Party chief to face rough ride
GUANGDONG party secretary Xie Fei is expected to make a self-criticism at the continuing party conference in the northern seaside resort of Beidaihe.
Sources in Beijing said this would form the climax of a long-standing tug-of-war between central authorities and the rich coastal province.
Mr Xie, also a Politburo member, will try to explain why Guangdong has failed to fully carry out central orders, particularly in economic policy.
The edicts have included making more contributions to central coffers and stopping investments detrimental to the programme of promoting 'macro-economic adjustments and controls'.
The party boss, who is due to be transferred early next year, will also have to explain why Guangdong has failed to go the distance in its anti-corruption campaign.
Several Guangdong-based state corporations, including those run by relatives of former Guangdong leaders, have been under investigation for engaging in questionable deals.
The sources said Mr Xie would take personal responsibility for these and other shortcomings, including the failure to boost 'spiritual civilisation', or socialist values, in the province.
They said, however, that Mr Xie was likely to be given 'a clean bill of political health' after he promised to toe the central Government's line more scrupulously.
They said unlike such powerful Guangdong leaders as former governor Ye Xuanping, Mr Xie had ambitions of being posted to an important position in Beijing.
'Xie felt jealous when the Shandong party boss, Jiang Chunyun, was made a vice-premier in charge of agriculture earlier this year,' a Guangzhou-based diplomat said. 'In return for making his peace with Beijing - and a plum posting - he might be willing to sacrifice some of the interests of Guangdong.' One area that Guangdong will compromise on is its share of tax revenues, the diplomat said.
Meanwhile, officials in Shenzhen are watching proceedings at Beidaihe, which are likely to last until the end of the month, with anxiety.
Economic sources in Beijing said a contentious issue concerning the Ninth Five-Year Plan of 1996-2000, which the Beidaihe conference will finalise, was how many preferential policies the zones can keep.
Shenzhen party secretary Li Youwei has since early summer been putting together a document on why the zones should be allowed to remain 'special'.
The document will be presented to a full Politburo meeting at Beidaihe by the relatively few top cadres who are sympathetic to the zone.
Since the decline in the health of patriarch Deng Xiaoping, who is Guangdong's principal patron, local politicians including Mr Xie and Mr Li have been lobbying party elders and Politburo members for support.