for China.
by You Sang-chul
The writer is the Asia news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.