chIna 6


chIna 6
The Epoch Times
october 17 – 23, 2012
Why Bo Xilai fell and Xi Jinping
Part 1 of the inside story on the turmoil inside the
Chinese regime’s inner circle. An analysis by Lin Feng.
Continued from front page
The publicly announced
charges are a gambit by
a divided leadership still
not ready to settle things.
The top Party leaders know
what Wang revealed after
Chengdu: Bo, along with
domestic security czar Zhou
Yongkang, had planned a
coup to grab power from
presumptive next head of
the Party Xi Jinping. The
Party leaders also know that
Bo is a key figure behind a
mass atrocity: the forced, live
organ harvesting from Falun
Gong practitioners.
The fate of Bo is the crux
of the long-running struggle
between the current Party
chief Hu Jintao, Premier Wen
Jiabao, Xi Jinping and their
supporters on the one hand,
and the faction formed by
former CCP head Jiang Zemin
on the other. That battle now
involves all current highlevel CCP officials and retired
The attempted defection by former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun (first domino) set in motion a chain of
events exposing and inflaming the Communist Party’s internal strife, which has come to a head presently.
The once powerful Bo Xilai (second domino) is facing criminal charges and the man Bo was to succeed as the
powerful domestic security czar, Zhou Yongkang (third domino), has been stripped of any real power.
Bo and Wang-Feng Li/Getty Images; Zhou-Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images; graphics by Vadim Berestetsky/The Epoch Times
Avoiding accountability
Jiang Zemin’s decision to persecute the spiritual practice
of Falun Gong (also known as
Falun Dafa) is the core issue
that has led to today’s Party
Falun Gong was first
publicly taught in northeastern China in May 1992.
The practice involves doing
slow-motion, meditative
exercises and living according to teachings based on the
principles of truthfulness,
compassion and tolerance.
It became extraordinarily popular. By 1999, state
authorities estimated that
between 70 million and 100
million people had taken up
Falun Gong – more than were
members of the CCP.
When Jiang launched
the campaign to eradicate
Falun Gong in July 1999, he
expected it to be over in three
months. By the time he was
scheduled to retire in 2002,
though, Falun Gong showed
no signs of being wiped out.
This posed a problem.
Jiang’s campaign had put the
CCP at war against approximately 1 in 12 Chinese.
Millions had been sent to
labour camps, where they
were tortured and brainwashed. Thousands of those
had been murdered by the
abuse. Thousands more had
been killed through forced,
live organ harvesting.
If Jiang or those loyal to
Jiang were not in power,
then the crimes committed
in the persecution would be
exposed and the members of
Jiang’s faction would be held
accountable. The struggles
behind the scenes surrounding the 16th Party Congress in
2002, the 17th Party Congress
in 2007 and the upcoming
18th Party Congress have all
turned around the attempt
by Jiang’s faction to hold onto
power and so avoid being
called to account.
In 2003, Hu Jintao became
the general secretary of the
CCP, but for a long time he
would not hold real power.
Jiang Zemin, as chairman
of the Central Military
Commission, still called the
In addition, with Jiang’s
long-time fixer Zeng
Qinghong as vice-chairman
of the CCP, Hu and Premier
Wen had difficulty getting
their writ to extend beyond
the walls of the Party compound of Zhongnanhai.
After Jiang completely
retired in 2004 and Hu
became the chairman of the
Central Military Commission,
Hu only had authority to
promote major-generals.
But beginning in May
2006, Hu Jintao started to
solidify his control over
the military, starting from
Beijing, then to the Central
Military Commission and
then to Chongqing.
Struggle over Xi
In the high-stakes game
being played between Jiang
and Hu, the next key moves
involved determining the
make-up of the Politburo
Standing Committee – the
body of nine men who run
the CCP – and who would be
Hu’s successor, both to be
announced at the 17th Party
Congress in 2007.
Bo’s stalwart, Zeng
Qinghong, was forced to
retire from the Standing
Committee. Hu favoured
bringing on Li Keqiang,
then the head of the CCP in
Liaoning Province, and Xi
Jinping, then the head of the
CCP in Zhejiang Province. Hu
got both onto the Standing
Committee and wanted Li
Keqiang named as his successor.
Jiang and Zeng continued
to block Hu and were unwilling to let Li Keqiang step up
to power. Jiang did not have
anyone on the Standing
Committee he could name
in Li’s place and so he reluc-
China is
facing ‘major
changes never
seen in the past
three thousand
The Study Times
tantly put forward Xi Jinping.
Hu and Wen had no
problem accepting Xi Jinping,
as they shared a common
outlook. All three considered
themselves students of Hu
Yaobang, the Party general
secretary who helped bring
economic reform to communist China and who favoured
political reform.
Jiang’s nomination of Xi,
however, was a ploy. Jiang
was playing for time.
Jiang’s real hopes were
pinned on Bo Xilai. Bo had
developed the Chongqing
Model, a political program
that claimed to improve law
and order by cracking down
on gangs and revive the
status of the CCP by encouraging Maoist expressions of
devotion to the Party.
Jiang’s faction planned
to have Bo named at the
18th Party Congress as the
successor to domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang
on the Politburo Standing
Committee and as Zhou’s
successor as head of the
Political and Legal Affairs
Committee (PLAC). The PLAC
controls the judiciary, the
procuratorate, the Ministry
of Public Security, Ministry
of State Security, Ministry of
Justice, the People’s Armed
Police and other relevant
departments and agencies.
Jiang and Zhou had
increased the budget and
scope of the PLAC, making it
a second centre of power in
the Party. With Bo in charge
of the PLAC, he could, when
the time was ripe, use the
1.5 million strong People’s
Armed Police to depose Xi
and seize power. The persecution of Falun Gong could
then be maintained.
The groundwork for this
plan had been laid, but then
Wang Lijun fled to Chengdu.
Targeting Jiang and
In preparation for the 18th
Party Congress, Hu tested the
waters of Jiang’s viability. He
arranged for a Party official to
leak to the Hong Kong media
the news of Jiang’s death.
He wanted to see how the
members of Jiang’s faction
and the Chinese people
would react to the news and
force Jiang to come out into
the public, where Hu could
get a better idea of Jiang’s
The Chinese people set off
firecrackers to celebrate the
news of Jiang’s death, while
the response of Jiang’s faction
did not suggest strength.
When the Wang scandal
broke, Hu was prepared to
seize the opportunity and
use the scandal to undo Bo
Xilai. Hu was aiming at Jiang
by bringing Bo down.
Meanwhile, Hu and Wen
began putting restraints
on Zhou Yongkang and
attempted using the
blind activist lawyer Chen
Guangcheng to help weaken
Zhou further.
Around April 27, Chen,
whose family had been held
under a suffocating house
arrest by the PLAC in Linyi
City in Shandong Province,
suddenly entered the US
Embassy in Beijing, hundreds
of kilometres away.
In a video, Chen said
the PLAC under Zhou was
lawless and Chen listed the
abuses he had suffered over
several years. Chen directed
to Wen the question, are the
local officials breaking the
law on their own or are they
directed to do so by central
government officials? And
then Chen said, directing his
remark to Wen: “I think you
should give a clear answer to
the people soon.”
Chen’s video put a great
deal of pressure on the CCP
regarding Zhou.
Chen’s escape from Linyi
was not luck or coincidence.
Senior Party officials had
secretly helped make it
Just as all sides began
focusing on Zhou, Hu
encountered resistance.
Push back
Zhou used the Global Times
and other news outlets controlled by him to accuse Hu
of inviting “US interference
in China’s internal affairs”.
The United States and
China had reached an agreement after six days for Chen’s
exit from the embassy, but
Zhou disrupted it and forced
Chen to choose exile abroad.
At the same time, Zeng
Qinghong also started
encouraging CCP veteran
leaders to pressure Hu and
Wen to stop taking down
Zhou Yongkang.
Prominent among the
Party elders whom Zeng
appealed to were the Ye
brothers, Ye Xuanping and Ye
Xuanning. They are the sons
of Field Marshall Ye Jianying,
one of the founders of the
CCP, and each is powerful in
his own right.
Ye Xuanning is regarded
as the spiritual leader of the
princelings – the children of
the founding generation of
the Party. Ye Xuanning has
controlled China’s military
spy system for a long time
and has a lot of influence
among the military.
The Ye family’s major
concern was that if Zhou
were taken down, the CCP
would collapse.
Hu decided to abandon
the idea of arresting of Zhou
Yongkang and sought to deal
with him in another way.
In early May this year, 200
senior CCP officials attended
a meeting held at the
Jingxi Hotel, which Reuters
described as having been
called to “shore up unity and
advance preparations for the
18th Party Congress”.
According to a source
familiar with the meeting, Hu
set the following guidelines:
Zhou must totally retire.
After handing over power,
he’ll also lose the power of
appointing his successor to
the PLAC. Zhou would be
allowed to cut ties from Bo’s
case and would be allowed to
stay in office until after the
18th Party Congress.
Those attending reached
the agreement that Zhou
could still keep a high-profile
in public, creating a harmonious, stable appearance in
order to ensure a smooth
transition of power.
At the same time, an
agreement was reached
that included hard-liners,
led by Propaganda Minister
Li Changchun and Zhou
Yongkang, to agree to Wen
Jiabao’s proposals for political reform. Although the
agreed reforms were to be
very limited, they were to
include what were described
as “high-level free elections”.
Guangdong Province was
to take the lead with a pilot
These agreements seemed
to chart a path forward for
the divided Party. They
would all soon be changed.
This is the first instalment of a
3-part analysis.