Chinese Leaders Face Bitter Revenge in Anti-Corruption Fight
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The U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) recently revealed that at least five close relatives of top Chinese leaders, incumbent or former members, held secret offshore companies in tax havens that helped harbor huge amounts of the Communist elite’s wealth.
Among them are Chinese President Xi Jinping’s brother-in-law Deng Jiagui, former Prime Premier Wen Jiabao’s son Wen Yunsong and his son-in-law Liu Chunhang, former President Hu Jintao’s nephew Hu Yishi, former Prime Minister Li Peng’s daughter Li Xiaolin, and former Central Military Committee (CMC) Chairman Deng Xiaoping’s son Wu Chang.
The news is the latest bombshell to explode in the Chinese community. Ironically, Xi is just leading another round of his anti-corruption campaign, vowing that government officials, regardless of their ranks within the party, could be the target of potential investigation.
Wen Jiabao recently sent a letter declaring his innocence to Hong Kong media, saying, “I have never done and I will never do anything which constitutes an abuse of power.”
At the same time, the trial of prominent human rights scholar and activist Xu Zhiyong had just concluded in Beijing. Both Xu and his lawyer remained silent in protest of what they said were illegal procedures taken by the court during the trial.
What angered the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was Xu’s demand that all government officials should make public their personal assets.
“If government officials refuse to make public their personal assets, what is the point of the Communist Party fighting corruption?” Xu said.
Other activists who had made the same demand, such as Liu Ping from Jiangxi Province, Wei Zhongping, and Li Sihua have all been locked up in jail.
All this has people in China wondering—is the anti-corruption fight headed by Xi real or fake? If it is real, how will Xi treat his own family members? Will he punish his relatives for corruption? How will he deal with families of other corrupted officials close to him? Will they all be treated the same? Obviously, the answer is no.
So, when officials detain Chinese citizens for demanding that personal wealth of government officials be made public, it should be realized that this is only selective anti-corruption. At the same time, political enemies can be wiped out.
Sending teams from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to different regions is similar to emperors sending out ministers back in the feudal era. They prefer “rule by man” and archaically oppose “rule by law.” Basically, the Red China of today is simply a copy of the feudal dynasties back in the old days.
Foreign Media Play the Game
Foreign media and some independent international organizations seem to have also been selective in reporting the political scandals happening in China. However, they may not have had a choice.
For example, there haven’t been any reports on the scandals relating to Jiang Zemin, but everyone knows his two sons were in control of half of the telecommunication industry in China. The fact that Jiang had made tons of money when he was top leader in China accelerated the level of corruption in China.
Neither were there any reports on other members of the Jiang faction—the new “Gang of Four,” including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, and Zhou Yongkang, or the newest “Gang of Four,” including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, and Zhang Gaoli.
Among them, Jia Qinglin had become very well-known for his corruption, with ties to smuggler Lai Changxing and his Yuan Hua Group. Liu Lefei, the son of Liu Yunshan, was in control of CITIC Private Equity Funds Management Co, and had a personal wealth over 10 billion yuan (approximately $1.65 billion).
Zhou Yongkang, the biggest “tiger” of all, was in control of PetroChina, Ministry of Land and Resources, and Sichuan Provinces. He is starting to get some international media attention since he’s been targeted in the anti-corruption campaign.
It is obvious that foreign media and other organizations would not have been selective in their reports. More likely, people within the CCP had been “selective” in leaking out verifiable information. Exposing the dirt of a political enemy has long been a tactic among the CCP.
Selective anti-corruption now goes hand in hand with selective leaking of information. The fight just goes back and forth. It reveals increasingly fierce political infighting within the CCP, and that an epic showdown is coming. Will anyone come out a winner, or will the whole ship go down?
Chen Pokong, currently living in the United States, is an author and political commentator.
First published by Radio Free Asia. Read the original Chinese article.