Control of the Political and Legal Committee

October 20, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: October 20, 2007 12:00 am

The 17th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress started on October 15. Many people will pay great attention to Hu Jintao's report and the new decision makers in the country—members of the standing committee of the Central Political Bureau (Politburo), which will be announced on October 22.

In fact, the future control of the Central Political and Legal Committee (PLC) is actually the most critical part in this battle; it is the core of the struggle between the two factions inside the Communist Party, the fight between Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Why Critical?

Current secretary of the PLC, Luo Gan is going to step down after the party congress because of his bad deeds and his age.

Wu Guoguang, former member of former party Secretary General Zhao Ziyang's think tank, said that most people may not realize the importance of this PLC. The existence of the committee is the manifestation of the CCP's interference of judicial independence.

The party's central PLC is the supervising department over the four legal systems—the public security, the procuratorate, the court system and the judicial system. It is the party's most direct tool to control the country and the people. The Public Security Minister, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Justice all report to the secretary of the PLC. At the same time, different levels of PLCs control the legal systems of local governments as well.

Because Hu Jintao had very limited control over the PLC when he officially became President, Hu enlarged the power of the Central Discipline Committee; a party discipline enforcement organization that has power above “law and order” to counteract Jiang's influence.

The Cause of Law Enforcement's Corruption

With so much power in hand, secretaries of different levels of PLCs, instead of promoting the development of the legal system, often violate the laws and damage the legal system.

Society in China is currently filled with prostitution, gambling and drug trafficking. Most of these illegal businesses run smoothly under the protection of the local PLCs. The police are part of the gangs. Civilians can't turn to law enforcement when they suffer losses. Most civilians consider PLCs the darkest system within the communist regime and the most urgently in need of stronger oversight and restructuring.

According to insiders, some senior party members have even suggested getting rid of the PLCs because it is the cause of law enforcement violating the laws.

Jiang's Protector Is Retiring

According to the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), as the head of the darkest system, the current Secretary of the central PLC, Luo Gan, personally arranged the April 25 incident in 1999, staged the so called “Falun Gong Self-immolation” at Tiananmen Square on New Year's Day in 2001, and organized the nation-wide system for organ removal from living Falun Gong practitioners. During his watch, Luo established policies, quotas and bounties that utterly corrupted the law enforcement system.

Luo Gan makes use of this special organization to put the Communist Party's power above the government and the law. The PLC also extends power over state resources to launch and continue the 8-years long persecution of Falun Gong. Because of the persecution of Falun Gong, the regime has put itself into a dilemma; the party is facing disintegration because of a severe split.

Since the persecution started on July 20, 1999, the Jiang Zemin faction has committed countless crimes, to date 3,098 Falun Gong practitioner deaths by tortured have been documented; tens of thousands have been illegally held in forced labor camps and mental hospitals; several millions have been detained; tens of millions have been deprived of their freedom of belief. There is no doubt that the Falun Gong issue is the No.1 social problem in China.

Jiang Controls the PLC to Protect Himself

Luo Gan is Jiang's right hand, especially on the persecution of Falun Gong; the persecution linked the two criminals together. Because the international pressure to bring Jiang to justice is getting progressively higher, requests inside the party to throw Jiang out is also becoming stronger.

Especially after former Minister of Finance Jing Renqing was deposed, it was unveiled that Jiang used several hundred billion yuan of state funds to maintain the persecution policy. Many party members with insight have started an effort to help stop the persecution.

After he stepped down in 2004, Jiang faced the crisis of being politically liquidated. To prevent this from happening, Jiang must maintain his persecution policy and the best way to do this is to keep the PLC under his control.

However, Luo Gan has already passed 70—the unofficial age to retire from the core of the central leadership.

The now current Minister of Public Security, 65 year-old Zhou Yongkang is Jiang's best choice for a replacement during the 17th Party Congress.

Zhou has been Jiang's close affiliate for many years. Zhou was suddenly promoted to Minister of Land and Resources when Zhu Rongji was the Premier, and later promoted to Minister of Public Security and the No.2 person in the PLC.

Zhou is also well known for his crimes related to the persecution of Falun Gong, and his tough hand on the crack down of press freedom while governing Sichuan Province. According to statistics from Falun Gong's Minghui Net, Sichuan Province ranks sixth highest for deaths of Falun Gong practitioners.