Amid a raging political storm in China’s highest leadership circle, the plot thickens surrounding the alleged coup attempt by Bo Xilai and the powerful chief of internal security forces Zhou Yongkang. The two are bound to former Party head Jiang Zemin, and may have plotted to take down Hu and Wen as long as four years ago.
Bo Xilai, the former Party chief of Chongqing was sacked on March 15 and removed from his posts on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Politburo and Central Committee on April 10 on suspicion of serious “disciplinary violations.” Bo’s powerful ally, Zhou Yongkang, the only member of the Politburo Standing Committee—the nine people governing China—who opposed removing Bo, has been the center of attention this past month.
The assumption that Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang have conspired to take down the top leadership and the upcoming leadership is not too far-fetched.
National security reporter Bill Gertz cited a U.S. official saying that Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing police chief who sought asylum at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, provided information about a plot by Bo and Zhou to upset the smooth transition from current Party leader Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping.
Most people find it easy to believe that Bo Xilai may have planned a coup, since he has never hidden his ambitions and has gone to extremes trying to win a seat in the Standing Committee, even aiming for the top post.
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But a lot of people find it hard to understand why Zhou Yongkang would attempt a coup.
Zhou is already a member of the Standing Committee, and Hu Jintao is considered a weak and incapable leader. Zhou therefore is at the top of the Party’s power pyramid. Within his domain, Zhou can do whatever he wants. He is also the head of the domestic security apparatus, the powerful Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, and therefore has the power to mobilize over 1 million paramilitary police to suppress mass uprisings. He also has an annual budget of 700 billion yuan (US$111 billion) at his disposal for “stability maintenance.”
Then why would Zhou Yongkang disregard other Politburo members’ opposition, put himself and his family interests and future aside, and go against Xi Jinping, just to protect Bo Xilai?
The simple reason is that Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, and others, all have torture and genocide lawsuits against them for their roles in persecuting Falun Gong in China. They belong to what Falun Gong practitioners call the “bloody hands.” To keep from being held legally accountable, these men have to oppose Hu and Wen; they have no choice.
Both Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have been against the persecution of Falun Gong.
Liu Jing, a former deputy chief of the 610 Office—the extralegal department set up to “eliminate” Falun Gong—said at a high-level cadre banquet in 2001 that there were two sides regarding the Falun Gong issue, The Epoch Times reported on April 9.
According to Liu, during the same year, in a meeting on how to carry out the persecution of Falun Gong, former Party leader Jiang Zemin said that the effect of the persecution was not satisfactory. To resolve the problem, Jiang wanted to set up 610 Offices at all layers of public security bureaus across the country.
However, Hu Jintao objected, saying: “To set up 610 Offices requires considerable number of personnel and [a large] budget.”
According to Liu, Jiang was outraged and told Hu, “Your power is about to be usurped, and you are talking about personnel and budget?” Hu was reportedly speechless upon hearing that.
Falun Gong practitioners affix responsibility on the Chinese officials who directly have blood on their hands in the persecution of Falun Gong. The distinction they make between the “bloody hands” and others is quite clear.
For example, when Wen Jiabao visited abroad, overseas Falun Gong practitioners have held banners to “welcome” him. They have also greeted Hu Jintao. But in the case of Jiang Zemin and Zhou Yongkang, banners are held calling for them to be brought to justice.
The fact that Hu and Wen have not publicly supported the persecution of Falun Gong since 2003 is enough to agitate Jiang. This means Hu and Wen have left themselves room for ending the persecution and winning people over in the future. Since that has to be preceded by bringing Jiang Zemin and Zhou Yongkang to justice, Jiang may have determined to take down Hu and Wen, possibly since 2003.
Hong Kong’s Trend Magazine had an exclusive report on Nov. 15, 2006, which said that while Hu was inspecting the navy at the Yellow Sea in 2006, two destroyers fired machine guns at him and killed five naval soldiers around him. Hu narrowly escaped assassination. He had to fly to Yunnan and didn’t return to Beijing until a week later, the story said. Afterward, several high-ranking naval officers were purged. Some commentators said they believed that it was an attempt by Jiang Zemin to assassinate Hu.
In 2007, just before the CCP’s 17th National Congress, rumors were spreading that Wen Jiabao would resign. Wen had to use the opportunity of a Moscow visit to make a public statement, telling reporters that he would “continue to hold office.”
These incidents suggest that Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin have been doing battle for a long time.
Judging from the recent Bill Gertz disclosure, the alleged coup plot by Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang was for their own self-protection. The battle between the “bloody hands” and the relatively cleaner officials is a matter of life and death.
This is why it’s likely that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiaobao will surely have a showdown with the “bloody hands,” represented by Jiang Zemin and Zhou Yongkang, before the 18th National Congress.This critical battle will take place at the same time, or follow the announcement, of criminal charges against Bo Xilai. Because this battle concerns the reshuffling of the top leadership at the 18th National Congress, both sides are now making intensive preparations. They must be feeling much more nervous than the spectators.
Read the original Chinese article.