Two Ministerial CCP Officials Given Suspended Death Sentences

Xi Jinping probably faces his allies being picked apart by political enemies: expert
By Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin is a Chinese expatriate living in New Zealand. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2009, with a focus on China-related topics.
February 5, 2022 Updated: February 6, 2022

Two of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping’s former henchmen and important allies have recently been sentenced to death. Experts believe that some of Xi’s political allies might have been alienated from within by anti-Xi forces.

The two ministerial officials given suspended death sentences are Dong Hong, former deputy head of Central Inspection Group which supervises the party’s leadership at the provincial (ministerial) level; and Wang Fuyu, former deputy secretary of the Guizhou provincial Party committee and chairman of the province’s committee of the Political Consultative Conference.

Dong Hong was an assistant to Wang Qishan, vice chairman of a CCP committee for years, while Wang Fuyu was the former deputy assistant of Li Zhanshu, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee.

Wang Qishan was a united force in Xi’s attempts to crack down on his political opponents, taking down hundreds of senior officials spanning the party, political and legal systems, as well as the military between 2013 and 2017.

Li Zhanshu is widely considered to be the closest ally to Xi among seven members of the Standing Committee. As an intimate aid to Xi for nearly 40 years, especially during his previous tenure as director of the Central Committee Office, Li often accompanied Xi visiting outside responsible for scheduling, document handling, and security.

Epoch Times Photo
Two ministerial officials Dong Hong(left) and Wang Fuyu(right) were given suspended death sentences in January 2022. The background photo is of Zhongnanhai, where the CCP’s power center is located. (Mark Schiefelbein-Pool/Getty Images)

Ji Da, a China expert, told The Epoch Times that Wang Qishan and Li Zhanshu were so supportive to Xi as if they were the two arms of Xi. The heavy sentencing of both men indicates a rift in Xi’s relationships, and it can be inferred that their political alliance might have been disrupted by anti-Xi forces.

Xi has purged a large number of people from the faction of former CCP head Jiang Zemin in his nearly 10 years in power, offending many people, and as a result, there is a huge anti-Xi force in the party, Ji said.

The 20th Congress, which redistributes the highest power in the CCP, will be held later this year, and Xi has been seeking reelection. Consequently, the infighting between the parties in Zhongnanhai, where the CCP’s centralized power is situated, will be more intense. “A severe storm is coming,” Ji predicts.

The two men sentenced have many similarities: they were convicted of similar crimes, received similar amounts of bribes, were sentenced to the same penalties, and sentenced only 11 days apart. Even their ages are nearly the same, Dong Hong is 69 years old and Wang Fuyu is 70.

On Jan. 28, the Qingdao Intermediate Court sentenced Dong Hong to death with a two-year stay of execution, deprivation of political power for life, and confiscation of all his personal assets for accepting bribes. Dong was accused of illegally accepting more than 463 million yuan ($72.8 million) in property from 1999 to 2020.

On Jan. 17, Tianjin First Intermediate Court sentenced Wang Fuyu to death, suspended for two years, for accepting bribes and using influence to accept bribes. He was deprived of political rights for life, and all of his personal property was confiscated. Wang Fuyu was accused of illegally accepting property amounting to 451 million yuan ($71 million) from 1995 to 2021.

Dong Hong was Wang Qishan’s assistant for many years and was known as Wang’s “big butler.” In 1998, when Wang was vice governor of Guangdong Province, Dong was deputy secretary of the provincial party committee. When Wang returned to Beijing to become director of the Office of Economic Reform of the State Council, Dong worked as the director of the Office’s Industrial Systems. In 2003, during the SARS epidemic, Wang took over as mayor of Beijing, followed by Dong as deputy secretary of the municipal party committee. In 2012, after the 18th Congress, Wang became one of the highest-ranking officials as a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and the secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, with Dong Hong rising to the deputy ministerial inspector.

Wang Fuyu and Li Zhanshu have worked together in the same provincial leaderships for roughly 7 years.

In northern China of Hebei Province, Wang Fuyu was the provincial party committee secretary (1982–1986) and Huailu country’s party committee deputy secretary, secretary, and governor (1986–1989), while Li Zhanshu was Wuji county’s party committee secretary (1983–1985) and the secretary of the Communist Youth League (1986–1990) in the province.

In southwest China of Guizhou Province, Li Zhanshu served as party committee secretary (2010–2012) and Wang Fuyu served as the deputy secretary in the same period.

Xi’s resolute move against top ministry officials at the start of the new year reflects the complex and fierce infighting within the CCP.

“This predicts that the political balance in China has been shattered and there would have big changes coming at the power center of the CCP,” Ji said.

Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin is a Chinese expatriate living in New Zealand. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2009, with a focus on China-related topics.