On June 4, a state-run newspaper in Guangdong announced a change of leadership in the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC), which appears to be part of a trend taking power away from the hardliners that usually run the committees across China.
Titled “Deputy Chief of the Party Committee Assumes the Role of Head of the Political & Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC) in Six Cities in Guangdong,” the story was published in the Southern Metropolis newspaper.
Previously, the head of the PLAC also served as head of the Public Security Bureau. This will no longer be. Instead, the Deputy Chief of the Party Committee, who does not have a background in the security system, will lead the PLAC.
In Guangdong, six of 21 prefecture-level cities will be affected in this manner.
Guangdong Province has 21 prefecture-level municipalities, 33 county-level municipalities, three autonomous counties and 43 urban areas.
The article was published 23 years to the day after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
In China, propaganda is carefully orchestrated and planned. The fact that this article was published on the June 4 “sensitive day,” led commentator Wei Tuo to see it as another sign of the weakening power of Zhou Yongkang, the head of the PLAC and a member of the Party’s Standing Committee.
While factions vie, and party head Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are speeding up their purges of opponents, the Guangdong change has deeper implications.
According to Wei, Guangdong has always been an experimental field for the communist regime’s policy changes. While factions vie, and party head Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are speeding up their purges of opponents, the Guangdong change has deeper implications.
Wei thinks it means the PLAC will be abolished.
“Once the PLAC is eliminated, the person can just focus on his role as Deputy Party Chief. There will be no need for a personnel change,” he said.
“Wang Yang is Hu and Wen’s ally. By changing the tradition of the head of PLAC serving as the head of the Public Security Bureau, Wang Yang is setting an example for others of how to isolate and weaken the PLAC.”
Guangdong is not the only place where the PLAC is being restructured.
By May, four provinces had finished their own leadership changes. The newly appointed Standing Committee of Provincial Party Committee usually has 12 to 14 people. The current head of PLAC is not included in the standing committee of Shandong Province, Shanghai, Shaanxi Province and Qinghai Province.
Wen Zhao, a political commentator for the New York-based NTD Television, offered his analysis. He said he thinks it’s very likely this is a sign that the regime is stripping the PLAC of its power. Shandong, Shanghai and Guangdong have already ousted the PLAC. To Wen, this is a signal that the PLAC is being dismantled.
In China’s political landscape, Guangdong and Shanghai lead changes. Those moves are usually made after direct orders from the central government. Other regions are expected to follow suit, according to Wen.
The move could also be a normalization of the power of the PLAC, given that it attained an unprecedented level of power over the last decade because of its role in carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong.
Read the original Chinese article.
When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.
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