Ex-president Jiang urges Beijing to curb anti-corruption drive
Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese president, has urged the current leadership to rein in the toughest anti-corruption campaign in decades, which is threatening the interests of some Communist party elders.This is the beauty of a slowdown in the economy. They won't have to use political means to out the corrupt, they don't need to mount huge investigations (though they needed one to take apart Zhou Yongkang network). Xi and Li's political enemies will be exposed when firms under their control go bankrupt. Their enemies don't even need to be corrupt: mismanaging a state-owned company will destroy a politician's political power. Xi and Li will also be able to point to the example of Zhou Yongkang, a case of killing the chicken and letting the monkeys watch. Then when it comes time to pass economic reforms, Xi and Li will find their political enemies are great supporters of their market oriented reforms.
Mr Jiang, who stepped down as president of China in 2003 but retained control of the military for a further two years, has sent a clear signal in the past month to Xi Jinping, the president, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Mr Jiang sent a message saying “the footprint of this anti-corruption campaign cannot get too big” in a warning to Mr Xi not to take on too many of the powerful families or patronage networks at the top of the party hierarchy.
.....Most global luxury companies have reported declining Chinese sales of their products, which have been favoured as gifts and bribes for officials for years.
In the past few weeks, producers of high-end spirits like Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Rémy Cointreau have reported double-digit first-half collapses in sales in China and have explicitly blamed Beijing’s austerity drive for their woes.