That lesson is deeply rooted in the Chinese Communist Partys narrative and its insistence on an absolute hold on political power, a legacy that would make large-scale reform by Xi or others a complicated proposition.
For example, there were rumors before the party congress that ushered in Xi last November that his administration might signal coming change by lowering the profile of communist Chinas founding father, Mao Zedong.
nstead, the congress featured plenty of references to the importance of Mao Zedong Thought and the man whose policies contributed to the violent deaths, starvation and injury of millions of his own countrymen.
The Soviet precedent Xi cited might offer a clue as to why.
Mao was displeased in 1956 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev condemned an infamous predecessor, Joseph Stalin, for having practiced brutal violence, not only toward everything which opposed him, but also toward that which seemed, to his capricious and despotic character, contrary to his concepts.
Those words could have been applied just as easily to Mao.
When the Chinese Communist Party, then led by Deng Xiaoping, passed official judgment on Maos legacy in 1981, he was blamed for initiating and leading the disastrously violent Cultural Revolution. However, the importance of his overall role in the development of modern China and the necessity of Mao Zedong Thought were upheld, a position that continues today.
An authoritative 2011 biography of Deng, written by scholar Ezra Vogel, pointed out that, Having seen in Moscow how Nikita Khrushchevs wide-ranging attacks on Stalin in 1956 damaged the authority of the party, Deng was determined to maintain respect for the Chinese Communist Party.
While theres been vast economic growth in China during the 30 years that followed, that political calculus hasnt wavered much.
Zhus own views on the prospects for progress have dimmed considerably since November, when he posted the first sex tape amid Xis call for a cleaner regime. That recording, shot in 2007, featured a bug-eyed Chongqing district Communist Party chief in flagrante delicto with a teenager whod been given to him by a construction company boss. The clip, and an untold number of others like it, reportedly were used in a scheme to pressure officials into handing out government projects.
The official was quickly removed from office, and Zhu, in interviews that followed, expressed hope that Xis words augured a transformation in how corruption would be handled in China.
Zhu is more hesitant now, despite the news that 10 additional government and state-owned business officials had been fired in the wake of an investigation the sex video had sparked. He cited a statement from Xi, quoted by official media Jan. 22, that the partys central commission for discipline would punish both flies and tigers; that is, illegal activity by officials both low and high. Power should be restricted by the cage of regulations, Xi said.
He hails a statement from Xi, quoted by official media Jan. 22, that the partys central commission for discipline would punish both flies and tigers, that is, illegal activity by officials low and high. Power should be restricted by the cage of regulations, Xi said.
On Wednesday evening, Zhu said such sentiment should be supported and encouraged. But thats far from whats happening now, he added.
Instead, these corrupt people want to put us citizens into an iron cage. Thats the situation, Zhu said.
He added: Now we are facing a crossroads of whether should we carry out political reform immediately. I think that our countrys leadership cannot just make thunder and not let rain fall down.