China Leadership Watch

By Bernard Geoxavier, Email: bgeoxavier@gmail.com Following Chinese domestic politics and its impact on Chinese economics, international trade and international security.

Liu Zhijun, Former Chinese Railway Minister, officially expelled from the Communist Party

                             

In news made public yesterday, Liu Zhijun, minister of one of China most prestigious and most powerful governmental bodies, was official expelled from the Chinese Communist Party on ground of abuse of power, accepting brides, moral failings and corruption in leadership during his tenure.

For full coverage online in Chinese, follow the People’s Daily online version here:

And the ifeng version here:

Near Riot Breaks out in Wenzhou in demands for government action over beating death

浙江瑞安发生人员冲击政府办公楼事件

浙江瑞安发生人员冲击政府办公楼事件

For the Chinese post link here:

Over 200 people assembled this afternoon at government offices in the Rui’an City near Wenzhou in demands that government officials intervene and settle a dispute over compensation for a public worker’s death after being beaten on the street two weeks ago.  The size and scope of the riot seems to express more than just anger over this one incident and Wenzhou has received a heavier blow from the broader economic slowdown.  The police deployment was also overwhelming, perhaps signaling a fear of wider implications on the part of local authorities.

Former Chinese city official detained for allegedly raping more than 10 girls | The Republic

BEIJING — Authorities have detained a former official in a central Chinese city for allegedly raping more than 10 girls.

Officials in Yongcheng city referred queries Sunday to a statement by the city government that said Li Xingong confessed during a police interrogation. It said Li was detained Friday.

Li was deputy director of the city’s Communist Party committee’s general office.

Officials in Yongcheng city referred queries Sunday to a statement by the city government that says Li Xingong confessed during a police interrogation to having raped more than 10 girls.

The statement said an investigation is continuing and Li will be “severely and swiftly punished” according to relevant laws.

The case is being widely discussed on China’s popular Twitter-like site, Sina Weibo, with many users expressing outrage against the former official.

The state-run Hangzhou Daily newspaper said Li was caught “committing the crime” by police on May 8 in front of a middle school in Yongcheng city. It did not elaborate on what Li was doing.

It said police searched his office and car and found information related to the case.

Jinning, Yunnan Province, Head of Public Security Bureau Dismissed Amid Ongoing Missing Persons Scandal

For Chinese reports and posts link here and here:

Over 17 individuals have gone missing in recent months in Jinning District just south of the provincial capital of Kunming.  In response to a growing outcry on the lack of accountability and progress by local police and government officials, central authorities have stepped in and sacked the Vice-District Head and Chief of Police.  ”Leading police and PSB authorities” have been dispatched to take over the investigation.

The Tenth Shanghai CCP Standing Committee Results made public

The following individuals have been selected to represent the CCP Standing Committee in Shanghai.  Details for notable persons will be updated soon.  The list is organized solely by total number of stokes of the individuals Chinese last name:

(共82名,按姓氏笔画排序)

  丁薛祥      马春雷      王  坚      卞百平      方惠萍(女)
    尹  弘      艾宝俊      吉晓辉      过剑飞      朱之文
  庄少勤      刘绍勇      孙  雷      孙  潮
    孙建平(虹口区)        孙荣乾      孙继伟      李  希
    李跃旗      李逸平      李耀新      杨  雄      杨建荣
    杨振武      杨晓渡      时光辉      吴  清      吴志明
    应  勇      汪  泓(女)沙海林      沈  骏      沈晓明
    宋依佳(女)张国洪      张学兵      陈  旭
  陈  寅                  陈  靖      陈克宏      林  湘
    金兴明      金建忠      周  平      周  伟      周  波
  周国雄      周祖翼      周海洋      赵  奇      赵惠琴(女)
  胡汉武      钟燕群(女)俞太尉      俞正声      姜  平
    姜  樑      洪  浩      贺东风      莫负春      徐  麟
  徐乐江      徐建光      徐逸波      殷一璀(女)翁祖亮
    翁铁慧(女)高  亢      黄  融      龚德庆      盛亚飞
    崔明华      屠光绍      彭沉雷      斯福民      蒋卓庆
  韩  正      焦  扬(女)裘  新      潘  敏      潘志纯
    戴海波

Zhou Yongkang Officially Named Delegate to the 18th CPC National Congress

BEIJING — China’s top security official Zhou Yongkang has been named a delegate to a top Communist Party meeting, despite calls for his removal amid political upheaval ahead of a 10-yearly leadership change.

Zhou, one of China’s top nine rulers, was named Saturday as a delegate from western-China’s Xinjiang region to the 18th Communist Party Congress which is slated to meet later this year, the Xinjiang Daily reported.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other top leaders including Zhou are expected to resign from their party posts at the end of the congress, ushering in a new leadership for the world’s most populous nation.

Zhou is viewed as a hardliner and has been linked to charismatic leader Bo Xilai, whose downfall earlier this year triggered the nation’s biggest political scandal in decades.

Last week an open letter signed by a group of Communist Party veterans called for Zhou’s immediate removal, a move they said would ensure a smooth leadership transition and signal future political reforms aimed at solidifying the rule of law.

They accused Zhou of backing Bo’s campaign to crackdown on corruption that many say involved widespread use of torture and illegalities and saw a leftist revival in China’s southwestern megacity of Chongqing.

Analysts say Bo’s removal in March as head of Chongqing and his subsequent suspension from the Politburo are indicative of a major split between conservative hardliners and reformers at the helm of the ruling party.

The scandal has been a huge embarrassment for the ruling party, which had been keen to project an image of unity as it gears up for the sensitive handover.

It was not immediately clear why Zhou was named a delegate from Xinjiang to the congress. He is one of about 2,200 top party leaders expected to attend the congress.

Zhou currently heads the party’s Politics and Law Commission — which oversees China’s judiciary, prosecution and police — and is one of nine members of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, the nation’s highest ruling body.

During his five years at the commission, Zhou has overseen the quelling of riots in Tibet in 2008, and in Xinjiang in 2009, as well as maintaining security for the Beijing Olympics and cracking down on democracy and rights activists.

Guangzhou People Daily: 11th Guangzhou Party Assembly, Wang Yang ponders replacement ahead of Politburo selection

For the official news release, in Chinese, link here:

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 11th Guangzhou Provincial Party meetings where Party Secretary Wang Yang took the opportunity to both praise the work of the party over the last five years and plan for next and listen to recommendations. Most important is that fact that Wang Yang is taking this opportunity to review and select a core group of leaders to continue pursuing his policies in Guangzhou even in the event that he is promoted to moved around after he ascends to the Politburo Standing Committee.  

From the Guangzhou People’s Daily:

党代会报告对广东过去五年的各项工作做出总结,对未来五年广东发展提出战略性、方向性、指导性的意见,审议好这个报告,就确定了未来五年广东各项工作的纲领,将指导广东发展再上新台阶。选出好班子,就是要选一个能够带领全省各级党组织和党员共同奋斗、完成这次报告所确定的各项任务的领导核心。

Chongqing Corruption and Abuse of Power crackdown nets 453 people including the chief of police of Fuling county

For the initial report in Chinese on Hua Long Net, link here:

In a report published only today, the Chongqing city prosecutor’s office revealed that, in the first four months of this year there have been a total of 376 cases of police corruption and criminal offenses involving some 453 individuals.

A breakdown on the report finds 320 cases, involving 391 people, have been charged and sentenced for corruption related crimes and accepting brides while 56 cases, involving 62 individuals, have been brought for wrongfully and knowingly infringing on citizens rights.  Important to note, 71 out of the total 453 suspects under charged and in custody are Party cadres of county leadership post or higher.

On a recent inspection tour throughout Chongqing municipality, Fuling County chief of police Jia Jinming (pictured above) was arrested and charged with “bending the law to his own profit” and accepting bribes.  In addition to his arrest, notices and bulletins have been put out for 16 additional suspects who are similarly charged but have to date evaded arrest.

This comes on the heels of a larger push to punish those to rode the wave of popular support under Bo Xilai’s leadership to crackdown on political opponents and silence dissent.  Interestingly, these are eerily similar to charges brought by Bo and his chief of police, when they came to power in 2007, in a bid to clean up the city.  If both campaigns’ allegations are true, it speaks to a larger, but ingrained system of brides and pay to play nature of governance on the local and provincial level; a practice which will not be going away anytime soon, no matter which group tries to clean it up. What will be interesting to see is if any of those now in custody will be used as scapegoats in an attempt to show how the new Chongqing leaders are fully and unquestionably in control. 

crisisgroup:

Foreign Policy | The Accidental Peacemaker
China did something very unusual in the United Nations this week: It did not abstain from, much less veto, a resolution threatening to impose sanctions unless Sudan stopped killing civilians in South Sudan. China has long treated Sudan as a client state, and it stood by Khartoum during the long years when Western powers tried to stop the atrocities the regime was committing in Darfur. Yet, after a discussion that a Security Council diplomat described as “substantive but not acrimonious,” China voted for Resolution 2046, which demands that both Sudan and South Sudan put an end to cross-border attacks and return to negotiations.
China has not, of course, become a convert to human rights, as the current standoff over activist Chen Guangcheng proves all too vividly. Nor is it having second thoughts about its foundational foreign-policy doctrine of “nonintervention,” which has made China the defender of authoritarian regimes the world over. A recent report on Chinese foreign policy by the British group Saferworld concludes that “At least for now, non-interference, stable regimes and stable relations that are conducive to maintaining China’s global economic engagement, will retain precedence in guiding Beijing’s diplomatic relations with conflict-affected states.”
But something important has happened: Facing a situation in which the principle of nonintervention doesn’t tell it what to do, China has been forced to join the United States and other countries, as well as the African Union, in actively trying to end a brutal conflict. China has supported Sudan over the last decade because Sudan supplied China with oil. Last year, however, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum lost most of its oil-producing territory. China immediately began courting the new country with visits from senior officials and a blizzard of proposed investment deals. Only last week, while South Sudanese President Salva Kiir was in Beijing, China announced an $8 billion loan to the new country to build major infrastructure projects. But though South Sudan has most of the oil, Sudan has the pipelines and the refining equipment. So China needs both countries — and the rising spiral of violence between them, provoked largely though not wholly by Khartoum, has forced China to get off the sidelines.
FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)

crisisgroup:

Foreign Policy | The Accidental Peacemaker

China did something very unusual in the United Nations this week: It did not abstain from, much less veto, a resolution threatening to impose sanctions unless Sudan stopped killing civilians in South Sudan. China has long treated Sudan as a client state, and it stood by Khartoum during the long years when Western powers tried to stop the atrocities the regime was committing in Darfur. Yet, after a discussion that a Security Council diplomat described as “substantive but not acrimonious,” China voted for Resolution 2046, which demands that both Sudan and South Sudan put an end to cross-border attacks and return to negotiations.

China has not, of course, become a convert to human rights, as the current standoff over activist Chen Guangcheng proves all too vividly. Nor is it having second thoughts about its foundational foreign-policy doctrine of “nonintervention,” which has made China the defender of authoritarian regimes the world over. A recent report on Chinese foreign policy by the British group Saferworld concludes that “At least for now, non-interference, stable regimes and stable relations that are conducive to maintaining China’s global economic engagement, will retain precedence in guiding Beijing’s diplomatic relations with conflict-affected states.”

But something important has happened: Facing a situation in which the principle of nonintervention doesn’t tell it what to do, China has been forced to join the United States and other countries, as well as the African Union, in actively trying to end a brutal conflict. China has supported Sudan over the last decade because Sudan supplied China with oil. Last year, however, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum lost most of its oil-producing territory. China immediately began courting the new country with visits from senior officials and a blizzard of proposed investment deals. Only last week, while South Sudanese President Salva Kiir was in Beijing, China announced an $8 billion loan to the new country to build major infrastructure projects. But though South Sudan has most of the oil, Sudan has the pipelines and the refining equipment. So China needs both countries — and the rising spiral of violence between them, provoked largely though not wholly by Khartoum, has forced China to get off the sidelines.

FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)

Press Release: Dai Bingguo: US-China Talks on Human Rights, there is a clear difference of opinion

In a press release put on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website yesterday, State Councilor and leading foreign affairs policy maker, Dai Bingguo(戴秉国), summed up some of what the US-China Strategic Talks had covered.  For the full text in Chinese, link here.

His short speech included talk that, while the US and China both have there differences, while but side have to protect their own national interests, both sides are working hard to find a common ground.

On Human Rights, Dai Bingguo has this to say:

双方在对话中讨论了人权问题,双方存在分歧。新中国成立以来,中国的人权事业取得了巨大的进步。在人权问题上没有国家尽善尽美。中国将继续沿着自己选择的正确道路前行,让中国人民生活得更加幸福、更有尊严,让社会更加公正、和谐。人权问题不应成为国家间关系发展的干扰因素,不应用来干涉别国内政。

Bolded: “Human rights issues should not disturb state-to-state relations, and they should not be used as an excuse to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries”

There is hope from the Chinese side at least, that these issues do not become too much of a distraction from larger geo-political and economic issues that both countries have to resolve.  A PR nightmare for China in the field of Human Rights, whether warranted or not will only make policy makers more suspicious of foreign agendas and ulterior motives for political reform and domestic change. 

Li Keqiang’s Article on European Cooperation linked to ongoing feud over Airline Carbon Emissions

Vice Premier Li Keqiang’s essay, published in Chinese on Xinhua here and in English on the Financial Times here may have more to do smoothing relations over the ongoing dispute on paying added fees for carbon emissions for flights into and out of Europe. It also comes at the same time that Chinese media and State PR outlets are lauding the successful European tour by Li and Premier Wen Jiabao.  

Li’s essay was quick to point out that, in the midst of the financial crisis, China stood fast in supporting European economies with large amounts on direct investment.  Look for China to build upon its interpretation of the European partnership to press many powers to ease high-tech exports to China and bring the EU to the bargaining table on emissions. 

Bo Xilai said to have spied on top China officials

Amazing piece by the Yew York Times.  It’s description of a leading figure like Bo Xilai and his ability to eavesdrop and spy on other leading Party figures must be a chilling fact to have gone public.  He was probably not the only one to have tried this kind of an operation.  

Even spookier is the Central Commission’s Discipline Inspection team sending undercover teams to Chongqing. Ma Wen, Minister of Supervision, has been working on anti-corruption and inspection for going on ten years now.  Here resume is linked here. Her involvement, the size and capability of her operations  within the Party would be an excellent academic work one day.

Boxun Report: A Brewing Rift between Li Keqiang and Wang Qishan over who will be the next Premier

In a piece of leaked information, posted by Boxun.com, exposed a growing divide within upper levels of the central Party. If the Boxun report is true, then there would be a spit between Wang Qishan and Li Keqiang.  Li has been heavily favored by Hu Jintao and Wan Jiabao and is seen as the golden child destined to takeover Wen’s position in the fall at the 18th National Congress of the CPC.  Wang, the former mayor of Beijing and currently Vice-Premier under Wen, was apparently upset that Li had been thrust to a position of power during the last two months, especially as he took charge of State Council meetings.  In a quote:

"…温家宝有意让李克强主持会议,王岐山当着部长们的面,对李克强施压促使其决策,有时还嘲笑。李克强则一笑而过,但事后想胡、温诉苦。"(Wen Jiabao purposefully made Li Keqiang take charge of the meeting. Wang Qisshan, face to face with other ministers, pushed and pressured Li Keqiang to promote his own policies. Now and then he even ridiculed Li. After the event, however, both Hu and Wen were grumbling)

 If such allegations are true, then it exposed a greater degree of division (not open conflict) within the highest ranks of government.  I choice between Li Keqiang an Wang Qishan might be a good thing for the party, but it posed a challenge to Hu and Wan for leaving in place a hand-picked core of cadres to continue policies they have fought so hard for.  

There is another danger however, the authenticity of such reports.  Unconfirmed information and unidentified sources may be right, but they also may be placed.  There is a danger is hyping such information as they can just as easily be fabricated information passed along to discredit individuals such as Wang or Li.  Take it with a grain of salt, that’s all.

Deng Xiaogang: Youngest Chinese Provincial Leader ever, 45, Secretary of Political and Legal Committee for the Tibetan Autonomous Region

                                                           

Deng Xiaogang was promoted to the title of Secretary of the Political and Legal Standing Committee on April 23rd.    His full resume is available online in Chinese here.

Worth to note, he has previous experience working in Beijing, Qinghua, Zhejiang and Inner Mongolia.  He has served as Deputy Bureau Director of the Beijing Development Committee and Deputy Secretary of Fengtai and Tongzhou Districts in Beijing.  

He has flown under the radar for much of his career but this position, in Tibet, has been a proving ground for a growing list of central party leaders. Hu Jintao and Hu Chunhua both spent significant time in Tibet to bolster their credentials in managing one of China most trying provinces.  Deng has been in Tibet since 2005.  How he helps guide Tibet through economic unbalances and ethnic strife will reflect on how he may move up the ranks in the coming years.