਀㰀䴀䔀吀䄀 渀愀洀攀㴀䜀䔀一䔀刀䄀吀伀刀 挀漀渀琀攀渀琀㴀∀䴀匀䠀吀䴀䰀 㠀⸀  ⸀㘀  ㄀⸀㄀㤀 ㄀㤀∀㸀㰀⼀䠀䔀䄀䐀㸀 ਀㰀䠀㈀ 椀搀㴀瀀漀猀琀ⴀ㈀㈀㄀㐀㸀㰀䄀 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀眀眀眀⸀猀椀渀漀挀椀猀洀⸀挀漀洀⼀愀爀挀栀椀瘀攀猀⼀㈀㈀㄀㐀∀ 爀攀氀㴀戀漀漀欀洀愀爀欀㸀嘀椀攀眀猀 伀渀 倀漀氀椀琀椀挀愀氀 刀攀昀漀爀洀 䄀渀搀 䰀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 匀瀀氀椀琀猀 䤀渀 䌀栀椀渀愀㰀⼀䄀㸀㰀⼀䠀㈀㸀

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਀㰀䐀䤀嘀 挀氀愀猀猀㴀洀愀椀渀㸀
਀㰀䐀䤀嘀 猀琀礀氀攀㴀∀倀䄀䐀䐀䤀一䜀ⴀ䈀伀吀吀伀䴀㨀 ㈀瀀砀㬀 䠀䔀䤀䜀䠀吀㨀 ㈀㜀瀀砀㬀 䌀䰀䔀䄀刀㨀 戀漀琀栀㬀 倀䄀䐀䐀䤀一䜀ⴀ吀伀倀㨀 ㈀瀀砀∀ 挀氀愀猀猀㴀爀攀愀氀氀礀开猀椀洀瀀氀攀开猀栀愀爀攀㸀
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਀㰀䐀䤀嘀 猀琀礀氀攀㴀∀倀䄀䐀䐀䤀一䜀ⴀ䰀䔀䘀吀㨀 ㄀ 瀀砀㬀 䘀䰀伀䄀吀㨀 氀攀昀琀∀ 挀氀愀猀猀㴀爀攀愀氀氀礀开猀椀洀瀀氀攀开猀栀愀爀攀开猀琀甀洀戀氀攀甀瀀漀渀㸀㰀⼀䐀䤀嘀㸀㰀⼀䐀䤀嘀㸀

Some China watchers seem to be engaged in a Chinese variant of “Where is Waldo?” that we might call “Where is China’s Gorbachev?”. But unlike Waldo, whom you can find if you look hard enough, it seems unlikely a Chinese Gorbachev exists, at least anywhere near the top echelons of China’s leadership. While undoubtedly there are leadership splits over some issues, reports about thwarted reform efforts led by Wen Jiabao appear misguided.

਀㰀倀㸀䤀 猀甀最最攀猀琀 愀渀礀漀渀攀 椀渀琀攀爀攀猀琀攀搀 琀栀椀猀 琀漀瀀椀挀 爀攀愀搀 琀栀攀猀攀 琀眀漀 攀猀猀愀礀猀 昀爀漀洀 琀栀攀 氀愀琀攀猀琀 椀猀猀甀攀 漀昀 琀栀攀☀渀戀猀瀀㬀㰀䄀 琀椀琀氀攀㴀∀䌀栀椀渀愀 䰀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 䴀漀渀椀琀漀爀 挀甀爀爀攀渀琀 椀猀猀甀攀 簀 䠀漀漀瘀攀爀 䤀渀猀琀椀琀甀琀椀漀渀 ∀ 漀渀挀氀椀挀欀㴀∀樀愀瘀愀猀挀爀椀瀀琀㨀开最愀焀⸀瀀甀猀栀⠀嬀✀开琀爀愀挀欀䔀瘀攀渀琀✀Ⰰ✀漀甀琀戀漀甀渀搀ⴀ愀爀琀椀挀氀攀✀Ⰰ✀戀椀琀⸀氀礀⼀愀唀 䐀渀氀✀崀⤀㬀∀ 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀戀椀琀⸀氀礀⼀愀唀 䐀渀氀∀ 琀愀爀最攀琀㴀开戀氀愀渀欀㸀䌀栀椀渀愀 䰀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 䴀漀渀椀琀漀爀㰀⼀䄀㸀⸀ 䄀氀椀挀攀 䴀椀氀氀攀爀Ⰰ 椀渀 㰀䄀 漀渀挀氀椀挀欀㴀∀樀愀瘀愀猀挀爀椀瀀琀㨀开最愀焀⸀瀀甀猀栀⠀嬀✀开琀爀愀挀欀䔀瘀攀渀琀✀Ⰰ✀漀甀琀戀漀甀渀搀ⴀ愀爀琀椀挀氀攀✀Ⰰ✀戀椀琀⸀氀礀⼀搀䬀䰀昀㠀吀✀崀⤀㬀∀ 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀戀椀琀⸀氀礀⼀搀䬀䰀昀㠀吀∀ 琀愀爀最攀琀㴀开戀氀愀渀欀㸀匀瀀氀椀琀猀 䤀渀 吀栀攀 倀漀氀椀琀戀甀爀漀 䰀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀⠀倀䐀䘀⤀㼀㰀⼀䄀㸀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 䨀漀猀攀瀀栀 䘀攀眀猀洀椀琀栀Ⰰ 椀渀 㰀䄀 漀渀挀氀椀挀欀㴀∀樀愀瘀愀猀挀爀椀瀀琀㨀开最愀焀⸀瀀甀猀栀⠀嬀✀开琀爀愀挀欀䔀瘀攀渀琀✀Ⰰ✀漀甀琀戀漀甀渀搀ⴀ愀爀琀椀挀氀攀✀Ⰰ✀戀椀琀⸀氀礀⼀栀娀㄀䨀㤀㜀✀崀⤀㬀∀ 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀戀椀琀⸀氀礀⼀栀娀㄀䨀㤀㜀∀ 琀愀爀最攀琀㴀开戀氀愀渀欀㸀倀漀氀椀琀椀挀愀氀 刀攀昀漀爀洀 圀愀猀 一攀瘀攀爀 伀渀 吀栀攀 䄀最攀渀搀愀 ⠀倀䐀䘀⤀㰀⼀䄀㸀Ⰰ 愀爀最甀攀 琀栀愀琀 洀甀挀栀 漀昀 琀栀攀 挀漀渀瘀攀渀琀椀漀渀愀氀 ᰀ眠椀猀搀漀洀ᴀ†漀渀 琀栀攀 挀甀爀爀攀渀琀 猀琀愀琀攀 漀昀 攀氀椀琀攀 䌀栀椀渀攀猀攀 瀀漀氀椀琀椀挀猀 栀愀猀 戀攀攀渀 眀爀漀渀最⸀㰀⼀倀㸀

Dr. Miller was my advisor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and I consider her to be among the foremost analysts of Chinese politics. Not everyone agrees, and a prominent, younger professor of Chinese politics recently dismissed the Fewsmith and Miller analyses to me as “old-school Kreminlology”.

਀㰀倀㸀䘀爀漀洀 䘀攀眀猀洀椀琀栀㨀㰀⼀倀㸀

Whatever Wen Jiabao’s intention, his speech in Shenzhen resonated with those in China and abroad who hoped that political reform would be back on the government’s agenda, perhaps at the Fifth Plenum in October. Perhaps ironically, the response to Wen’s speech appears to have been driven by the increasingly dismal prospects for significant political reform as nationalistic voices find satisfaction with the “China model,” particularly in contrast to the economic problems of the West. This is a mood that finds little need to copy the West, particularly in political terms. In any event, it seems clear that political reform was never on the agenda of the Fifth Plenum, except in the broad sense that continued economic reform would inevitably require political changes, so much of the media discussion that took place in the six weeks following Wen’s remarks was simply disconnected from what was going on in China. Whatever Wen intended, and whatever the import of the “Zheng Qingyuan” articles, it is clear that China’s leadership has outlined a trajectory of modest inner-party democracy that in no way loosens the control of the Party, and there is no reason to think that this course will change in the immediate future.

਀㰀倀㸀䘀爀漀洀 䴀椀氀氀攀爀㨀㰀⼀倀㸀

…insistent remarks on the need for “democracy” by Wen Jiabao—in Shenzhen in August and again in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria while attending the United Nations session in New York City in September—have been read as contrasting starkly with tepid remarks by Hu Jintao on political reform (also made in Shenzhen), and so as indicating a fundamental split on the future of reform between the premier and the CCP’s top leader, and perhaps its broader Politburo leadership as well. Also, travels by internal security chief and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang have been seen as indicating efforts of a conservative bloc in the party leadership from the security, military, and propaganda sectors to assert itself in PRC foreign policy, an interpretation that may aid in explaining the uneven but persistent evidence of hard-line trends in that arena over the past year and a half. Finally, the appointment of Xi Jinping to the post of vice chairman of the party Central Military Commission (CMC) at the 17th Central Committee’s Fifth Plenum in October, a year after the unexpected failure of the Fourth Plenum to do so, has been seen as the denouement of a prolonged and apparently failed attempt by party General Secretary Hu Jintao to derail Xi’s succession of him as China’s paramount leader in favor of Hu’s crony Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

਀㰀倀 猀琀礀氀攀㴀∀倀䄀䐀䐀䤀一䜀ⴀ䰀䔀䘀吀㨀 ㌀ 瀀砀∀㸀吀栀攀猀攀 愀爀攀 琀栀攀 洀漀猀琀 瀀氀愀甀猀椀戀氀攀 椀渀琀攀爀瀀爀攀琀愀琀椀漀渀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 爀攀挀攀渀琀 攀瘀攀渀琀猀 搀攀猀挀爀椀戀攀搀 愀戀漀瘀攀Ⰰ 漀爀 愀琀 氀攀愀猀琀 琀栀攀 洀漀猀琀 瀀氀愀甀猀椀戀氀攀 昀爀漀洀 愀洀漀渀最 琀栀漀猀攀 椀渀琀攀爀瀀爀攀琀愀琀椀漀渀猀 琀栀愀琀 瀀漀猀椀琀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 挀漀渀昀氀椀挀琀☀渀戀猀瀀㬀椀渀 攀砀瀀氀愀椀渀椀渀最 琀栀攀 攀瘀攀渀琀猀 愀渀搀 琀栀攀椀爀 猀椀最渀椀昀椀挀愀渀挀攀⸀ 䤀渀 漀渀攀 挀愀猀攀Ⰰ 栀漀眀攀瘀攀爀᐀琠栀愀琀 漀昀 堀椀 䨀椀渀瀀椀渀最ᤀ猠 瀀爀漀洀漀琀椀漀渀 琀漀 琀栀攀 䌀䴀䌀᐀愠瘀愀椀氀愀戀氀攀 攀瘀椀搀攀渀挀攀 椀猀 椀渀挀漀渀挀氀甀猀椀瘀攀⸀ 䄀渀搀 椀渀 琀栀攀 漀琀栀攀爀 琀眀漀 挀愀猀攀猀Ⰰ 椀渀昀攀爀攀渀挀攀猀 漀昀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 挀漀渀昀氀椀挀琀 愀爀攀 渀漀琀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀攀搀 戀礀 愀瘀愀椀氀愀戀氀攀 攀瘀椀搀攀渀挀攀☀㰠⼀倀㸀

These results do not demonstrate that conflict over power and policy does not exist in China’s leadership. This author believes on first principles—namely, that Chinese leaders are human and so as ambitious, competitive, and differing in outlook and policy preferences as politicians everywhere else—that leadership splits do indeed exist among China’s top leaders. In a context in which the interests of the various contending constituencies in China’s political order have multiplied and become increasingly complex as China’s wealth and power have grown, in which the stakes of leadership decisions have correspondingly increased, and as China’s leaders confront such episodic stresses as the world economic downturn since 2008, the potential for splits among China’s leaders can only have grown.

਀㰀倀 猀琀礀氀攀㴀∀倀䄀䐀䐀䤀一䜀ⴀ䰀䔀䘀吀㨀 ㌀ 瀀砀∀㸀一攀瘀攀爀琀栀攀氀攀猀猀Ⰰ 䌀栀椀渀愀ᤀ猠 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 甀渀搀攀爀 䠀甀 䨀椀渀琀愀漀 栀愀猀 昀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀攀搀 愀猀 愀渀 漀氀椀最愀爀挀栀椀挀 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀瘀攀 琀栀愀琀 愀瀀瀀攀愀爀猀 琀漀 洀愀欀攀 搀攀挀椀猀椀漀渀猀 漀渀 琀栀攀 戀愀猀椀猀 漀昀 挀漀渀猀攀渀猀甀猀⸀ 吀栀攀 瀀漀氀椀挀礀 瀀爀漀挀攀猀猀攀猀 愀渀搀 爀甀氀攀猀 戀礀 眀栀椀挀栀 琀栀攀 䠀甀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 漀瀀攀爀愀琀攀猀 眀攀爀攀 椀洀瀀氀愀渀琀攀搀 戀礀 䐀攀渀最 堀椀愀漀瀀椀渀最 椀渀 琀栀攀 攀愀爀氀礀 ㄀㤀㠀 猀Ⰰ 攀昀昀攀挀琀椀瘀攀氀礀 琀栀攀 爀攀猀琀漀爀愀琀椀漀渀 漀昀 愀渀 攀昀昀漀爀琀 琀漀 攀猀琀愀戀氀椀猀栀 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀瘀攀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 瀀爀漀挀攀搀甀爀攀猀 椀渀 琀栀攀 洀椀搀ⴀ㄀㤀㔀 猀 琀栀愀琀 眀愀猀 搀攀爀愀椀氀攀搀 琀栀攀爀攀愀昀琀攀爀 戀礀 䴀愀漀ᤀ猠 最爀漀眀椀渀最 愀渀琀愀最漀渀椀猀洀 琀漀眀愀爀搀 栀椀猀 瘀攀琀攀爀愀渀 挀漀氀氀攀愀最甀攀猀⸀ 吀栀攀 瀀爀漀挀攀猀猀攀猀 愀渀搀 爀甀氀攀猀 攀瘀漀氀瘀攀搀 甀渀搀攀爀 䨀椀愀渀最 娀攀洀椀渀ᤀ猠 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 椀渀 琀栀攀 ㄀㤀㤀 猀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 栀愀瘀攀 琀愀欀攀渀 猀琀爀漀渀最攀爀 栀漀氀搀 甀渀搀攀爀 䠀甀ᤀ猠 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 椀渀 琀栀攀 瀀愀猀琀 搀攀挀愀搀攀⸀ 吀栀攀礀 眀攀爀攀 椀洀瀀氀愀渀琀攀搀 戀礀 䐀攀渀最 愀渀搀 栀椀猀 挀漀氀氀攀愀最甀攀猀 椀渀 瀀愀爀琀 琀漀 椀渀栀椀戀椀琀 愀 爀攀琀甀爀渀 琀漀 琀栀攀 椀渀琀攀渀猀攀 昀爀攀攀ⴀ昀漀爀ⴀ愀氀氀 昀愀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 挀漀渀昀氀椀挀琀猀 琀栀愀琀 挀栀愀爀愀挀琀攀爀椀稀攀搀 琀栀攀 氀愀猀琀 琀眀漀 搀攀挀愀搀攀猀 漀昀 䴀愀漀 娀攀搀漀渀最ᤀ猠 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 愀渀搀 椀渀 瀀愀爀琀 琀漀 昀愀挀椀氀椀琀愀琀攀 最漀瘀攀爀渀愀渀挀攀 漀昀 愀 爀愀瀀椀搀氀礀 洀漀搀攀爀渀椀稀椀渀最☀渀戀猀瀀㬀挀漀甀渀琀爀礀⸀ 吀栀攀 渀攀挀攀猀猀椀琀礀 漀昀 猀甀挀栀 愀 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀瘀攀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 瀀漀氀椀琀椀挀猀 漀昀 挀漀渀猀攀渀猀甀猀 眀愀猀 爀攀椀渀昀漀爀挀攀搀 愀猀 愀 氀攀猀猀漀渀 椀渀 ㄀㤀㠀㤀Ⰰ 眀栀攀渀 洀漀渀琀栀猀 漀昀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 猀瀀氀椀琀猀 漀瘀攀爀 攀挀漀渀漀洀椀挀 瀀漀氀椀挀礀 氀攀搀☀渀戀猀瀀㬀琀漀 愀 瀀愀爀愀氀礀猀椀猀 愀洀漀渀最 琀栀攀 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀栀椀瀀 椀渀 椀琀猀 愀戀椀氀椀琀礀 琀漀 搀攀愀氀 眀椀琀栀 琀栀攀 搀攀洀漀渀猀琀爀愀琀椀漀渀猀 愀猀 琀栀攀礀 攀洀攀爀最攀搀 椀渀 吀椀愀渀愀渀洀攀渀 匀焀甀愀爀攀⸀㰀⼀倀㸀

As a consequence, leadership differences over power and policy have since been fought out behind a rigorously sustained public façade of leadership unity and discipline. In that context, the notion that the party’s third-ranking leader, Wen Jiabao, would air personal preferences for “Western-style democracy” in opposition to the prevailing views of the rest of the Chinese leadership in an interview abroad with a foreign journalist ought to seem farfetched, given the highly negative precedent set by then party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang breaking party discipline in comparable fashion during the 1989 Tiananmen crisis. Similarly, the public intrusion of the party’s top internal security leader into foreign relations processes ought to invite a measure of skepticism in a context of two decades of leadership discipline in that arena.

਀㰀倀 猀琀礀氀攀㴀∀倀䄀䐀䐀䤀一䜀ⴀ䰀䔀䘀吀㨀 ㌀ 瀀砀∀㸀吀栀攀 甀瀀猀栀漀琀 椀猀Ⰰ 琀栀攀爀攀昀漀爀攀Ⰰ 琀栀愀琀 眀栀椀氀攀 猀瀀氀椀琀猀 挀攀爀琀愀椀渀氀礀 攀砀椀猀琀 愀洀漀渀最 䌀栀椀渀愀ᤀ猠 氀攀愀搀攀爀猀☀渀戀猀瀀㬀琀漀搀愀礀Ⰰ 琀栀攀礀 眀漀爀欀 琀栀攀洀猀攀氀瘀攀猀 漀甀琀 椀渀 愀 猀椀最渀椀昀椀挀愀渀琀氀礀 搀椀昀昀攀爀攀渀琀 瀀漀氀椀琀椀挀愀氀 猀攀琀琀椀渀最⸀ 䄀渀搀 猀漀 琀栀攀 瀀爀攀洀椀猀攀猀 愀渀搀 洀攀琀栀漀搀猀 甀猀攀搀 琀漀 椀搀攀渀琀椀昀礀 琀栀攀洀 椀渀 琀栀攀 最漀漀搀 漀氀搀 搀愀礀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 䌀甀氀琀甀爀愀氀 刀攀瘀漀氀甀琀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 椀琀猀 愀昀琀攀爀洀愀琀栀᐀眠栀攀渀 ᰀ氠攀昀琀ᴀ†眀愀猀 氀攀昀琀 愀渀搀 ᰀ猠栀愀洀 氀攀昀琀ᴀ†眀愀猀 爀攀愀氀氀礀 ᰀ甠氀琀爀愀爀椀最栀琀ᴀᐠ洠甀猀琀 攀瘀漀氀瘀攀 椀渀 猀琀攀瀀⸀㰀⼀倀㸀

The essays might not be as entertaining as misguided and facile articles like Russell Leigh Moses’ Chinese Communist Party Prepares for Showdown Over Political Reform or China’s Premier Pushing the Envelope Again?, but I encourage you to read the Miller and Fewsmith essays if you want expert analysis on Chinese politics.

਀㰀倀㸀刀攀氀愀琀攀搀 瀀漀猀琀猀㨀㰀⼀倀㸀
    ਀㰀䰀䤀㸀㰀䄀 琀椀琀氀攀㴀∀倀攀爀洀愀渀攀渀琀 䰀椀渀欀㨀 䨀愀洀攀猀 䴀愀渀渀 䄀渀搀 䠀椀猀 倀爀攀猀挀椀攀渀琀 䈀漀漀欀 ᰀ吠栀攀 䌀栀椀渀愀 䘀愀渀琀愀猀礀ᴀ∠ 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀眀眀眀⸀猀椀渀漀挀椀猀洀⸀挀漀洀⼀愀爀挀栀椀瘀攀猀⼀㈀㄀㜀㜀∀ 爀攀氀㴀戀漀漀欀洀愀爀欀㸀䨀愀洀攀猀 䴀愀渀渀 䄀渀搀 䠀椀猀 倀爀攀猀挀椀攀渀琀 䈀漀漀欀 ᰀ吠栀攀 䌀栀椀渀愀 䘀愀渀琀愀猀礀ᴀ㰠⼀䄀㸀 
  1. Will Unrest In Egypt Strengthen The Chinese Government? ਀㰀䰀䤀㸀㰀䄀 琀椀琀氀攀㴀∀倀攀爀洀愀渀攀渀琀 䰀椀渀欀㨀 䤀猀 䄀渀搀礀 堀椀攀 䈀氀愀洀椀渀最 吀栀攀 䌀栀椀渀攀猀攀 䜀漀瘀攀爀渀洀攀渀琀 䘀漀爀 刀甀椀渀椀渀最 䠀椀猀 倀爀漀瀀攀爀琀礀 䌀爀愀猀栀 倀爀攀搀椀挀琀椀漀渀㼀∀ 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀眀眀眀⸀猀椀渀漀挀椀猀洀⸀挀漀洀⼀愀爀挀栀椀瘀攀猀⼀㄀㄀㤀㌀∀ 爀攀氀㴀戀漀漀欀洀愀爀欀㸀䤀猀 䄀渀搀礀 堀椀攀 䈀氀愀洀椀渀最 吀栀攀 䌀栀椀渀攀猀攀 䜀漀瘀攀爀渀洀攀渀琀 䘀漀爀 刀甀椀渀椀渀最 䠀椀猀 倀爀漀瀀攀爀琀礀 䌀爀愀猀栀 倀爀攀搀椀挀琀椀漀渀㼀㰀⼀䄀㸀 
  2. Barry Naughton On The “Post-Crisis Economic Dilemmas of the Chinese Leadership” ਀㰀䰀䤀㸀㰀䄀 琀椀琀氀攀㴀∀倀攀爀洀愀渀攀渀琀 䰀椀渀欀㨀 䄀爀攀 吀栀攀爀攀 䴀漀爀攀 䌀栀椀渀愀 䈀攀愀爀猀 吀栀愀渀 倀愀渀搀愀 䈀攀愀爀猀㼀∀ 栀爀攀昀㴀∀栀琀琀瀀㨀⼀⼀眀眀眀⸀猀椀渀漀挀椀猀洀⸀挀漀洀⼀愀爀挀栀椀瘀攀猀⼀㐀㠀㜀∀ 爀攀氀㴀戀漀漀欀洀愀爀欀㸀䄀爀攀 吀栀攀爀攀 䴀漀爀攀 䌀栀椀渀愀 䈀攀愀爀猀 吀栀愀渀 倀愀渀搀愀 䈀攀愀爀猀㼀㰀⼀䄀㸀 
  3. On Wen Jiabao’s Essay “???????-Returning to Xingyi, Remembering Hu Yaobang”