A former close aide to China’s vice chairman, Wang Qishan, is under investigation for alleged corruption and has been sacked.
Dong was a trusted aide as Wang was serving as CCDI chief until October 2017. Four and a half months later, Wang was appointed the ceremonial position of vice chairman.
Dong, 66, had been serving as director of the fifth section of the “investigation and research office” in the Chinese Communist Party General Office, which is in charge of investigating officials and government departments.
China observers believe the ouster of people in Wang’s close circle, coupled with Wang’s lack of public support for Xi since becoming vice chairman, suggest that Xi and Wang—former close confidants—are now at odds.
“Xi Jinping is targeting the discipline inspection system by cracking down on Dong,” said Tang Jingyuan, U.S.-based China affairs commentator, noting that many powerful officials currently at CCDI were promoted by Wang.
Zhou, who led the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) from 2007 until he met his downfall in 2012—a Party agency that oversees the country’s security apparatus, including police, courts, and prisons—was the most powerful official to be punished.
However, since Wang became vice chairman, he hasn't expressed support publicly for Xi’s decisions.
“Now, Xi has started to clean up the CCDI, because Wang and Xi separated,” Tang said.
Since Dong was one of Wang’s close aides, “I think Xi wants to alert Wang’s people to listen to him during the CCP’s Fifth Plenary Session,” Tang said, referring to a political meeting set for late this month.