At a Chinese Communist Party meeting on Wednesday, just a day ahead of the start of the 18th National Party Congress that will see a once-in-a-generation leadership change, senior leaders were told that the lessons in recent, high-level corruption cases are “profound,” but it was stressed that the Party’s rule over the country will remain unchanged.
“The problems of [Bo Xilai] and [Liu Zhijun, the former railways minister who faces corruption charges] are serious corruption cases among leading cadres of the Party, and the lessons are profound,” Cai Mingzhao, spokesman for the Congress, told a news conference on Wednesday, reported Communist Party mouthpiece Xinhua. The Party’s Congress will open on Thursday and will go on for around a week.
Cai, however, said that “when conducting political structural reform in China, the CCP has to take into consideration China’s national reality,” according to Xinhua. He said that the Chinese Communist Party’s all-powerful leadership role “must not waver one bit.”
“We should not be intimidated by any risk or be confused by any distraction,” Cai continued.
Xi Jinping, the likely next paramount leader of Communist Party, will be secretary-general of the National Congress. Meanwhile, a congressional presidium consisting of 247 members was also approved, state-media reported.
Bo Xilai was recently booted from the Communist Party after Chinese leaders ended a closed-door meeting earlier in the week. Liu Zhijun was sacked from his position last year, while both are slated to go on trial in the near future.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection agency that investigates corrupt officials produced two reports on Bo and Liu, a source told The Epoch Times on Tuesday. The source described the contents of the report as “very shocking” and “voluminous.”
There are 2,325 delegates and invited delegates that will attend the National Congress on Thursday. At the same time, 2,732 domestic and overseas reporters will attend the meeting.
Cai also told state media that delegates and specially invited people will select members of the Communist Party’s Central Committee via a “competitive election,” said Xinhua. Cai’s statements seemed to chime with remarks made by a source previously that the Party is looking to promote an “intra-Party democracy.” It is still unclear how genuinely democratic the elections will be.
The source also said that membership of the Politburo, the most powerful policy-making body in China, may reduce its membership from 25 to 22 and the Standing Committee’s membership will be reduced from nine to seven.
The Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily reported that the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall would be closed for activities in Tiananmen Square.
A number of Chinese netizens went on Twitter and the popular Sina Weibo microblogging website and prodded at the Communist Party’s recent announcements regarding the National Party.
“It is impossible to solve the corruption problem with the [communist] one-party policy just as it is not possible to go to the toilet without pulling one’s pants down,” said a Chinese Twitter user.
A Weibo blogger “Assignment Notebook,” who has some 420,000 followers, said that to avoid being censored during the upcoming National Congress period, “I will use a new Weibo theme that will protect me from censorship forever.” The user had erected a large and bold “Welcoming the 18th National Congress” theme, using a radiant golden hammer and sickle, fireworks, and the bright red background used in the Party’s propaganda.
With reporting by Jack Phillips.
Editor’s Note: 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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