by Anton Graham
The machinations over the recent “resignation” of china’s de facto head of state ye jianying are a delightful reminder that chinese politics are just as convoluted and complex as they ever were.
The plot so far: old marshal ye, 86 this year, is an old maoist who has been fighting the present strongman deng xiaoping for the past few years over a number of crucial issues.
He refuses to agree to the systematic retirement of old party cadres and their replacement by younger people, and has conspicuously given no support to the reform programme which deng has been pushing.
He has also bitterly opposed the way in which his hero, the late chairman mao, has been attacked, criticised and ignored by his successors.
Age is against him, but marshal ye is still determined to make things as difficult as possible for deng and his men and never misses an opportunity to indicate his opposition to them — in an un-overt way which is still crystal clear to those in the know.