Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whose authority has been badly dented due to his regime’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, has urged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials to remain loyal to his leadership.
During a four-day trip to the northwest province of Shaanxi, Xi called for the revival of Maoist-style absolute obedience to the CCP, and warned officials against disregarding Beijing’s orders.
‘Follow the Party’On April 20, Xi visited a national reserve in the Qinling Mountains to stress the importance of ecological preservation, but his true intention was unmistakably political.
The area was at the center of a corruption scandal that engulfed Shaanxi’s provincial leadership in 2018 when several senior officials were disciplined for repeatedly ignoring Xi’s directives demanding a full investigation into hundreds of villas illegally built on scenic spots.
Clearly unimpressed with the current crop of CCP apparatchiks, Xi reserved his praise for the older generation.
Visiting the campus of Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) on April 22, he praised university staff who followed the Party’s order in the 1950s and moved from metropolitan Shanghai to the remote northwest.
Jiaotong University was previously based in Shanghai, but the Mao regime moved most of its staff and equipment to Xi’an to support Soviet-sponsored industrial projects in the region.
What he failed to mention was the fact that many Jiaotong University staff members who opposed the relocation were labeled as “rightists” and endured over two decades of persecution as a result.
Virus Deepens RiftAt a time when Xi comes under intense pressure from within the Party for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, his demand for loyalty is not only issued verbally, but also enforced with an iron hand.
Both Sun and Fu previously served as leaders of the “610 Office,” a Gestapo-style body set up by former CCP chief Jiang Zemin to persecute the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
The latest developments, analysts say, may signal another round of purge in the CCP’s security establishment, which has close links to Jiang’s faction, widely known as the “Shanghai gang.”
Beijing has been claiming that the pandemic calls for international solidarity. But as Xi’s appeal for loyalty and his purge of suspected opponents suggest, the COVID-19 crisis may have split his own Party even further.