Red or black: Ferrari reveals enough about Chinese politics

Red or black: Ferrari reveals enough about Chinese politics

Sadi Kaymaz BEIJING - Hürriyet Daily News
Red or black: Ferrari reveals enough about Chinese politics

Fudan University’s student members of the Chinese Communist Party toss their caps into the air marking the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party. REUTERS photo

Witnesses to a traffic accident three weeks ago in a Chinese province have said that soon after a dozen Ferraris roared past, two of them had a rear-end collision. The red Ferrari was severely damaged, and people were trapped inside.

China’s tech-savvy netizens were quick to share photos from the scene, where all four wheels and even the engine had been ripped off or scattered away. Thousands of comments were written at lightning speed – not with compassion, but rage.

“A dead Ferrari owner is okay, as long as no one else is affected,” said a netizen nicknamed “Brother Hu.” Another, “Wang Yi,” added, “I wish for more and more accidents like this.” There were some netizens who expressed sympathy as well, saying, “Do not cry, Dad will get you another one tomorrow!”

These shocking comments remind Chinese leaders that the corruption issue has come to a critical juncture and explains why President Hu Jintao described the battle against corruption as a life-and-death struggle for the party, launching successive campaigns and making high-profile arrests.

Another Ferrari scandal hit the ruling elite ahead of a once-in-a-decade transition of power, when Hu did not even show mercy to his close ally Ling Jihua following his son’s involvement in a fatal Ferrari crash in Beijing. Ling, who was then a powerful contender for top leadership, has been reportedly blocked for promotion by the president himself.
Chinese leaders suffered a blow when the multimillion dollar fortune of the wife of Bo Xilai, formerly China’s most popular politician, was revealed. Some suspect political rivals deliberately leaked defaming information as intrigue has intensified regarding leadership positions. The relatives of Hu’s heir apparent, Xi Jinping, and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, have recently added more embarrassment for the leadership.

The New York Times’ Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, who reported that close relatives of Wen hold billions of dollars in hidden riches, disagrees.

“There was a tremendous amount of information available in the public record.”

But some netizens say even public records are not needed. “The Ferrari can be black or red, it reveals enough!” echoes the famous Chinese maxim on reform that it doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.