Chinese Official Makes Quiet Complaint About Wang Lijun Affair

March 11, 2012 Updated: August 14, 2015

A low-ranking official from Anhui Province and representative to the National People’s Congress made a veiled complaint recently about how Party Central has been so tight-lipped about the Wang Lijun affair.

Cheng Enfu, an NPC member from Anhui Province, said in a provincial delegation
forum on March 8 that the Wang Lijun incident had become “a public event similar to the Wenzhou high speed railway accident,” but the central authorities had not released any information about the investigation.

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Cheng said the general public could only make wild speculations based on the rumors they have heard about, or the information discovered online. He took the opportunity of the “two meetings” in Beijing–the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)–to urged the Party to proceed with the investigation publicly. 

Cheng’s statement won support from Xu Wenli, a senior researcher at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

Xu said, “Representatives of NPC have the right to [question Party Central], and they should do so. However, most of them dare not.”

Xu indicated that the Party has been “trying to play for time so that they can better arrange the outcome for their own benefit.”

“The Chinese communist party has its own interest to protect. Personally, I don’t believe they would deal with this [Wang Lijun] incident seriously before the onset of the 18th Party Congress” to be held toward the end of the year, when political succession will be decided.

Wei Jingsheng, a well-known democracy advocate, argued that this reflected an escalating struggle inside the Party.

“I am very sure that this man [Cheng Enfu] must be speaking on behalf of someone at a higher level. It is a common measure of the Chinese communists that they would not come forward themselves, but always let somebody from a lower level to highlight the problem for them to kick off the internal struggle. Therefore, it is very likely that someone wants to topple Bo Xilai or someone higher than Bo in Bo’s faction. Once the issue is raised, it provokes a challenge. I think this is a very important indication that many people involved in this communist infighting have lost their patience.”

The Hong Kong-based “Wen Wei Po,” which is generally loyal to Beijing, was the first outlet to cover Cheng’s statement. 

According to Wei Jingsheng, this further affirms that there is someone from a higher political circle backing up Cheng.

“The internal struggle has been rapidly escalating,” said Wei Jingsheng, a well-known democracy advocate. “We don’t have to wait for the 18th Party Congress.”

Read the original Chinese article