At around 7:00 a.m. on May 1, a Chinese blogger found news on Baidu.com about the attempted assassination of Chinese leader Hu Jintao in 2006. Baidu is the largest search engine in China.
NTD Television confirmed that when using keywords like “assassinate Hu on the North Sea Fleet,” “assassinate Hu at the Yellow Sea,” and “Zhang Dingfa assassinates Hu,” on the search engine, there are links to several websites and some of them provide relatively detailed descriptions of the incident. NTD Television also found that “Hu assassination” was not censored on Sina’s Weibo.com.
The story, as told by Hong Kong’s Trend Magazine, goes like this:
In May 2006 Hu secretly visited a navy base in Qingdao, Shandong Province. He boarded the most advanced guided-missile destroyer to inspect the fleets on the Yellow Sea. Suddenly two fleets simultaneously fired at the destroyer. The destroyer immediately turned around and fled the area at full speed.
Apparently, neither of the fleets was fast enough to catch the destroyer. After the destroyer reached a safe area, Hu returned to the base in Qingdao, unharmed, and flew directly to Yunnan Province. A week later, Hu returned to Beijing after a security clearance.
The incident is often understood on the Internet—where it can be discussed—as being planned and executed by former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.
Many Chinese bloggers have begun to discuss the incident saying, Baidu might have uncensored keywords related to the attempted assassination as a sign that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) core level is planning a day of reckoning for Jiang’s faction.
The Trend Magazine report says that Jiang planned the assassination with his ally Zeng Qinghong, a powerful member of the Politburo Standing Committee. The theory goes that they wanted to eliminate Hu so Zeng could become the CCP General Secretary, and the country’s next leader. Jiang’s faction would then be in control.
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Hu Fights Back
Hu fought back hard after he escaped the assassination. He first cracked down on Chen Liangyu, former CCP chief in Shanghai and member of the CCP Politburo, for his involvement in corruption. Hu also eliminated many members of Jiang’s Shanghai clique and his influence in the military.
The then-deputy commander of the Chinese navy, Wang Shouye, was sentenced to death, but he received a reprieve because he gave up his partner, Jia Ting’an, an important official in Jiang’s office at the time.
Analysts say Hu might have purposely left Wang alive for testimony to counter Jiang in the future. Zhang Dingfa, Jiang’s crony and the then-navy commander who carried out Hu’s assassination attempt, died soon, reportedly due to illness. Zhang’s death was kept very low key. Neither Xinhua nor the Liberation Army Daily, the mouthpieces of the Party and the military, carried the news.
“Zhang Dingfa” and “Chen Liangyu” became censored keywords on Baidu. Later Liu Zhihua, then deputy mayor of Beijing, Chen Liangyu, and Du Shicheng, then CCP chief in Qingdao, were investigated and removed from their posts. Politburo Standing Committee member Huang Ju died from cancer and another member, Jia Qinglin, was bombarded with scandals.
Read the original Chinese article.