Just before the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, when a once-in-a-decade leadership changeover takes place, many retired Party leaders have suddenly become active and placed themselves in the public view. Political analysts say it is a demonstration of the elders declaring their factional affiliations and an attempt to steer events favorably before the Congress.
Former premier Zhu Rongji met with advisory committee members of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on Oct. 24.
Li Peng, another former premier, donated 3 million yuan to build his own educational assistance foundation, state media reported on Oct. 30.
On Oct. 20, a few online media, including popular web portals qq.com and 163.com, published a report and a photo of former Party leader and head of state Jiang Zemin and his wife meeting Shanghai Ocean University leaders on Oct. 9. A photo of Jiang meeting Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz appeared around May, but Chinese state media didn’t report on it and the Chinese Foreign Ministry also declined to comment on it.
Political commentator Xia Xiaoqiang, based in Washington D.C., told The Epoch Times that many former Party leaders, accompanied by other officials, are coming out to show their support for Xi Jinping, the presumptive new Party head.
In early September, after Xi Jinping had dropped out of sight for two weeks because of an alleged back injury, the Party’s media announced Bo Xilai’s criminal case.
At the same time, Li Ruihuan, Qiao Shi, Zhu Rongji, Wu Yi, Ye Jianying’s family, and other former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders reappeared, apparently as a way of doing combat with the Jiang Zemin faction and showing support for Xi.
Tang Baiqiao, Chairman of the U.S. based China Peace and Democracy Federation, said that Zhu Rongji and Li Ruihuan have not appeared in public for a long time, and that their recent reappearance is significant moral support for Hu, Wen, and Xi.
Zhu Rongji was premier from 1998 to 2003, during which time he was often blunt and outspoken. During his term he attacked corruption and attempted to push through reforms in China’s financial system. There were many rumors of disagreements between him and Jiang.
Zhu previously vowed that he would no longer participate in politics.
“In the CCP’s current internal struggle, these former leaders can’t sit idle anymore. Part of it might be due to pressure, maybe some people asked that they appear to uphold justice. It’s obvious that Zhu Rongji reappeared to support Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping,” Tang said. “It’s even more true for Li Ruihuan who is a sworn enemy of Jiang Zemin.”
Political commentator Zhang Sutian gave a historical comparison to Sound of Hope, a Chinese-language radio network: “Back when Mao Zedong died, his wife and supporters were immediately punished. The Jiang faction members face the same; they all see this. To them, Jiang Zemin can’t die or become a vegetable, he must reappear.”
Jiang is the political patron of Bo Xilai, the disgraced official, and Zhou Yongkang, the current head of the communist regime’s security services.
Read the original Chinese article.
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