The End of Chongqing’s ‘Six Tigers’ and Their Ambitions

March 9, 2021 Updated: March 9, 2021

Chongqing, the most important city in southwestern China, is the fourth municipality directly under the Central Government of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin.

Since CCP leader Xi Jinping started his anti-corruption campaign against political opponents, six “tigers” have been sacked in Chongqing. Tigers refers to corrupt officials at the vice-provincial (ministerial) level and above.

Deng Huilin, the former deputy mayor and director of public security of Chongqing, is the latest.

Chongqing’s six tigers were all promoted and reinstated while being corrupt. Deng is an excellent and typical example. He was handpicked by Xi after two Chongqing municipal party secretaries and three public security directors were down. Sure enough, in making their way to the top, these communist officials have a common path. Deng has been corrupt since 24 years ago as a vice director of a budget and finance office.

Let’s take a brief look at the six tigers in Chongqing.

Bo Xilai

Bo Xilai was once a candidate for CCP leader over Xi Jinping. Bo failed because he was too ostentatious, while Xi won for his seemingly simple and low-key personality.

Bo had displayed his ambition when he was the mayor of Dalian, northeast of China. He built a Xinghai Square twice the size of Tiananmen Square. In the center of the square, he built a Chinese Huabiao, a column that symbolizes imperial authority, taller than the one on Tiananmen Square. He also cast his own footprints in bronze on the edge of the square.

Bo worked hard to reach his goal. He paved his way through then CCP dictator Jiang Zemin. In the 1999 centennial celebration of Dalian, Bo went to Beijing to invite Jiang and his family to Dalian for 10 days and celebrated Jiang’s birthday on Aug. 17.

After that, Bo’s career took off. At the 17th National Congress in Nov. 2007, he became a member of the Politburo and served as secretary of the Chongqing municipal party committee.

Epoch Times Photo
Disgraced former Politburo member Bo Xilai attends the closing session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 13, 2012. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Bo’s goal was the Standing Committee of the Politburo at the 18th National Congress in 2012. In Chongqing, Bo started a campaign of “sing the red [song], defeat the dark [underworld]” and vowed that he and his family would never engage in corruption.

However, his imperial dream was broken on Feb. 6, 2012 when Wang Lijun, the former police chief and deputy mayor of Chongqing tried to defect to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. On March 15, Bo was arrested while attending a meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.

On Sept. 22, 2013, Bo was sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery, corruption, and abuse of power. Currently, Bo is serving his sentence in Qincheng Prison, Beijing.

Sun Zhengcai

At the 18th National Congress in Nov. 2012, Sun Zhengcai and Hu Chunhua were both picked as members of the Politburo. Sun and Hu became the only two born in the 1960s of the 25 Politburo members. Ordinarily, Sun and Hu could be promoted to the Standing Committee of the Politburo at the 19th National Congress. Among them, one could be a candidate for prime minister and the other for general secretary. Soon after the 18th National Congress, Sun also served as secretary of the Chongqing municipal party committee.

Sun also had his imperial ambitions. According to Caixin Weekly, Liu Fengzhou, Sun’s longtime mistress, had a Taoist fortune-telling based on Sun’s date of birth. She was told that Sun had a destiny of a higher ranking and thus “invited” a set of “imperial robes” to give to Sun. A person close to Sun said that an empty room in Sun’s house was specifically designated for the “robes.” Sun would worship the robe whenever he was at home.

So what is the meaning of “imperial robes”? They’re only for the emperor!

Since Sun became a member of the Politburo, Xi’s tiger hunt has gunned down numerous big tigers between 2013 and June 2017, such as Zhou Yongkang, former member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee, Xu Caihou, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Guo Boxiong, former director of the General Office. Sun should have behaved after so many high officials being sacked.

Prior to the 19th National Congress, Sun was investigated on suspicion of serious violation of discipline on July 24, 2017.

On May 8, 2018, Sun was sentenced to life imprisonment by Tianjin First Intermediate Court for accepting bribes of more than 170 million yuan ($26.25 million).

Wang Lijun

Wang Lijun was Bo’s “hardcore confidant” in Liaoning province. After Bo came to power in Chongqing and struck hard at the underworld, Wang was his significant aide.

However, in January 2012, Bo and Wang turned against each other over a murder case.

On Nov. 15, 2011, Bo’s wife Gu Kailai killed the British businessman Neil Heywood. It was said that Heywood died of cyanide poisoning. Gu went to Wang and talked about the incident. Wang quietly recorded the conversation. He told Gu to relax as if nothing happened.

As the deputy mayor and police chief of Chongqing, Wang had his subordinates handle the case. As a result, Heywood was “found” to have died of over-drinking and his body was cremated without forensic examination.

Gu became restless because of the killing. The conflict between Gu and Wang intensified over time. On Jan. 28, 2012, Wang told Bo that Gu was suspected of murdering Heywood. The next day, Bo slapped Wang’s face in front of Wang’s subordinates. Fearing revenge, on Feb. 6 Wang fled to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, near Chongqing.

The United States refused to provide asylum to Wang and turned him in to the CCP on Feb. 7.

On Sept. 24, 2012, Wang was sentenced to 15 years in jail on the charges of defection, abuse of power, and bribe-taking.

He Ting

He Ting is a crony of Zhou Yongkang, former member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee.

Well-known reporter Jiang Weiping once revealed that after Wang’s defection in early 2012, Zhou recommended He to act as the new police chief and deputy mayor of Chongqing. It was to cover up the shady happenings in Chongqing.

On Oct. 9, 2017, Xi’s anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), announced that He had been expelled from the party, removed from his post, and retired early.

According to the CCDI notice, He wasted public money, abused his power for his personal gain, engaged in superstitious activities in seeking promotions, accepted bribes, and violated proceedings of judicial activities.

Deng Huilin

In July 2017, Deng Huilin was transferred to Chongqing from Beijing and served as secretary of the party committee of the Public Security Bureau. In August, he became the police chief. In January 2018, he concurrently served as the deputy mayor of Chongqing.

In June 2020, Deng was investigated on suspected violation of discipline and law. On Jan. 4, 2021 Deng was expelled from the party and his post.

On Feb. 23, at a special warning education meeting for the main leading cadres of Chongqing at the Party School of the Municipal Party Committee, Chen Miner, secretary of the Chongqing municipal party committee, listed Deng’s political crimes of manipulation, greed, corruption, and collusion by engaging in money, sex and power deals.

Zhu Mingguo

From 2001 to 2006, Zhu Mingguo was the police chief of Chongqing.

On Nov. 28, 2014, Zhu was investigated on suspicion of serious violations of discipline and law. On Nov. 11, 2016, Zhu was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes of more than 141 million yuan ($21.7 million) and owning another 91 million yuan ($14 million) from unknown sources.

According to Chinese reports, in just one of his mansions, investigators found a large amount of gold and banknotes that took more than 10 vehicles to load. Zhu also owned 14 fake passports, six of which were for women, and eight “work passports” for traveling to and from Hong Kong and Macau. According to insiders, Zhu had nine children with different women and the CCDI also stated one of his crimes was a “serious violation of the family planning policy.”

After being arrested, Zhu once said: “I have been the No. 1 man for 35 years. My experience is that if the No. 1 man speaks, basically no one opposes it. … After you open Pandora’s Box for the first time, for example, if you get 100,000 for the first time, then you will receive 100,000 again, and then 1 million, and so on. The 1 million and 10 million will only differ by a zero. After this step, without external control or organizational intervention, it’s not easy to stop by yourself.”

Zhu spoke the truth about the communist regime. The corrupt organization itself is at the root of the entire corrupt officialdom. The demise of the CCP is just a matter of time.

Wang Youqun graduated with a Ph.D. in law from the Renmin University of China. He once worked as a copywriter for Wei Jianxing (1931-2015), a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee from 1997 to 2002.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.