Two high-ranking officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently collapsed while they were at the podium during a conference, causing unrest among those present.
Wang Jiong, chairman of the Chongqing Political Consultative Conference, fainted and fell to the floor while reading a report at the annual meeting of the political advisory body on Jan. 16.
On Jan. 26 last year, Bu Xiaolin, chairwoman of China’s northern Inner Mongolia also passed out while delivering a government report at the region’s people’s congress.
And they are not the only senior officials who have health problems that Xi Jinping, the CCP’s top leader, needs to worry about, according to the regime’s official announcements.
Official Health Issues
The CCP’s central committee is a top leadership body that is elected by the national congress every five years. The 19th central committee was elected in 2017, with 204 full members and 172 alternate members. But in November last year, the CCP’s 19th central committee had 197 full members and 151 alternates attending its sixth session. Those who were absent could be sick, dead, or being investigated.
The following are some officials who have passed away due to illnesses.
Wang Yupu was appointed minister of China’s Emergency Management in March 2018. He died of illness on Dec. 8, 2020, two years after he took office, according to the CCP’s mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency. Wang was a full member of the CCP’s 19th central committee.
Guan Qing, former chairman and CCP’s secretary of China State Construction Engineering Corporation, died in Beijing on March 6, 2020, when he was unable to recover from brain cancer. Guan was only 54 when he died. He was an alternate member of the 19th central committee.
Ren Xuefeng, former deputy CCP secretary of Chongqing, died at age 54 “due to failure of medical treatment,” according to state media reports. However, French news radio station RFI cited a source claiming that Ren committed suicide by jumping from the Jingxi Hotel, a venue of the CCP’s major meetings. It is heavily guarded and closed to the general public. The Epoch Times has not been able to confirm the report.
Besides these deaths and sick CCP officials, there are many more incapacitated CCP officials whose conditions have either been made public or are yet to be disclosed.
Excessive Drinking in CCP Officialdom
The poor health of the CCP’s officials has much to do with their disorderly private life and the corrupt alcoholic culture in the CCP’s officialdom.
Excessive drinking of spirits is very popular among CCP officials, and banning orders have been repeatedly issued but have failed time and again, as alcoholic drinks and food are generally paid for with public funding.
Moutai, a distilled Chinese liquor often used as a drink at state functions, is a status symbol and the drink of choice for Chinese officials and elites. Yuan Renguo, former chairman of the board of Moutai’s distillery— Kweichow Moutai Co.—admitted in 2013 that public-funded consumption of the liquor accounted for 40 percent of the company’s annual sales, according to a report on the CCP’s official website on May 17, 2013.
The culture of excessive drinking is not only popular among CCP officials but also among its military officers. In recent years, some alcohol-related military fatalities have been made public.
For example, in late September 2017, Huang Hongfei, the political commissar of the most advanced Type 052D guided-missile destroyer in the East China Sea Fleet of the CCP’s navy, Nanjing, died of asphyxiation from reflux of vomit into the trachea after returning to his barracks from a boozy dinner with a businessman at a luxury hotel in China’s eastern coastal Zhejiang Province.
Previously in November 2015, Zhang Yan, the former commander of the PLA’s 26th Army Group, had a drink with a subordinate who was the former head of an artillery regiment. His subordinate died of alcohol intoxication, reported RFI in 2015.
CCP Officials Concealing Health Issues a Major Concern for Xi
It is common for CCP officials to keep any health issues private in order to stay in their current position or seek a promotion.
Xi is reportedly furious over this issue.
“Some comrades do not report it, even when they have serious illnesses, hiding them from everyone and eventually become critically ill without the organization [the CCP] knowing it,” Xi blasted during a top disciplinary meeting in 2016. He did not name any particular official.
But concealment of poor health among the CCP’s military commanders could be a more serious issue for Xi.
Zhang Xudong was appointed general in December 2020 to oversee China’s Western Theater Command. He passed away in October 2021 at the age of 58. Zhang’s successor is also reportedly suffering from cancer and returned to Beijing after being commander for only two months.
A disaster faces Xi and the CCP if their senior military officers are seriously ill when leading the army to fight—they will only lead the army with them to the graveyard.
Under such circumstance, Xi should consider the competence and loyalty of two of his cronies, Chen Xi and Zhong Shaojun, who are in charge of promoting CCP officials and officers, respectively.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.