The Watch enters a new phase as new leadership takes over in China.
Do I really expect that much to change? Not really. But I hope to be proven wrong.
The departing top man, Jiang Zemin, used the word "new" 90 times in his speech to open the Communist Party Congress, and official media obediently counted them up. Hu Jintao, Jiang's newly ascended successor, invoked the notion repeatedly Friday, talking of a "new situation," a "new century," a "new phase."
"New thought and new ideas dominate," the Beijing Evening News enthused.
I like this line from an article about China "basking" in communist praise:
China basked in praise from the world's dwindling brotherhood of communist nations Sunday, releasing congratulatory messages from North Korea and Vietnam about its new top man and trumpeting a promise from Cuba's Fidel Castro to bring the two countries even closer.There's something twisted about that. It's like the school bully and his "yes-men" cronies who follow him around and laugh at his jokes.