[The Epoch Times, November 10, 2023]The sudden death of former Prime Minister Li Keqiang was surprising, shocking, and disturbing to many people.
Because Li retired only 7 months ago and was the youngest among the retired Standing Committee members, he enjoyed the best medical care and was unlikely to die suddenly from a heart attack.
Many people at home and abroad believe that Li died abnormally and raised many doubts.
Some people think of the widely circulated saying before the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that “Xi is under Xi and Li is above”, and Li Keqiang’s differences with Xi on some major issues. For example, Li once said that 600 million people in China have a monthly income of only 1,000 yuan, and that “reform and opening up cannot be achieved.” will stop, and the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers will not flow back.” Thinking that even though Li retired, he was only 68 years old and had a certain popularity, he might still be a threat to Xi, etc., and thought that it was Xi who killed Li.
How did Li die? Because of the CCP’s behind-the-scenes operations, it is now difficult to draw an accurate conclusion. But his sudden death undoubtedly shows that the internal struggle within the CCP has reached a life-and-death, highly bloody stage that could lead to bloody events at any time.
After Li Keqiang’s sudden death, various factions within the CCP have continued to expose themselves to the outside world. For example, on November 2, “sources” revealed to “Nikkei” senior reporter Katsuji Nakazawa: In August this year, Li Keqiang was the “driving force behind” Zeng Qinghong’s severe rebuke of Xi on behalf of the CCP elders in Beidaihe.
These claims have pushed the internal strife at the top levels of the CCP to a new stage.
Looking back at the turmoil in the Chinese Communist Party’s political arena since the 20th National Congress, Xi Jinping, who has always been worried about the safety of his family and children, felt even more uneasy after Li Keqiang’s sudden death. Everywhere he looked, there were enemies.
First, the internal fighting among the “Xi Family Army” is fierce.
According to Hong Kong media reports, Ding Laihang, former commander of the Air Force, current member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and deputy chairman of the Overseas Chinese Committee of the National People’s Congress, was investigated for corruption related to the airport project in the western suburbs of Beijing.
According to domestic and overseas media reports, since the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a number of senior generals who have been personally promoted and promoted by Xi Jinping have been involved in accidents. These include:
General Li Shangfu, member of the Central Military Commission, State Councilor, Minister of Defense, former Minister of Equipment Development; General Wei Fenghe, former member of the Central Military Commission, State Councilor, Minister of Defense, and first commander of the Rocket Force;
Former Rocket Force commander and general Li Yuchao; former Rocket Force political commissar and general Xu Zhongbo; former Rocket Force commander and current member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and deputy director of the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, general Zhou Yaning; former Rocket Force deputy commander and lieutenant general Li Chuanguang; Deputy Commander of the Rocket Force, Lieutenant General Liu Guangbin; Chief of Staff of the Rocket Force, Lieutenant General Sun Jinming; Former Deputy Commander of the Rocket Force and current Deputy Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, Lieutenant General Zhang Zhenzhong; Former Deputy Commander of the Rocket Force, Lieutenant General Wu Guohua; Former Rocket Force Li Jun, deputy commander of the Army, current deputy chief of staff of the Joint Staff Department, and member of the Joint Operations Center of the Central Military Commission; former Rocket Force chief of staff and major general Zhang Junxiang;
Xia Qingyue, Rao Wenmin, deputy ministers of the Equipment Development Department, etc.;
Strategic Support Force Commander, General Ju Gansheng, Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Shang Hong;
Deputy Commander of the Navy, Lieutenant General Feng Danyu (formerly Deputy Minister of the Equipment Development Department); Commander of the Southern Theater Command Navy, Lieutenant General Ju Xinchun (formerly Deputy Minister of the Equipment Development Department); Commander of the Navy’s North Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Wang Dazhong.
Military power is Xi’s lifeblood. Xi has served as chairman of the Central Military Commission for 11 years and has been doing everything possible to control the military.
However, to this day, a group of senior generals who have been personally promoted and placed in positions of power by Xi are not loyal to Xi, and they continue to be corrupt. This shows that Xi has not been able to truly control the military power. This may be what worries Xi the most.
Currently, Xi’s purge of this group of senior generals is the most important part of the internal struggle within the “Xi Family Army”. Because Xi relies on the “barrel of a gun” to command the world and his military power is unstable, Xi may be assassinated or mutiny if he is not careful.
After the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the “Xi Family Army” occupied key positions in the party, government and military. But this “Xi family army” was not created by fighting with Xi through life and death.
Before Xi came to power, he did not have any outstanding political achievements, and he did not have his own people. Xi’s greatest asset is that he was born into the second generation of elites and had a relatively enlightened father, Xi Zhongxun.
The people Xi Jinping promotes now are not because they are convinced of Xi and follow Xi, but because they see Xi becoming the top leader of the CCP, government and military, they seek refuge with Xi, obey Xi, and praise Xi. It is impossible for them to be truly loyal to Xi. They only obey on the surface, but secretly have their own agenda and strive to maximize their personal “rights” and “benefits.”
Xi is very suspicious. Very few of the people he promotes and put into positions of trust are those he truly trusts. He is always on guard against these people, letting them supervise each other, restrain each other, and fight among themselves.
For example, Xi made an exception and promoted Li Qiang to be the second-in-command in the CCP, and turned Cai Qi into the actual second-in-command in the CCP. Li Qiang cannot feel Xi’s true trust; does Cai Qi really believe that Xi trusts him 100%? The fight between Cai and Li has been staged.
Infighting among the so-called “Zhejiang Gang”, “Fujian Gang”, “Military Industry Gang”, “Tsinghua Gang”, “Shaanxi Gang”, etc., promoted and promoted by Xi Jinping, has also begun.
Once the situation changes unfavorably for Xi, the so-called “Xi family army” may “fall down the tree and disperse” at any time.
Second, there is the tense relationship between Xi and the “Tuan faction”.
At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi excluded all representatives of the “Tuanpai” from the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China.
Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the 19th Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and Premier of the State Council, and Wang Yang, member of the Standing Committee of the 19th Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, who have not yet reached retirement age, were forced to retire early.
Hu Chunhua, who has been a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China for ten years and a vice premier of the State Council for five years, was forced to retire to the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Hu Jintao, the leader of the “Tuan Faction” and the former top leader of the Chinese Communist Party, government and military, was ordered by Xi to be removed from the venue at the closing meeting of the 20th National Congress in full view of the public.
Li Keqiang’s sudden death on October 27 was another heavy blow to the “Tuan Faction”.
When Xi first came to power and his footing was not yet stable, everyone from Hu Jintao to Li Keqiang and the “Tuan Faction” gave Xi important support.
The biggest conflict between Xi and the “Tuanpai” occurred when Ling Jihua, the former director of the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, who was born in the “Tuanpai”, “tried” to seize Xi’s power.
But generally speaking, the “Tuan Faction” is not Xi’s most important opposition force.
Before the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the “Xi Xi and Li Shang” widely circulated at home and abroad may not have come from the “Tuan Faction” or Li Keqiang’s original wish, but people from Jiang Zeng’s faction deliberately tried to create discord and alienation. But Xi put all the blame on the “Tuan Faction” and “annihilated” the “Tuan Faction” at the 20th National Congress.
Nowadays, the sudden death of Li Keqiang, the representative of the “Tuanpai”, has made the former Tuanpai officials full of hatred towards Xi.
Third, there is the tense relationship between Xi and the CCP veterans.
According to Wang Juntao, a Peking University classmate of Li Keqiang and a political scientist born in the second generation of the Red Army, retired CCP elders have no chance to hold private gatherings. They are effectively under house arrest, and their secretaries, guards, correspondents, drivers, chefs, etc. are all spies.
“They are better than residential surveillance in that they have ample space, but they have to report who they see or not because they have to arrange security. But in the end, the security was not really to ensure safety, it became a specification.”
Wang Juntao also revealed that the family of Zeng Qinghong, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and Vice Chairman of the State, handed over some of their property in exchange for not pursuing him. “Now there are only two major families that can refuse to have friendship with each other, one is Hu Jintao and the other is Jiang Zemin. The other families have already done so.”
Wang Juntao’s statement that retired CCP veterans are “virtually under house arrest” should be consistent with reality.
Xi Jinping mainly controls the life and death of retired CCP veterans through Cai Qi, director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee.
Cai Qi, director of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, has two special powers, one is security and the other is health care. The guards of retired CCP veterans are dispatched by the Central Security Bureau led by Cai Qi, director of the Central Office of the CPC Central Committee; their health care is also responsible for their health care.
The personal guards and personal health care personnel of retired CCP veterans are all responsible to Cai Qi. In this way, the words and deeds of retired CCP elders are under Cai Qi’s supervision.
As for Wang Juntao’s statement that retired CCP veterans hand over their property to ensure their safety, I think it is also possible.
Anyone who knows the officialdom of the Chinese Communist Party knows that corruption among senior Chinese Communist Party officials is a common phenomenon. Retired CCP elders, their family members, children, and even grandchildren, nephews, and nephews and sons-in-law, most if not all, have made huge profits by taking advantage of the power of their grandparents and fathers.
For example, Xiao Jianhua, the former founder of Tomorrow Group and a super billionaire, is considered to be the white glove of Zeng Qinghong and other CCP powerful families in making money in the financial market.
On January 27, 2017, Xiao Jianhua was brought back to mainland China from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong for scrutiny by the Xi authorities. It was not until August 19, 2022, after five and a half years of review, that Xiao Jianhua was sentenced. Xiao Jianhua must have confessed to collecting money from Zeng Qinghong and other CCP powerful families.
After Xiao Jianhua was sentenced, no senior official at the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China was criminally investigated. The most likely possibility is that, as Wang Juntao said, they handed over part of their illegal gains and spent money to eliminate disasters and buy peace.
To be fair, is there any retired CCP veteran who is convinced by Xi Jinping? No. On the contrary, Xi’s above-mentioned actions can only make them feel disgusted with Xi from the bottom of their hearts.
Fourth, the tense relationship between Xi and the second generation of red people.
On November 1, Liu Yuan, son of former Chinese Communist Party Chairman Liu Shaoqi, published an article commemorating Liu Shaoqi on the “Mao Zedong Thought Research” website, “Establishing and Upholding Democratic Centralism and Strengthening Organizational and System Construction.”
The article stated that Liu Shaoqi repeatedly stated in his reports, speeches and manuscripts that “the party’s leadership is collective leadership, not individual leadership. He clearly opposes individual authoritarianism.”
The article also mentioned that the “Several Principles on Intra-Party Political Life” adopted by the Fifth Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China highlighted “adherence to collective leadership and opposition to individual arbitrariness” as a major issue, and “one-man-talk” is not allowed. .
As we all know, Xi Jinping has continued to centralize power since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. By the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi’s centralization of power reached its peak. The Political Bureau and the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China are Xi’s “confidences”, and the State Council has been reduced to Xi’s “administrative agency”. All major domestic and foreign affairs of the CCP are “determined by one person.” The “collective leadership” that the CCP’s top leaders once had has ceased to exist in name only, and members of the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee have all become Xi’s “followers.”
Liu Yuan’s article is actually an excuse to express his dissatisfaction with Xi’s high degree of centralization and personal arbitrariness.
When Liu Yuan served as political commissar of the General Logistics Department of the army, he gave strong support to Xi’s anti-corruption campaign in the military. As the son of Liu Shaoqi and a strong supporter of Xi’s army, Liu Yuan originally expected to enter the Central Military Commission. However, on December 31, 2015, Liu Yuan was dismissed from his post on the grounds that “Ren Zhengda Military Region’s term of office expired.” In February 2016, Liu Yuan was arranged to live in the Financial and Economic Committee of the National People’s Congress for retirement.
In July this year, after Wu Guohua, deputy commander of the Rocket Force, who had retired for three years, hanged himself at home, Zhang Xiaoyang, son of Zhang Zhen, the second generation red generation and former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, made a special trip to Wu Guohua’s home to mourn, visit and express condolences to Wu’s wife and daughter, and posted a message Wen broke the news that Wu had hanged himself.
Why did Wu Guohua commit suicide? It is unknown to the outside world, but it may be related to a major case involving the Rocket Force.
Zhang Xiaoyang personally came to express his condolences to Wu Guohua, praising Wu Guohua for being “diligent, studious, hard-working” and “hardworking throughout his life”. Is this a special way to express dissatisfaction with Xi?
When Xi Jinping came to power, many second-generation red people had high hopes for Xi and expressed their support for Xi in different ways.
However, as Xi severely sentenced the second generation red, Bo Xilai, former member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and Secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Party Committee, was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Wu Xiaohui, former nephew and son-in-law of Deng Xiaoping and chairman of Anbang Group, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. , Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of Huayuan Group, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He forcibly took away the “Yanhuang Chunqiu” magazine run by Hu Dehua, the second generation red generation and the son of former CCP leader Hu Yaobang, and others, and arrested the son-in-law of Li Xiannian, the second generation red generation and former chairman of the Communist Party of China. , Air Force General Liu Yazhou, have excluded the second generation red generation from the core power circle. Many second generation red generations have gradually drifted away from Xi, some are strangers to each other, and some have turned against each other.
There are also many red second generations who are worried that the Xi administration will cut off their “leeks”, so they have transferred their assets overseas and emigrated overseas.
Fifth, the tense relationship between Xi and the “reformists”.
The 43rd issue of Caixin Weekly, published on November 6, 2023, published an editorial “Reform Urgently Needs New Breakthroughs.”
The article stated, “Reform and opening up is the ultimate source of confidence.” “Today, in the face of the many challenges facing China’s economy and society, people expect that reform and opening up can once again achieve major breakthroughs and create new reform dividends for China in the future.”
The article also specifically quoted the words of the recently deceased former Prime Minister Li Keqiang: “The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers will not flow backwards.” He said that “reform is like a relay race, which needs to be passed down one stick at a time.”
The article also said: “On the road to reform, the most alarming thing is that reform remains in words and on paper. The ‘reform’ that some officials call is actually contrary to the spirit of the decision of the (Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee). Once upon a time, contractionary policies frequently Especially during the three-year epidemic, there have been too many micro-interventions, one-size-fits-all, and layer-by-layer overweighting, which has made market entities miserable. Positive reform is reform, and correcting mistakes is also reform. Market entities are eager to see some departments and local governments as soon as possible Bring order out of chaos.”
Since Deng Xiaoping launched “reform and opening up” in 1978, the “reform and opening up faction” represented by Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang have appeared in the CCP. Their expectation is, economically, to establish a market economy in which “the market plays a decisive role in resource allocation”; politically, to establish a “constitutional democracy” system.
However, since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi has not only stagnated on the issue of reform and opening up, but also made great strides back, returning to what Mao Zedong said: “The party, the government, the army and the people, east, west, south, north, and central, the party leads everything.” It has reached out to all areas of the economy and is retreating to “power plays a decisive role in resource allocation.”
At the beginning, the reason why Deng Xiaoping launched the “reform and opening up” was because power was excessively concentrated and he managed many things that should not, could not, and could not be managed well. In view of this, Deng proposed “decentralization of power,” “separation of party and government,” developing the private economy, expanding opening to the outside world, and improving relations with the United States.
Now, the Xi administration’s approach is exactly the opposite of what Deng did at the beginning. It continues to centralize power, continues to replace the government with the party, and continues to suppress the private economy. Relations with the United States have deteriorated to the lowest point in the more than 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
These practices of Xi’s are all deplored by the “reform faction” within the CCP. The above-mentioned Caixin Weekly article represents the voice of the “reform faction” within the CCP system.
Sixth, Xi’s tense relationship with the diplomatic and national security systems.
On July 25, Qin Gang was removed from the post of Foreign Minister after serving for only 7 months; on October 24, Qin Gang was removed from the post of State Councilor after only 7 months as State Councilor.
Qin Gang was “rocket-like promoted” by Xi, and then “rocket-like fallen”. This caused huge repercussions in the entire diplomatic system and internationally.
The “China Discipline Inspection and Supervision” magazine published on November 1 published an article by Zhang Jiwen, leader of the Discipline Inspection and Supervision Team of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission in the Central Foreign Affairs Office, “Promoting Prevention and Resolving Risks in the Field of External Work through In-depth Investigation and Research.”
The article stated that diplomatic cadres “have a relatively high risk of being infiltrated, instigated, and coaxed into corruption.” It also said that the diplomatic system has varying degrees of risks of not implementing the “two safeguards”, including the risk of implementing the “important instructions” and decision-making arrangements that are not resolute and not in place, as well as the risk of leaking secrets, being infiltrated and incited to rebel. , the risk of illegal use of power and power rent-seeking, the risk of “external personal gain”, etc.
As soon as this article came out, many commentators believed that it might imply that Qin Gang was “incited to rebel.” Some comments said that if Qin Gang was specifically targeted, the charges would be quite serious, and if “foreign affairs cadres” were involved, the attack would be wide-ranging.
The article emphasizes that we must “adhere to bottom-line thinking and resolutely take the initiative to prevent and resolve risks in the field of external work.” There may be a wave of purges in the diplomatic system.
After Xi’s crony Chen Yixin was appointed as the Minister of National Security, he actually launched a “nationwide arrest of spies”.
In the history of the Communist Party of China, the trend of arresting spies emerged during Mao’s Yan’an rectification movement in the 1940s. During the so-called “rescue campaign”, 15,000 spies were arrested. In the end, it was discovered that not one of them was a spy. After the Cultural Revolution broke out in the 1960s, the Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide campaign to catch spies and arrested countless spies. After the Cultural Revolution, when unjust, false, and wrongly convicted cases were redressed, it was discovered that many “agents” were “just trying to incriminate others, so there was no excuse for them.”
If all the people are trying to catch spies, many innocent Chinese may be charged with “espionage”.
Officials in the national security system are either professional spies or specialize in catching spies. If the “whole people catch spies” is really implemented, many people in the national security system may be in trouble. Will someone take the opportunity to cause civil strife, which will be detrimental to Xi? This is very possible.
Seventh, the tense relationship between Xi and the Jiang Zeng faction.
After Xi came to power, the first major thing he did was to seize the highest power actually controlled by the Jiang faction headed by Jiang Zemin and Zeng Qinghong in the name of fighting corruption.
To this end, in the five years of Xi’s first term, he investigated and dealt with 440 senior officials at the deputy provincial and ministerial level and above, as well as other central management cadres. Most of them were promoted and re-employed by Jiang and Zeng, including Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou, Guo Boxiong, and Bo Xi Lai, Sun Zhengcai, and Ling Jihua were six “careerists and conspirators” who “tried to seize the power of the party and the state.”
By the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017, Xi had basically seized the main power of the party, government and military. Only the political and legal power was in the hands of the Jiang Zeng faction.
In the five years of Xi’s second term, 132 senior officials at the deputy provincial and ministerial level and above, as well as other central management cadres, were investigated and prosecuted. Most of them were promoted and promoted by Jiang Zeng and his cronies, including Sun Lijun, Fu Zhenghua, Liu Yanping, Gong Daoan, Deng Huilin, Wang Like, Liu Xinyun and other anti-Xi “Sun Lijun political gangs”.
At the end of 2021, Xi arrested Liu Yazhou, a former political commissar of the National Defense University, an Air Force general, and the son-in-law of former CCP Chairman Li Xiannian, who was known as “Jiang Zemin’s military liaison.” Hong Kong media reported in March 2023 that Liu Yazhou may be sentenced to a suspended death sentence.
The above 572 senior officials at the deputy provincial and ministerial level and above, as well as other central management cadres, as well as their families and children, all hate the custom deeply and want to get rid of it quickly.
During his second-term fight with Zeng Qinghong, Xi killed Lai Xiaomin, an important confidant of Zeng Qinghong and former chairman of Huarong Group, as quickly as possible. Xi also brought Zeng Qinghong’s niece Zeng Baobao’s Fantasia Company to its “darkest moment” – it was difficult to borrow money, repay debts, tear down the east wall, repair the west wall, and even “petitioned for liquidation” by creditors (equivalent to bankruptcy liquidation) the point.
Zeng Qinghong hates Xi so much that she will torture him as much as she can whenever she gets the chance.
After the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi reached the pinnacle of power, but his reputation fell to its lowest point.
The sudden death of former Prime Minister Li Keqiang sent shivers down the spines of all senior CCP officials.
According to Gao Guangjun, a former teacher at the China Public Security University and now a lawyer in the United States, Xi established an operations bureau directly under the Military Commission in 2017 to specialize in various secret operations, including dealing with difficult figures who are difficult to deal with publicly, except for assassinations. , and also engaged in kidnapping.
If there really is such an action bureau, it can be said that everyone in the CCP’s senior officials is in danger. Everyone in the CCP’s senior officials is in danger, and they will definitely find ways to deal with Xi. In this way, Xi will also be in high danger.
In today’s CCP, the contradictions accumulated during the Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Xi Jinping eras have reached the point of erupting.
Maybe, a spark will trigger an earth-shattering event.
Epoch Times first release
Editor in charge: Gao Yi