The Party secretary of the eastern city of Yancheng, Zhao Peng, has been removed from his positions, according to a report by state mouthpiece Xinhua on March 1.
At an executive meeting for Yancheng municipal officials in Jiangsu on Feb. 28, the provincial vice minister responsible for staffing positions declared that Zhu Kejiang will take over Zhao Peng’s posts in the provincial Party committee, standing committee, and as secretary.
It is unusual for a municipal secretary in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to be dismissed. Normally, barring major mistakes, officials retire at the age of 60—and Zhao is only 58.
Often, upon retirement, provincial cadres are offered posts in one of the regime’s official advisory or representative bodies. The fact that Zhao was removed entirely from all positions makes the case unusual.
In 2009, during Zhao’s time as secretary, two sons of a senior Yancheng official were severely persecuted for practicing the meditation discipline Falun Gong.
The brothers sought justice within the higher ranks of the Communist Party, and threatened to expose details of corruption among officials, attracting the attention of leaders in Beijing. Former Party leader Hu Jintao personally visited Yancheng in January 2012—the trip was, according to an insider, in order to investigate the case.
Provincial staffing minister Yang Xinli, a member of both the Jiangsu provincial Party committee and the standing committee, spoke of his high expectations for the incoming officials, according to a report by state mouthpiece People’s Daily.
Yang also acknowledged the accomplishments of outgoing fellow cadre Zhao Peng, adding that the changes were made after “some serious contemplation by officials at the provincial committee.”
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 to participate in the persecution any longer. 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.
Translated by Frank Fang. Research by Ariel Tian. Written in English by Cassie Ryan.
Read the original Chinese article.