Chinese Army's Business Empire: Breaking It Up Is Hard to Do President Jiang's Order Is Intended to Rebalance Power, Assert Leadership, and Rout out Corruption

By Kevin Platt, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 1, 1998 | Go to article overview

Chinese Army's Business Empire: Breaking It Up Is Hard to Do President Jiang's Order Is Intended to Rebalance Power, Assert Leadership, and Rout out Corruption


Kevin Platt, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


After martial-law troops backed by tanks shot their way into student-occupied Tiananmen Square in 1989, central Beijing looked like an urban battlefield, with burned-out buses and bullet-cratered buildings left as signposts of the Army's advance.

Yet, as if at the eye of a hurricane, two complexes here survived unscathed: the Communist Party headquarters opposite Tiananmen Square, and the nearby five-star Palace Hotel.

The protective force field around the Palace turned out to be the same power that wrought destruction in Beijing: The hotel is one of thousands of flourishing businesses owned by the People's Liberation Army. Yet the ultra- swank hotel, with its marble staircases and gold-plated Rolls-Royce, is under a cloud now that China's leadership has ordered the Army to divest itself of a vast business empire.

President Jiang Zemin, the first civilian to head the PLA since the 1949 Communist revolution, recently launched a campaign to strip the Army of its multibillion-dollar commercial operations. But Chinese and American analysts say that Mr. Jiang may be creating a political minefield by confronting the Army, and that he is likely to encounter strong pockets of resistance. "The Army is a very strong political-interest group, and anyone who challenges it faces tremendous risks," says Hu Angang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The president launched an offensive on the PLA Inc., as many critics call China's entrepreneurial Army, in part to combat a web of corruption entangling growing swaths of soldiers. China's military engages in everything from smuggling to operating discos, from making pirated compact discs to exporting submachine guns to the United States, says a Western official. Shrouded in secrecy, the PLA is believed to own up to 30,000 companies that produce an estimated $6 billion in profits yearly. "Public resentment is mounting against the Army's flexing its power in the business sphere and its being above the law," says the official, who asked not to be identified.

Yet many Chinese were shocked when Jiang, flanked by the military's high command, publicly accused unnamed Army officers, along with members of the judiciary, police, and paramilitary, of aiding or shielding massive smuggling rings. Jiang, who rose to power through the bureaucracy rather than on the battlefield, "has been courting the PLA for years," says the Western official. "Because Jiang relies on the Army to rule China and has no military experience, many analysts believed he would pretty much let the PLA do whatever it wanted. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chinese Army's Business Empire: Breaking It Up Is Hard to Do President Jiang's Order Is Intended to Rebalance Power, Assert Leadership, and Rout out Corruption
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.