Party Leader Holds Military Meeting to Showcase Support

May 27, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Hu Jintao inspects the People's Liberation Army
Chinese President Hu Jintao inspects the People's Liberation Army Garrison during a visit to the Stonecutters Naval Base in Hong Kong on June 30, 2007. (Mike Clarke-Pool/Getty Images)

On May 23 Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao and his probable successor Xi Jinping held the Beijing Military Area Command’s 10th Party Congress, during which Hu demanded military officers remain absolutely obedient and loyal to the Party.

Major military chiefs attended the conference, including the Central Military Commission’s Vice Chairman Guo Boxiong, who canceled a five-day visit to Japan and South Korea in order to attend. Guo’s schedule change was announced in state media on May 22, two days before his planned take-off

Guo’s former subordinate, current Commander of the Beijing Military Area Command Fang Fenghui, also attended the conference.They are now understood to be firm supporters of Hu Jintao in the military, having both publicly pledged allegiance to Hu since the ousting of Politburo member Bo Xilai.

Fang and Guo are both from the powerful northwestern military region. Guo was promoted during Jiang Zemin’s era, but has openly supported Hu since the beginning of 2012. Fang was raised to lead the Beijing Military Area Command in 2007 as the youngest commander at the time. He was honored as the chief commander for the 2009 military review, and accompanied Hu to review troops. Fang was promoted to general in 2010. “You can say Hu Jintao promoted him,” said overseas political commentator Wen Zhao. “Any promotion and transfer of senior officers in the Beijing Military Region must be approved by Hu.”

The recent conference is the latest of a series of efforts by the Hu government to remove obstacles in the military.

By calling a conference and having officers declare loyalty to the central Party leadership, Hu is shoring up his support in the military after the threat to his leadership posed by Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang, the security czar. The two are political allies and part of the faction around Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the Party who promoted them for their willingness to carry out the persecution of the popular Falun Gong spiritual practice, a bloody campaign that Jiang personally led. Zhou and Jiang both have, or had, deep connections in the military and Hu seeks to erode this with large gatherings featuring former Jiang military loyalists declaring allegiance to Hu’s leadership. .

When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

Read the original Chinese article

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