Peng Bo, the deputy director of China’s Gestapo-like secret state police, has been dismissed from his role and is under investigation, the Chinese regime announced on March 13.
Peng, 62, has become the first high-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official, known as “tigers,” to be ensnared in party politics since the March 11 conclusion of the regime’s most important annual political conference: its “Two Sessions” meeting.
Following the announcement, all Chinese media quickly removed Peng’s official resume and photos—an unusual move.
“This is so extraordinary. Even Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai haven’t been treated in this way,” Epoch Times China analyst Heng He said during a podcast on March 13.
Zhou and Bo are among the most senior CCP officials to have been sacked by the party.
‘Suspected of Seriously Violating Discipline’
The CCP’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), announced on March 13 that Peng was “suspected of seriously violating discipline and laws, and is under investigation and inspection.” That’s a standard sentence used by the CCDI to sack most officials.
The announcement described Peng’s title as deputy director of the Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Cults, a Gestapo-like security agency under both the CCP Central Committee and the State Council.
This is the first public information about Peng’s connection to the agency.
The group, known as the “610 Office,” was established on June 10, 1999, and is dedicated to implementing the persecution and eradication of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that teaches the values of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
As a secret office, the 610 Office doesn’t have an official website; it’s difficult for the public to know who works for the office from public information.
Before his placement at the 610 Office, Peng was deputy director of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China’s internet regulator, censor, monitor, and control agent.
The CAC’s website cache shows Peng’s official resume.
Previously, Peng worked at Beijing Youth Daily, which is operated by the Beijing city government; the financial newspaper China Industrial and Commercial Times, owned by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce; the China Youth Press, a subsidiary of the Communist Youth League Central Committee; and the propaganda bureau of the CCP Central Committee.
He was CAC deputy director from September 2012 to August 2015, and then was the leader of propaganda at the CCP’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) until September 2018.
Beijing News, a media outlet operated by the Beijing city government, reported on March 13 that the CCP’s central committee might have begun investigating Peng as early as the summer of 2016.
“The political acumen and discernment of some officials [at the 610 Office] aren’t good. They should strengthen their capabilities to predict and cope with major sensitive events,” the report said, citing a 2016 internal document of the CCP’s central committee. “[The committee] has received the clues that reflected some officials’ disqualifications, and handed them over to CCDI and the Central Organization Department for further investigation.”
The Central Organization Department is CCP’s agent to appoint or dismiss officials, according to Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s order.
Overseas Chinese websites have noted that Peng is loyal to retired Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan and retired PLAC head Meng Jianzhu, both of whom were members of the rival Jiang Zemin faction that is competing with Xi for power. Peng’s investigation is being seen by analysts as the latest action in Xi’s “anti-corruption campaign” that has focused on his political opponents.
The Shanghai city government-operated Jiefang Daily reported on March 14 that the CCP has sacked several “tigers” from the 610 Office in recent years.
From the CCP’s announcements, former directors Zhou Yongkang, Li Dongsheng, Zhang Yue, Sun Lijun, Xu Yongyue, and Zhou Benshun were sacked from the 610 Office. Among them, Zhou Yongkang—a former 610 Office leader, PLAC head, and member of the Politburo Standing Committee—was sentenced to life in prison for abuse of power and corruption in June 2015.