Ling Jihua, the secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party, is a dark horse candidate for the next Politburo Standing Committee lineup, the top leadership group of the CCP that will be chosen next fall.
Rumors about Ling have appeared on the Internet recently, with unsubstantiated claims that his son died in a Ferrari accident on March 18, or that he is part of the Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai faction.
“Based on the black box operation of the regime’s political affairs, these phenomena represent a major shakeup among CCP senior officials,” according to Washington-based China expert Shi Zangshan.
Some Beijing insiders consider Ling’s potential seat on the Standing Committee to be a “dark secret” of the CCP’s 18th National Congress. Ling is Hu Jintao’s secretary and is considered to be Hu’s right-hand man.
On June 4, overseas Chinese dissident media Boxun.com reported that in order to sort out possible candidates for the next National People’s Congress, a preliminary vote was held earlier this year among some 300 members of the Central Committee. The information was credited to unnamed Beijing insiders.
Ling, who was not a member of the Politburo, gained more votes than some veteran members of the Politburo.
Boxun reported that an insider confirmed that as secretary of the Central Secretariat and chief of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, Ling stood out after two rounds of internal votes.
That report was picked up by bloggers.
Ling is considered the “chief of staff” for Hu Jintao, and is often referred to as the “housekeeper of Zhongnanhai.” Zhongnanhai is the Beijing compound for the Party leadership.
Recently, a conference was held for Party members directly under the Central Committee in Beijing. Members cast votes to choose 108 candidates for the upcoming People’s National Congress in October. Amidst the rumors, Ling gave a high profile speech.
Ling said, “The party should make a firm political stand and protect the authority of the Central Committee” and advised other party members to “gather around the Party Central led by Hu Jintao.”
Yang Ning, a political affairs commentator based in the United States, said that Ling’s message clearly targeted certain party officials. After Bo Xilai’s and Zhou Yongkang’s coup attempt, party members should be loyal to the Party Central led by Hu.
Ling’s speech was heavily quoted by the regime’s media outlets.
Read the original Chinese article.
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