Lessons learned from “Prisoner of The State – the secret journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang” about China politics

1. Leadership can’t be distracted from economic development by going “left”
– Cleansing Spiritual Pollution Campaign in 1983
– bourgeois liberalization
– anti-liberation campaign in 1987

2. The characteristic of a top politican needs to balance himself between ambition and action
– Hu Yaobang’s mistake by being overly ambitious while not practical

– concern for today’s leadership is whether Hu Jingtao picked any of his ex-mentor Hu Yaobang’s bad characteristics, as reflected by sort of “great leap-forward” decisions in high-speed trains, etc.

3. Inflation expectation, if not controlled, is extremely dangerous to China when average people have no means of storing wealth other than bank deposit

– this situation has gotten a lot better in China today given high property ownership; however, the wealth gap between “have” and “have-not” is further enlarged, thus threatening stability even more than before

4. Prudence is the most important attribute for General Sectary
– Hu Yaobang as an opposite example

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