Right after Bo Xilai got fired on March 15 from his position as Party boss of the central-western megalopolis of Chongqing, some Maoist websites closed, one after another. Many people interpreted this as an indication that a struggle between left and right ideologues or between another Cultural Revolution and a reform movement was underway. This interpretation partially makes sense.
Among the members of the Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang is the keenest supporter of Bo Xilai.
Zhou Yongkang, although a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, is facing trouble and is likely to suffer the same fate as Bo Xilai. The following eight reasons suggest why this is so.
1. On March 14, the day before Bo was fired, Premier Wen Jiabao held a press conference at the close of the National People’s Congress (NPC). In his remarks, Wen did not explicitly mention Bo, but three statements he made were a commentary on Bo.
UPDATE: Zhou Yongkang Lost Power Struggle, Say Chinese Netizens
Wen said that the central government had attached great importance to the Wang Lijun affair and had placed Wang under investigation. Wang was the former police chief and vice mayor of Chongqing who fled to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu asking for asylum. Wang, who was under investigation for corruption, is said to have feared that Bo meant to assassinate him in order to keep him silent. Now that he is being investigated by the Party in Beijing, Wang is believed to be providing information about Bo’s own corruption.
Wen also said, “The present Chongqing municipal Party committee and the municipal government must reflect seriously and learn from the Wang Lijun incident.”
The criticisms in these two sets of remarks of Wang and Bo were resolved the next day. On March 15, People’s Daily confirmed that Wang had been removed from his post as vice mayor of Chongqing, and Wen announced that Bo had been removed as Party boss in Chongqing.
Wen’s mention at his press conference of how the “municipal government must reflect seriously” suggests the mayor of Chongqing, Huang Qifan, is also scheduled to be on the chopping block.
The third set of remarks by Wen relating to Bo involved “the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CCP Central Committee” and the Cultural Revolution.
The Third Plenary Session of the 11th CCP Central Committee took place in December 1978 and is generally understood to have been the formal end of any attempt to govern China along Maoist lines. Wen explained that at that Plenary Session, the Communist Party took “the major decision of conducting [economic] reform and opening up in China.”
Click this tag to read The Epoch Times’ collection of articles on the Chinese Regime in Crisis. Intra-CCP politics are a challenge to make sense of, even for veteran China watchers. Here we attempt to provide readers with the necessary context to understand the situation.
Later in his remarks, Wen said the mistakes of the Cultural Revolution had not been completely eliminated. Without political reform, Wen said, a tragedy like the Cultural Revolution could happen again.
In invoking the 1978 Central Committee meeting and criticizing the Cultural Revolution, Wen is laying out an ideological line as the basis for a power struggle within the CCP. Once the CCP turns to a power struggle along ideological lines, a bleak future awaits those who are seriously criticized and those who criticize.
The line of power struggle within the CCP involves great brutality and far more than one or two persons. Since it is “a line,” then a group of people must be involved.
The history of the CCP is littered with individuals who once were at the commanding heights of the Party but then fell into disgrace or worse—the names Wang Ming, Gao Gang, Liu Shaoqi, Lin Biao, and Zhao Ziyang come to mind. Bo Xilai had not reached the level of these figures before he was dismissed. Wen’s statements regarding the 1978 meeting and the Cultural Revolution, while seemingly aimed at Bo, in fact do not apply to him. Wen is pointing at Zhou Yongkang, under the guise of criticizing Bo.
2. Among the members of the Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang is the keenest supporter of Bo Xilai. During the annual meetings of the NPC and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, he gave the Chongqing Model—the political campaigns that involved arresting those said to be gangsters and having the people sing Maoist-era songs—his approval in support of Bo Xilai. The relationship between Zhou and Bo is identical to that of Bo and Wang. The person behind Zhou is Jiang Zemin. Just as Bo stood behind Wang, and Zhou stood behind Bo, so Jiang stands behind Zhou. They are lined up like dominoes, ready to fall.
Continued on the next page: 3. Bo needs Zhou to take the rap for his mistakes