David’s rundown of the last two members of China’s real-life version of the Seven.
Full text after the break.
The Final Two (from Seven)
According to the BBC’s sources there are two more candidates for the Standing Committee of the Politburo who are, as like as not, going to form the Seven who’ll be ruling China in the decade to come. One of these – and reported to be about to become Vice Premier – is Liu Yunshan. Only let’s leave him until last. Just why I’ll come to.
Before him, sixth in the line-up, is Yu Zhengsheng, an amiable man, born in Shaoxing in Zhejiang in April 1945. A good friend of Deng Xiaoping and his family, Yu survived the defection of his brother to the USA back in 1985. Never a good thing to have had happen to your family, neh?
Early on in his career he was Mayor first of Qingdao and then of Yantai, only stepping up a rung or two when he was recalled to Beijing in 1997, becoming Minister of Construction. He was there until 2001, and a year later was promoted to Secretary of the CPC Hubei Committee. Finally, in 2007, he became Party Chief in Shanghai, replacing no other than our number one, Xi Jinping. Oh, and to show just how interwoven he is in the CCP set-up, Yu is also son-in-law of the People’s Liberation Army’s Major General, Zhang Zhenhuan.
Now, if Yu Zhengsheng is an amiable man, on good terms, it seems, with almost everyone in the higher echelons of the CCP, the last of our Seven, Liu Yunshan, is a bit of a shadowy figure and I sense that if we don’t know very much about him, that’s because he very much wants it to remain that way.
But what do we know? Well, we know that he was born in July 1947 in Shanxi Province, and that in his early life he worked in Inner Mongolia – from 1968 through to the late eighties. Between 1997 and 2007 however, he has worked for the “Office Of Spiritual Civilization” – and I warn you right now… look that one up on the net and your machine will crash. Mine did and it cost me £80 to get it up and running again!
From 2002, Liu Yunshan was Director of the Propaganda Department of China’s Central Committee. Yes, and I stress that word – “Propaganda”. It gives us a clue as to where Liu’s skills lie. Just look at one of the rare photos of this guy – he’s a regular Bond villain and I reckon if anyone’s behind Ghostnet and all of that internet hacking stuff, I’d guess it’s him. I could be wrong, of course. He might be a regular Kind Uncle, but the sparse nature of the entries on him make me think he hasn’t – in the past – wanted anyone to know too much about what he does or who he is. That, of course, will change now… IF he’s elected to the Seven.
And hey… talk about life imitating art imitating life… I feel almost like I’ve written all this stuff already. But that’s it… for now. Watch this space, however, because the REAL Seven are going to have as much influence on our world as my fictional Seven had on theirs. Because China are the coming race. It’s inevitable. And we can be friends, or…
Yeah. I don’t like contemplating that either.
David Wingrove – 25th October 2012