Both the Chinese authorities' new CPPCC National Committee, and National People's Congress are currently being held in Beijing, but two former Chinese leaders, Jiang Zemin and Li Peng, are not attending. Their unusual absence has agitated guesses and discussions.
Some claim that the two men are seriously ill. Mr. Jin Zhong, chief-editor of Hong Kong's Open magazine—famous for disclosing inside information on the Chinese communist regime—confirmed this news to The Epoch Times, adding that their situation is rather poor.
“Li Peng suffered from a stroke and afterwards his mouth was twisted to one side. He still hasn't recovered, and no one knows whether he will be able to,” said Jin Zhong. “His image is damaged due to this facial paralysis, so he can no longer make any public appearance. Furthermore, Jiang Zemin is also sick, and has lost control over one side of his face. He also suffers from dementia due to Parkinson's,” Jin said his information are from reliable sources. “The Chinese communist regime always hides the illness but not the death. The obituaries are normally made public within one day. They hide details of illness mainly for the purpose of maintaining power. So [these former leaders] are ill, but not necessarily dead, and not necessarily incurable; but it could also be a long-term illness. If a political figure's illness is announced, his opponents are most likely to take advantage of his sickness and give him a fatal blow while he is weak.” Jin continued.
Jin Zhong believes that prior to the 17th Chinese Communist Party's National Congress, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang were internally chosen to take over the positions of Vice-Chairman and the First Prime Minister of State Council respectively.
It is believed that this National People's Congress will finalize these two appointments. As for Jiang's illness, it still won't affect the appointments arranged previously since Xi Jinping is not a member of Jiang's Gang or Jiang's close friend as some rumored. “Xi's appointment is pretty secure because his father was a high-level Party official,” Jin emphasized.
On March 5, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao gave a speech at the National People's Congress in which he made particular mention of the snow disaster in Southern China. Jin believes that Wen's presentation failed to acknowledge the root cause of the problem which centers on issues from the Department of Electric Power, a department controlled by Li Peng's family in China.
“After this snow storm, Wen met with five major leaders from the Department of Electric Power including Li Peng's son and daughter, Li Xiaopeng and Li Xiaolin. That was at the beginning of February, and Li became extremely paranoid. Soon after he had a stroke,” explained Jin.
Another focus of this National People's congress is the country's military budget. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is apportioning 417.8 billion Chinese yuan (US$58.8 billion) for national security, a 17.6 percent increase from the year before.
“This budget is directly linked to the relationship among the Party's power, the military's power and political power. In other words, offering more money to the military will increase their benefits so as to lure the military, which is very important for the authorities. This way the CCP can strengthen, secure and maintain its current power, and consolidate its base, so as to raise the authority of its leadership,” Jin said.