Eric and his father’s story is the subject of a new short film, ‘Split by the State’. (Alexander Nilsen)Eric and his father’s story is the subject of a new short film, ‘Split by the State’. (Alexander Nilsen)

“Split by the State”

As millions of Australian families prepare to celebrate Father’s Day to honour their paternal bonds, for Sydney refugee Eric Jia, his version of Father’s Day is a lonely affair.

The last time he saw his father Ye Jia was 15 years-ago when he was 3-years-old. This father and son were forcefully split by China’s one-party state, simply because Ye Jia wanted to meditate and follow his beliefs.

Eric and his dad in Shaanxi province China during happier times.  (Alexander Nilsen)

Eric and his dad in Shaanxi Province China during happier times. (Alexander Nilsen)

He practices Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese meditation and spiritual practice based on the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance’. It rose to popularity in China in the 1990’s, with over 100 million people experiencing its health benefits.

: Eric doing the Falun Gong meditation exercise at home in Sydney, Australia. China is the only country in the world that doesn't allow Falun Gong practitioners to meditate freely.  (Alexander Nilsen)

Eric doing the Falun Gong meditation exercise at home in Sydney, Australia. China is the only country in the world that doesn’t allow Falun Gong practitioners to meditate freely. (Alexander Nilsen)

These numbers proved too overwhelming for the Chinese regime, which with around 60 million communist members at the time, saw the practice as a threat. Former dictator Jiang Zemin initiated a country-wide crackdown and persecution against the peaceful movement, that hasn’t waned since it began on July 20, 1999.

The decision to persecute Falun Gong was made by former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin alone. Other members of the leadership favoured a more conciliatory approach, recognising that Falun Gong was peaceful. (NTD Television)

The decision to persecute Falun Gong was made by former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin alone. Other members of the leadership favoured a more conciliatory approach, recognising that Falun Gong was peaceful. (NTD Television)

As days and months turned into years, the state-sanctioned persecution has taken a heavy toll on fathers, sons and families alike, who have suffered severely and have too often been torn apart.

In modern China torture is a routine component of law-enforcement and punishment. Jiang Zemin issued his famous edict, “It is not a crime to beat a Falun Gong practitioner to death.” (en.minghui.org/)

Eric and his father’s story is the subject of a new short film, “Split by the State”, its release comes on Father’s Day.

The film’s director Gina Shakespeare said: “this film is dedicated to prisoners of conscience, like Ye Jia, who today number in their millions. It’s also an exposé of the Chinese regime’s relentless use of physical and psychological torture against Falun Gong adherents and their families, told through a young man’s heart.”

Ms Shakespeare recalled being deeply touched as she read Eric Jia’s original letter he wrote to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2016, pleading to save his dad from a Chinese prison.

“I knew Eric’s story needed to be told and that the letter he wrote was actually the beginning of a powerful script, one that would also move others” she said.

“Hearing that his dad was spending eight years in a Chinese prison, had been tortured, starved and subjected to filthy and inhumane living conditions, I could never fathom this type of ill-treatment, this just doesn’t happen in Australia” said Ms Shakespeare.

“Eric possesses an incredible resilience and determination. His desire for justice and to be reunited with his father, after all this time has never diminished. I really hope the Prime Minister can pressure China to release Eric’s dad urgently.”

Australia's Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull. (Alexander Nilsen)

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Alexander Nilsen)

Eric spends a good deal of time assisting other Falun Gong families still imprisoned in China by speaking out at rallies, collecting signatures for petitions and even calling prisons in mainland China. Surely something his father would be proud of.

You can also help Eric and his family by sharing the film and by visiting this website and signing the petition.

www.splitbythestate.org

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Кытай, on Sept. 4, 2016. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Кытай, on Sept. 4, 2016. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

China’s economy appears to be slowing down after years of booming growth. To revitalize the economy, the current Chinese leadership needs to get its priorities right in one particular area.

General secretary Xi Jinping formally assumed the title of Chinese Communist Party “core” leader at the regime’s recently-held Sixth Plenum in Beijing. This ascension, as well as his declaration that he would “strictly govern the Party,” indicates that Xi’s three-year campaign to purge the regime of the political faction of Jiang Zemin, a former communist leader, has thus far been successful. Xi’s ascension also indicates that the next stage of clearing out the Jiang group will very likely pick up pace.

Xi’s investigation and punishment of thousands of corrupt officials in the Jiang network since he assumed power is a positive measure both for the stability of Chinese society, and for China’s economic development. These corrupt officials harm the state and damage public welfare—in particular, many took hundreds of millions in state funds, filling their houses with gold, cash, paintings, and antiques. As the scope of the anti-corruption campaign extends across borders, international banks also refuse to touch such money.

To improve China’s economy, Xi Jinping should capture more of these corrupt officials, disgorge their wealth, and use it to benefit the people.

Arresting more corrupt officials affiliated with Jiang Zemin is one of the keys to solving the many problems plaguing the Chinese economy.

China’s Economic Dilemma

A healthy economy is key to the stability of a country and a regime—it’s the basis of a prospering society, and allows people to live in safety and comfort. Without it, social unrest is the result, and the people can’t eke out a living.

China’s economy is presently facing a severe crisis: Economic growth has plummeted, unemployment is on the rise, the financial and real estate bubbles continue to grow, local debt is at a crisis level, manufacturing is in trouble, and capital is leaving the country.

This state of affairs results from multiple factors.

After the Cultural Revolution ended in the 1970s, the Communist Party was forced to push through economic reforms simply to survive. Without any change in the political system, the loosening of economic constraints allowed the Chinese people to create the “miracle economy” that drew the world’s attention. China eventually became the second-largest economy in the world.

But after 30 years of rapid economic growth, China’s economic model—which came at the price of trampling human rights, ruining the environment, excessively depleting natural resources—is exhausted. Continued economic growth has already become the Party’s last hope for sustaining the legitimacy of its rule.

Xi Jinping’s leadership group has faced numerous economic problems since coming to power at the 18th Party Congress in 2012, but not all of them are because of the system. Many, in fact, are due to power struggles at the top of the regime itself: thus, China’s financial and stock markets became battlegrounds for life-and-death political rivalries to play out on.

The group who found its power rapidly collapsing—Jiang Zemin and his faction—think nothing of using China’s economy as a bargaining chip. They’re content to cause a meltdown of the financial system, to unleash chaos if they need to, in an attempt to seize back power from Xi and avoid being held responsible for their crimes and punished. The stock market crash of June and July last year was a result of all this.

Jiang’s corrupt officials have themselves also directly dealt huge damage to the economy.

Jiang’s Corrupt Cronies

Officialdom in China has reached the point encapsulated by the phrase: “There’s not an official who’s not corrupt” (无官不贪). Almost every single official in Jiang Zemin’s camp is extremely corrupt—this has become clear in the records of those investigated, exposed, and punished since the 18th Party Congress.

Recently the former National People’s Congress top official Bai Enpai was charged with accepting bribes to the order of $36 million; the former vice bureau chief of the department of coal in the National Energy Administration, Wei Pengyuan, took nearly $30 million in bribes and was given a death sentence with reprieve (with the result that he’ll spend the rest of his life behind bars); the former chair of Guangdong Province’s Party advisory congress, Zhu Mingguo, was charged with receipt of $20 million; Zhou Yongkang with $19 million; Jin Daoming with $17 million; Wan Qingliang with $16 million; Mao Xiaobing with $15 million, and on.

Keep in mind that these are only the numbers that appear in official reports. The real sums are almost certainly far higher. If $17 million in paper cash can be hauled out of the home of Ma Chaoqun, a mere section-level official in Hebei Province, then higher-officials absconding with hundreds of billions of yuan is to be expected.

Jiang’s Corrupt System

After Jiang Zemin took power, the Communist Party entered an era lacking both an ideology or a limit to its conduct. Instead, Jiang established in the Party a new set of power relations: Let loose corruption, and join the conspiracy of power and profit.

The first crop of officials that came up under Jiang—like Li Changchun, Jia Qinglin, Chen Liangyu, Zeng Qinghong, Zhou Yongkang, and others—almost to a man had their start in smuggling, colluding with businessmen, and expropriating land in making their first fortune.

Before long, both petty and powerful officials who liked to use their public position for personal gain began gathering under Jiang’s banner. During the Jiang era, corruption became the way to get ahead, and clean officials were the ones to be cleaned out.

The case of Huang Jinguo, the head of the Party Committee of Lianjiang County in Fujian Province, is an example.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Huang sought to investigate a major network of corruption in his own jurisdiction. He was simultaneously pressured from the top and the bottom: Higher-ups told him to lay off, while thugs and triads issued threats. Huang wore a bulletproof vest to work for six years. Helpless, on Aug. 11, 2004, he submitted his story to People’s Daily, calling it: “Why A Bulletproof Vest Has Followed me For Six Years.” In the end, Huang was arrested a year later and sentenced to life imprisonment on framed-up charges.

Jiang Zemin ruled the country through corruption, setting up his own network of officials throughout the Party, political security, military, and other bureaucratic systems. His eldest son, Jiang Mianheng, became known as “China’s most corrupt.”

The culture of corruption in China that Jiang established metastasized through the military, the judiciary, the health care system, the education system, the sports system, the media, state-owned enterprises, and more. Official positions were bought and sold, bribes were paid and received, collusive abuse between officials and businessmen spread through the country.

The lifeline of the Chinese economy was in the hands of interest groups that had coalesced around Jiang’s rule, including the petrochemical industry, telecommunications, the state-owned railway empire, the financial system, and state enterprises in fields like finance that offer the fattest rents. All these fields had installed in them either members of the extended Jiang family and clan, or confidants, aids, subordinates, and associates. These include Jiang Mianheng, Zeng Qinghong, Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou, Liu Yunshan, and others.

Zhou Yongkang and his family accumulated real estate and cash to the tune of over $14 миллиард, while Zeng Qinghong’s wealth exceeded $1.4 миллиард. The families of Xu Caihou and Liu Yunshan also hold wealth in excess of a billion dollars.

In recent years the phenomenon of “naked officials” has become extreme. “Naked official” is a term that describes corrupt officials who first send their spouse and children abroad with the stolen assets while they bide their time for the best opportunity to make their own escape. These officials often get their money out through cash smuggling, underground money shops, or large-scale investment projects. Official statistics indicate that at least 20,000 officials have fled China in this manner, depriving the country of between $116 billion and $217 миллиард.

If the entire asset base of the corrupt network that grew around Jiang Zemin’s reign could be calculated completely, it’s likely that it would exceed China’s annual expenditures in national defense, healthcare, and education.

How Jiang Harmed China

The system of official theft and corruption created by Jiang came about at a time when China was going through large-scale privatization and economic transformation. Thus, the entire backdrop of economic reform turned into the best opportunity, excuse, and method of concealment for theft with abandon. State assets were, through all manner of mechanisms, privatized into the control of corrupt officials and special interest groups.

In the end, this widespread theft meant that China lost the opportunity to turn into something resembling a normal country via the reform process, and the economic and social foundations that enable order were undermined. A large part of the fruits of 20 years of economic reform in China was plundered by Jiang’s corrupt interest groups.

The corruption during this period wasn’t limited to officialdom—the culture of lawlessness penetrated every level of society. As the moral turpitude of the ruling class became clear, any notion of fairness became increasingly remote for most Chinese people.

Economics and morality are interdependent. Methods of economic development that arise from a broken moral outlook will inevitably result in embezzlement, corruption, plunder, an every-man-for-himself mentality, and the ruination of the public good.

The uniquely nasty aspect of Jiang Zemin’s rule is the extent to which he dared to destroy and degrade human morality and conscience, which is the foundation of any society and well-functioning economic and political system.

Without humanity, morality, and good faith, society collapses and decays—challenging and attacking morality as Jiang did was an attempt to destroy hope for a new China. It also amounts to the Communist Party digging its own grave. This much is clear from an examination of the fallen officials in Jiang’s network.

Taking an inventory of these officials—including Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang, Su Rong, Xu Caihou, Guo Boxiong, and others—they were, to a man, committed to Jiang Zemin’s persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.

Cleaning out the Jiang Faction Will Help Revitalize the Economy

Thoroughly purging officials that stole vast wealth during the Jiang era will have the effect of reinvigorating the Chinese economy.

биринчиден, given the scale of wealth that they stole, their confiscation and reinvestment in the livelihood of the people is bound to improve things.

Secondly, purging all those officials will have the effect of restoring proper economic order and the trust of the people in the future of China.

Thirdly, breaking the corrupt official network established by Jiang, and rebuilding a normally-operating system of governance, would allow China to return to a positive growth trajectory and move toward the future smoothly.

Fourthly, these corrupt officials are the foundation of Jiang Zemin’s faction. So clearing them out, before ultimately arresting Jiang Zemin, would mean the complete end of the Jiang faction.

From a deeper perspective, one of the objectives Jiang had when fostering this enormous system of corruption, was in order to bind officials throughout the Party to his campaign of persecuting Falun Gong—making them both beneficiaries from the campaign and participants in it. This is one of the most sinister aspects of his rule.

History has shown that the persecution of righteous faith is met with the punishment of Heaven. The collapse of the Roman Empire illustrates this.

China today is paying the price of Jiang’s persecution of Falun Gong. Бирок,, there’s hope for China’s future if the persecution is ended, the victimized are exonerated, and justice is re-established. Purging Jiang’s system of corruption is a way to uphold righteousness, manifest Heaven’s principles, and bring boundless blessings.

Peaceful Transition

Premodern Chinese history tells us that a change of dynasty is at hand when a large number of officials in a regime are corrupt, and when the economy and the country’s power is on the wane. Jiang and the Communist Party have forfeited the last vestige of legitimacy of the Party, and the Party is about to overthrow itself.

Ошол эле учурда, the range of measures and actions that Xi Jinping has taken since coming to office suggests that he doesn’t have the blood of the persecution of Falun Gong on his hands. Xi is also distancing himself from the Party’s historical crimes.

Xi thus has no need to bear the blood debt of the Party and Jiang Zemin, and his abandoning the Party is an inevitability that accords with the will of history.

China will then make a peaceful transition to a non-communist society, and the Chinese nation and people, who have suffered decades of calamity, will create new glories in the future.

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Zhang Gaoli attends the news conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2013 in Beijing, Кытай.  (Feng Li/Getty Images)Zhang Gaoli attends the news conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2013 in Beijing, Кытай.  (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Xi Jinping is the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, but he doesn’t have complete control over the regime. Rather, former Party chief Jiang Zemin continues to influence matters of the day through his factional allies in key leadership positions, as well as through a vast political network.

This year, the overseas Chinese press speculated that Xi is looking to dismantle the Politburo Standing Committee—the highest decision-making body in the regime, and a key political tool Jiang has used to impose his will or check ruling Party leaders.

The recent purge of top Tianjin official Yin Hailin and other members of the so-called “Tianjin gang” appears to be a move by Xi Jinping to implicate Standing Committee member and former Tianjin chief Zhang Gaoli.

Targeting Zhang would afford Xi an excuse to discredit the existing structure of collective leadership at the top, and break free from Jiang Zemin’s control.

Abolishing the Politburo Standing Committee?

Of the seven members in the Standing Committee, vice premier Zhang Gaoli, propaganda chief Liu Yunshan, and Chinese legislature head Zhang Dejiang are known allies of Jiang Zemin.

The two Zhangs and Liu have interfered with the rule of Xi Jinping.

Zhang Gaoli is linked with a massive chemical warehouse blast in Tianjin in 2015.

Zhang Dejiang, who also oversees the affairs of semi-autonomous Hong Kong and Macau, turned Hongkongers against Beijing by denying promised democratic reforms.

Ошол эле учурда, Liu Yunshan is believed to be behind the efforts of state media and “nationalistic” bloggers’ casting Xi as a Mao-like figure.

Overseas Chinese media reported this year that Xi is dissatisfied with the Standing Committee system, and is considering dismantling it and adopting a presidential system. Indeed, Xi is already governing through several small but powerful policy panels, a sign that he is dissatisfied with the status quo.

Before Jiang Zemin stepped down as Party leader in 2002, he increased the number of Standing Committee members from seven to nine, and stacked the body with his allies. Each Standing Committee member ran his portfolio independently, resulting in a state of governance that one Chinese scholar described as feudal.

When Xi Jinping came to power during the 18th Party National Congress, the nine-member Standing Committee returned to a seven-member body.

The fall of Yin Haili

On August 22, the official website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced that Tianjin’s deputy mayor Yin Hailin was being investigated for “serious violations of discipline.”

From January 2000 until very recently, Yin, 56, served as the deputy director of the Tianjin Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute. He was later appointed deputy director of the Tianjin Planning and Land Resources Bureau, and then promoted to director in December 2007. In May 2012, Yin was made Tianjin deputy mayor, Tianjin Political and Legal Affairs Commission deputy secretary, as well as Tianjin Municipal Planning Bureau director.

Yin’s swift rise up the political ladder coincided with Politburo Standing Committee member Zhang Gaoli’s tenure as Tianjin Party Secretary from March 2007 to November 2012.

The Yin Haili-led Tianjin Municipal Planning Bureau appeared to be involved in the real estate corruption case of property developer Zhao Jin in 2014, as well as the massive explosions near the port of Tianjin on Aug. 2015. After the two high-profile incidents, there were rumors of shakeups at the Municipal Planning Bureau of Tianjin.

Indeed, after the announce of Yin’s arrest, a Tianjin official told semi-official press Beijing News that Yin’s demise has been speculated for quite a while, and he was linked with the Zhao Jin corruption case.

Zhao, the son of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee secretary-general, had leveraged on his father’s political post and connections to build a huge real estate empire. He was arrested by the authorities on June 2014, while Zhao Senior was taken away four months later. After that, officials in Tianjin’s Municipal Planning Bureau were purged one after the other.

The Tianjin Gang

Compared to his serving in Tianjin’s planning authorities for over 30 years, Yin Hailin tenure in Tianjin municipality and law and security apparatus has attracted far less attention.

Several officials in Tianjin’s political and legal system have committed appalling abuses of power.

Мисалы, Li Baojin, former deputy secretary of Tianjin’s Political and Legal Affairs Commission and head of the municipality’s prosecuting body, was detained and interrogated on June 12, 2006. The following year, Li was handed a death sentence with reprieve for taking bribes and embezzling public funds.

On June 4, 2007, Song Pingshun, the chairman of Tianjin’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, committed suicide in his office. Song, 62, had controlled Tianjin’s political and legal system for many years, and was Li Baojin’s long-time superior.

Later, Wu Changshun, then chief of the Tianjin Municipal Public Security Bureau, was placed under investigation. But the investigation into Wu was called off by Zhou Yongkang, then Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission deputy secretary, on the condition that Wu would oversee security for the Beijing Summer Olympics, according to respected Chinese financial publication Caixin.

Wu was eventually promoted to deputy head of the Tianjin Political and Legal Affairs Commission and vice chair of the Tianjin political consultative body. He held this positions until his arrest in July 2014.

Unlike Song, Li, and Wu, Yin Hailin did not make his career in the public security system. But Yin eventually succeeded Wu Changshun nonetheless. Like Wu, Yin also had secret dealings with other powerful individuals.

Why the Tianjin Gang is Now in Trouble

The purge of deputies in Tianjin’s security and law apparatus can be traced back to the Chinese regime’s persecution of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong 17 years ago.

On April 25, 1999 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Beijing and stood quietly outside Zhongnanhai to petition the authorities to release several practitioners who had been detained by Tianjin police.

The issue was resolved in a matter of hours after Falun Gong representatives spoke with Zhu Rongji, then Chinese premier. Бирок,, then Chinese leader Jiang Zemin seized the April 25 petition as a pretext to launch a large-scale suppression of Falun Gong.

At the time of the April 25 incident, Song Pingshun was Party Secretary of Tianjin’s Political and Legal Affairs Commission, and head of Tianjin’s Public Security Bureau. Wu Changshun was deputy director of the Public Security Bureau, and Li Baojin was head of Tianjin’s prosecuting body.

Song, Wu, Li, as well as former Central Political and Legal Affairs Party Secretaries Luo Gan and Zhou Yongkang, all have a hand in executing Jiang’s persecution campaign.

Incidentally, a distinct pattern has emerged in Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign: Many officials that have been investigated for corruption are also known to have persecuted Falun Gong.

The Yin Hailin-Zhang Gaoli connection

During Yin Hailin’s term as boss of Tianjin city planning officials, three of Tianjin’s districts— Tanggu, Hangu, and Dagang—were consolidated into a new area called Binhai. Yin is allegedly involved in the planning and construction of this Binhai New Area.

According to reports in overseas Chinese media, former Tianjin boss Zhang Gaoli made the development and opening up of the Binhai New Area one of his priorities.

Binhai New Area has numerous unfinished projects. A total of 60 billion yuan (about US$9 billion) was invested in Xiangluowan Business District, one of the 6 functional districts in Binhai New Area’s central business district. But Chinese media describe Xiangluowan today as a “ghost town.”

The development company Binhai New Area Construction Investment Group incurred a huge amount of debt. Liu Huiwen, former chairman of Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co. Limited, committed suicide in April 2014.

In 2014, the Party’s internal disciplinary agency sent inspection teams to Tianjin. On July 9, the inspection teams told the Tianjin Municipal government that state owned enterprises in Tianjin were frequently involved in “major graft and bribery cases,” and there was “major corruption issues in the urban development and construction sector.”

According to some media reports, anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan ordered the Tianjin authorities to preserve the complete records of minutes taken at meetings of the province’s leadership since 2007. Wang also requested to view the original documents for government development projects, and insisted that “no one should tamper” with the paperwork.

Zhang Gaoli is said to be involved in private venture and equity fund cases worth hundreds of billions of yuan.

When Zhang took over Tianjin in 2007, he promoted all types of venture capital and private equity funds. But from early 2010 үчүн 2012, the Tianjin authorities suddenly investigated and closed down these firms, affecting hundreds of thousands of families who invested in them.

Many of those affected journeyed to Tianjin to petition and lodge complaints. Some of the protesters were heard shouting “Zhang Gaoli, return our money!

Tianjin explosions

On Aug. 12, 2015, a series of catastrophic explosions rocked Tianjin when a chemical warehouse in Binhai New Area blew up.

Binhai New Area is Zhang Gaoli’s biggest achievement in Tianjin. Ruihai International Logistics, the company that owned the warehouse where the explosions occurred, was allegedly controlled by the relatives of Zhang.

A day after the explosions, an overseas website claimed in an article that the Tianjin explosion was the work of terrorists. “Conspiracy theories” the article wrote, suggest that “the Tianjin explosions are surely the by-product of a power struggle inside the Chinese Communist Party. A rogue side created the human tragedy, and this group’s purpose is to threaten, intimidate, and force a crisis that would lead to an impeachment of Xi Jinping”. This claim hasn’t been verified.

Ошол эле учурда, an Aug. 23 report by Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily, citing sources in Beijing, claimed that Xi Jinping held a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee on the night of the Tianjin explosion.

Some analysts believe that Jiang Zemin used the Tianjin explosions to bargain with Xi Jinping. Xi had reportedly detained Jiang temporarily in response.

To this day, the inside story of the Tianjin explosions hasn’t been completely revealed. The connection between Yin Hailin’s downfall and the rumors about Zhang Gaoli adds additional mystery to the explosion.

This February, the Chinese regime’s State Council approved the investigation of the explosions in Tianjin.

Translated By SQ Wu, Susan Wang, & Benjamin Ng. Edited by Sally Appert.

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Ling Jihua, the former top aide to the head of the Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing on March 8, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Ling Jihua, the former top aide to the head of the Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing on March 8, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The former subordinates of a purged top Chinese Communist Party cadre Ling Jihua continue to be removed from office in what is likely an effort by Party leader Xi Jinping to cleanse the regime of Ling’s remaining influence.

Ling, 59, was formerly the aide to ex-Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao and director of the Party’s General Office. He was arrested in July 2015, and found guilty of corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment this July 4.

Recently two of Ling’s deputies were quietly removed from their posts.

Zhao Shengxuan. (cjn.cn)

Zhao Shengxuan, the deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was expelled from office for violating Party discipline, according to a communique in June.

Бирок,, a February communique indicated that Zhao, then the most senior of four Academy deputy directors, had resigned. His official biography appeared to have been taken down from the Academy’s website following the announcement of his resignation.

Ошол эле учурда, state mouthpiece Xinhua reported on July 20 that Xia Yong, a deputy director of Legal Affairs Office of the regime’s State Council, was “no longer holding office.” No reason was provided for Xia stepping down, and there wasn’t any announcement of him taking up another job—a development that suggests Xia had been sidelined.

It is unclear whether Xia Yong will at a later date be charged with corruption by the Chinese authorities, but he is currently listed by a U.S.-based nonproft as being involved in one of China’s most brutal persecutions.

Xia Yong. (Xinhua)

In 2005, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) identified Xia as having played an active role in the suppression of Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that involves slow exercises and moral teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Feeling threatened by the popularity of the practice—an official survey found 70 million people practicing Falun Gong in 1999—former Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered a persecution campaign on July 20 of that year.

About a week after the persecution was launched, Xia Yong and other scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences denounced Falun Gong using Marxist theories, according to WOIPFG. Xia later became the founding executive director of China Anti-Cult Association, a regime-controlled agency dedicated to spreading anti-Falun Gong propaganda and provided “guidance” on the forced ideological conversion of practitioners in detention centers, labor camps, and brainwashing centers.

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Ling Jihua, an aide to former Party leader Hu Jintao, was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 7, 2016. (CCTV)Ling Jihua, an aide to former Party leader Hu Jintao, was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 7, 2016. (CCTV)

Ling Jihua, an aide to former Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao and director of the Party’s secretive General Office, was sentenced to life in prison, according to state run media.

On July 4, Xinhua News Agency reported that Ling was found guilty by the Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court on June 7 of taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets, and abuse of power. State mouthpiece China Central Television ran footage of a grey-haired Ling in a white shirt in the courtroom.

Ling and his family had accepted bribes totaling 77.08 million yuan (about $11.6 million), Xinhua reported. He had also obtained large amounts of classified documents while serving as head of the United Front Work Department, the regime’s political subterfuge and espionage organ, and vice chair of the National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

Huo Ke, Ling’s former aide at the General Office, had furnished his ex-boss with the classified documents, according to Xinhua.

This February, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Ling Wancheng, the older brother of Ling Jihua, is in possession of the over 2,700 classified documents in Ling’s possession.

Given Ling’s highest official position was analogous to the White House chief of staff, he is one of the most elite Party cadres to be jailed in recent decades.

Ling pled guilty and said he would not appeal the sentence.

Ling’s downfall can be traced to the suspicious death of his son in a Ferrari accident in Beijing in March 2012. He was investigated for corruption in December 2014, and formally arrested on July 20, 2015.

Party leader Xi Jinping had in a recent speech accused Ling, former security czar Zhou Yongkang, former military vice chair Xu Caihou, and former Politburo member Bo Xilai of having “carried out political conspiracies to wreck and split the Party.”

Ling, Zhou, Xu, and Bo are known allies of former Party chief Jiang Zemin. Since taking office, Xi has been dismantling Jiang’s political network and consolidating his own power.

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Luo Zhijun spoke at a political meeting on Jan. 27, 2010. Luo was moved from his powerful post as Party Secretary in Jiangsu to a figurehead role at the regime’s rubber stamp legislature. (jszx.gov.cn)Luo Zhijun spoke at a political meeting on Jan. 27, 2010. Luo was moved from his powerful post as Party Secretary in Jiangsu to a figurehead role at the regime’s rubber stamp legislature. (jszx.gov.cn)

Luo Zhijun, the former Party Secretary of China’s coastal province of Jiangsu, is the latest member connected to ex-Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin’s political network to be suddenly moved from a top office recently.

State mouthpiece Xinhua reported on June 30 that Luo was being replaced by Jiangsu governor Li Qiang due to age reasons. Two days later, Luo was sworn in as vice chairman of environmental and resources protection committee in the regime’s rubber stamp legislature in an official ceremony.

Although Luo will hit the official retirement age of 65 this November, it is irregular for provincial level Party cadres to be suddenly moved out of a post with executive power to a figurehead role—in this case the deputy director of Environmental Protection and National Resources Committee in the National People’s Congress—in the final leg of their career.

Luo’s transfer is, Бирок,, in line with a recent trend of high-ranking officials from Jiangsu Province getting ousted. Ji Jianye, former mayor of Nanjing in Jiangsu, Zhao Shaolin, former provincial standing committee member and secretary general, жана Yang Weize, former Party Secretary of Nanjing, were purged in 2015. This May, former Jiangsu deputy provincial governor Li Yunfeng was investigated for “severely violating Party discipline”—a catch-all phrase for malfeasance or political rivalry.

Party leader Xi Jinping’s purge of Jiangsu appears to be aimed at diminishing the influence of former Party leader Jiang Zemin. China’s eastern central province of Jiangsu is both Jiang’s birthplace and one of his power bases. Xi has been steadily uprooting Jiang’s political network since taking office in 2013.

Luo seems to be aware of this context, given his remarks following his demotion.

“I strongly support the decision made by Party Central,” Luo told Jiangsu officials, according to People’s Net, the online version of state mouthpiece People’s Daily. “All accomplishments made in Jiangsu in recent years were the result of strong leadership by General Secretary Xi Jinping.”

But three years ago at a book launch ceremony for Jiang Zemin’s book in his hometown of Yangzhou, Luo had instead offered the following praise for Jiang: “Comrade Jiang Zemin was supported and beloved by the Party, the military, and people from all ethnic backgrounds,” Luo said, and added that Jiang’s new book would “urge all cadres and masses in the province to continue to struggle,” reported Xinhua.

Luo had a good reason to be supportive of Jiang. According to overseas Chinese news publication Bowen Press, former General Office head Ling Jihua had promised Luo the position of Ministry of Public Security chief if a coup against Xi—that Ling was planning with the disgraced former Politburo member Bo Xilai and former security czar Zhou Yongkang—was successful. Ling, Bo, and Zhou are firm allies of Jiang Zemin.

In a speech last year, Xi Jinping accused Ling, Zhou, Bo, and other fallen elite cadres for having “carried out political conspiracies to wreck and split the Party.”

Of a piece with his factional affiliation, Luo Zhijun is also involved in the brutal persecution campaign against the traditional Chinese spiritual discipline Falun Gong that Jiang Zemin ordered in July 1999.

The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), a nonprofit research organization based in the United States, has confirmed at least 13 deaths during Luo’s tenure as mayor and Party Secretary of Nanjing, and at least 48 deaths during his time in Jiangsu.

WOIPFG holds Luo accountable for the death of Wu Di, a former employee of the Suining County Farming Machinery Factory in Jiangsu.

For refusing to renounce Falun Gong and give up the practice, Wu was fired from her job, forced to divorce her husband, and injected with nerve-damaging drugs while she was incarcerated at a psychiatric ward in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province in 2001, according to an account on Minghui.org, a clearinghouse of information about the persecution.

Wu Di was arrested again in 2002 and imprisoned until 2007. On Nov. 10, 2008, Wu suddenly went missing following months of repeated harassment by local security officials, and was later found to have drowned in river in Jiangsu’s Suining County.

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Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Wang Qishan attends opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, China on March 3, 2016. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Wang Qishan attends opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, China on March 3, 2016. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

News Analysis

As part of a massive anti-corruption sweep, the Chinese Communist Party’s internal disciplinary officers are probing several Party organs that happen to be deeply involved in executing former Party leader Jiang Zemin’s efforts to suppress a Chinese spiritual discipline.

On June 22, anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan presided over a discipline inspection meeting where the decision to investigate 32 Party and state departments, as well as four previously inspected provinces, was announced, according to the semi-official Beijing Times.

Party organs that made the list include the Leading Small Group for Preventing and Handling the Problem of Heretical Organizations, Public Security Bureau’s Party Committee, the United Work Front Department, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Incidentally, these departments were created or used by Jiang the ex-regime boss to execute his persecution of Falun Gong.

The probing of key Party organs responsible for the persecution also comes on the back of investigations into Jiang, his sons, and their presence in Shanghai, as well as a serious condemnation of the Chinese regime’s systematic organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners by the U.S. өкүлдөр палатасы.

Jiang’s Gestapo

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese discipline that involves gentle exercises and living by teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. About 70 million Chinese citizens across a wide segment of society were practicing Falun Gong by 1999, according to an official survey commissioned by the Party.

Feeling threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity, then Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered the practice suppressed on July 20, 1999. Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for information about the persecution, can confirm the deaths of over 4,000 practitioners from torture and abuse. Due to the difficulty of getting information out of China, the true number is believed to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands are believed to be detained at any one time.

A report released on June 22 provides evidence that since 2000 between 960,000 жана 1.6 million organ transplants have been done in China. Epoch Times estimates that up to 1.5 million Falun Gong practitioners are believed to have been killed to supply the organs for these operations. This genocidal act that has been condemned by the European Parliament and the United States House of Representatives.

To oversee the brutal persecution, Jiang created the “610 Office,” or officially, the “Leading Small Group for Handling the Falun Gong Issue,” on June 10, 1999. The name of the extralegal Party organ was later changed to “Leading Small Group for Preventing and Handling the Problem of Heretical Organizations,” and its purview expanded to include other groups. The 610 Office is closely connected to the regime’s security and legal apparatus.

The elite security cadres leading this Gestapo-like organization, Бирок,, have fallen one after the other shortly after Xi Jinping became Party leader in 2012.

Li Dongsheng, the former public security vice minister and 610 Office head, was arrested in 2013, and handed a 15-year jail term this January. Zhang Yue, the former security boss and 610 Office chief of Hebei Province, was investigated in April.

And Zhou Yongkang, the former security czar and Politburo Standing Committee member, was sentenced to life in prison on June 11, 2015—a day after the anniversary of the 610 Office’s founding.

Exporting a Persecution

Under Jiang Zemin’s directions, the Chinese regime’s intelligence and espionage organs like the United Work Front Department, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry exported the persecution of Falun Gong beyond China’s borders.

In Hong Kong, members of the so-called “Hong Kong Youth Care Association,” a group under the United Front’s network, are known for posing as Falun Gong practitioners to hand out anti-Falun Gong propaganda. United Front groups in Гонг-Конг жана Taiwan hurl abuse and physically assault practitioners in public areas.

In the United States, Overseas Chinese Affairs Office agents monitor and harass Chinese Falun Gong expats, жана communist front groups frequently attempt to heckle and intimidate practitioners.

Recently, leaders of these groups abroad and in China have received some comeuppance.

Li Huahong, a known proxy agent of the regime, was arrested for assault outside the Pfizer building on 42nd street in New York City during the World Falun Dafa parade on May 14.

Ling Jihua, the former head of the United Work Front Department, was arrested in China for corruption in 2015 on the anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong. His remaining political influence in the Party continues to be removed or purged.

Nailing the Coffin

Since taking office, Xi Jinping has made several moves which suggests that he opposes the suppression of Falun Gong. These include closing the labor camps, arresting many corrupt cadres that happen to be involved in the persecution, accepting hundreds of thousands of criminal complaints filed by Falun Gong practitioners against Jiang, and reconciliatory gestures on a key persecution date.

Jiang and his sons also appear to be in some sort of soft detention, according to sources of this newspaper.

Given this context, the new round of investigations into the 610 Office could result in the shutting down of the unit and a new string of arrests.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the impending anti-corruption investigations could be the final nail in the coffin for Jiang Zemin’s persecution campaign, and even seal Jiang’s political fate.

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Former President Jiang Zemin attend the closing session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Nov. 14, 2012, in Beijing, Кытай. Names of Jiang was absent from a mourning list of dozens of high level leaders and retired officials, hinting a fading power of Jiang. (Feng Li/Getty Images)Former President Jiang Zemin attend the closing session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Nov. 14, 2012, in Beijing, Кытай. Names of Jiang was absent from a mourning list of dozens of high level leaders and retired officials, hinting a fading power of Jiang. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

News Analysis

The former Chinese Communist Party leader responsible for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and the harvesting of their organs has become the target of current leader Xi Jinping’s purge of the Party.

Jiang Zemin was forcibly removed from his residence by Chinese paramilitary troops in the early morning of June 10, according to a source in a security detail assigned to retired senior cadres.

Jiang was last seen in the custody of senior military officers and persons in plain clothes in a Beijing Military Region compound. The order to seize Jiang was issued by the regime’s top military governing body and was executed with extreme secrecy, according to the source.

At the time, it was Chairman Jiang. There was an instruction to start this thing, organ transplantation.

— Bai Shuzhong, Former minister of health of the People’s Liberation Army General Logistics Department

If this report proves to be accurate, the arrest is the culmination of a more than three-year anti-corruption campaign that has systematically uprooted the sources of Jiang’s power. Even if the report is somehow premature—perhaps Jiang was just brought in for a “chat”—the targeting of Jiang Zemin is nonetheless clear.

Recently, the anti-corruption campaign has zeroed in on those closest to Jiang. Jiang’s elder son is under house arrest, and this spring the Party’s internal disciplinary agency conducted a massive sweep of Shanghai, Jiang’s longtime power base, targeting institutions that have ties to Jiang and his two sons. All along, Jiang’s allies and their cronies have continued to be purged.

Bloody Hands

On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin ordered the regime’s security forces to “eradicate” the practice of Falun Gong. “Ruin their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically,” the police were instructed, according to many accounts from Falun Gong practitioners who heard these words firsthand.

When Jiang found that the practitioners held firm to their faith in the face of brutal torture and abuse, he devised a kind of “final solution.”

“At the time, it was Chairman Jiang. There was an instruction to start this thing, organ transplantation,” said Bai Shuzhong, the former health minister of the General Logistics Department, to undercover human rights investigators last year in a telephone call. Bai, speaking at a time of political upheaval, had been led to believe that he was speaking to internal Party investigators.

Jiang “gave an instruction … to sell kidneys, do operations,” Bai recalled, and “after Chairman Jiang issued the order, we all did a lot of anti-Falun Gong work.”

Harvesting the organs of Falun Gong practitioners appeared to be the ideal fix to satiate Jiang’s blood lust—the persecution had already disenfranchised and demonized Falun Gong practitioners, and their incarceration in the hundreds of thousands guaranteed Chinese hospitals a steady supply of fresh organs to generate profits from.

Having taken this course, Бирок,, Jiang couldn’t let go of power. If he was found guilty of issuing an order that ended in the murder of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and then finally millions of his fellow countrymen, he could face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

But if those whose hands were also stained with blood held the reins of power, Jiang could still hope to see Falun Gong destroyed, and he could enjoy impunity for his crimes.

So Jiang promoted those who perpetuated his persecution, played at Party godfather after relinquishing all official titles, and remained the de facto power in China.

Political Control

Jiang Zemin and his faction dominated the 10-year reign of his successor Hu Jintao.

Hu presided over a Politburo and its Standing Committee that was stacked with Jiang’s loyalists. Men like former security czar Zhou Yongkang and Central Military Commission vice chair Xu Caihou became power centers unto themselves.

Hu’s orders and directives frequently failed to be heard beyond the gates of Zhongnanhai, the official residence of the Party elite, according to reports in overseas Chinese-language media. Operating virtually under Jiang’s thumb, Hu appeared wooden and stilted to foreign observers.

The Falun Gong issue could serve to breach the Jiang Zemin problem because he can’t escape responsibility this way.

— Xin Ziling, Former Chinese defense official

Because Xi Jinping appeared to be cast in the same mold as Hu Jintao—pliant and nonthreatening—Jiang agreed to his succeeding Hu in 2012. The plan was for Xi to serve as an interim head until Bo Xilai, a Politburo member and Party chief of the southwestern megalopolis Chongqing, was able to take the top position.

In Jiang’s eyes, Bo was the perfect character to rule the regime.

“You must show your toughness in handling Falun Gong … it will be your political capital,” Jiang once told his political client Bo, according to veteran Chinese journalist Jiang Weiping. Under Bo’s five-year rule of Chongqing, there were over 700 Falun Gong persecution cases (given the difficulty of getting information out of China, that number is likely to be very understated), according to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for firsthand information about the persecution.

In the early 2000s, Bo Xilai was governor of northeastern China’s Liaoning Province, which researcher Ethan Gutmann has described as the “epicenter” of forced organ harvesting in China.

In 2006 in a suburb of Liaoning’s capital Shenyang, the first credible reports of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners emerged. In addition, businesses that plastinated—preserved by replacing body fluids with plastic—the organs of executed prisoners for sale or display grew up in Liaoning during Bo’s rule.

Bo’s ambition proved to be his downfall. Wang Lijun, Bo’s ally and former Chongqing police chief, after he failed to defect at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, disclosed to Party Central a plan by Bo and security czar Zhou Yongkang to unseat incoming Party leader Xi Jinping in a coup.

Jiang’s cronies forced Xi into a position of “you live, I die,” and upon taking office in November 2012 he began moving to uproot Jiang’s power.

Recentering Power

As the anti-corruption campaign launched by Xi Jinping swept through the Party’s political organs and economic sectors, thousands of cadres connected to Jiang Zemin’s political network were arrested.

While Xi ripped out the sinews of Jiang’s power, a pattern emerged—many of the top officials investigated by the Party’s internal disciplinary police had, like the disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai, showed “toughness in handling Falun Gong.”

Li Dongsheng, the former public security deputy minister and head of the “610 Office,” an extralegal organization founded on June 10, 1999, to oversee the persecution of Falun Gong, was one of the first persecutors to fall.

Next to be purged were “untouchable” characters like Zhou Yongkang, former General Office and United Front Department head Ling Jihua, as well as Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, the former vice chairs of the regime’s top military governing body.

Near the end of May, overseas Chinese media announced the arrest of close associates of two military generals deeply involved in persecuting Falun Gong.

When Xi’s forces have moved against high-profile targets in the past, they quietly detained them first and only brought charges against them when the moment was judged ripe. If the handling of Jiang Zemin’s case follows this pattern, public charges may be months away.

Changing China

Up until now, Xi’s political interests have been served by taking down those responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong. When Jiang Zemin is charged, Xi will face a moment of truth—whether to end that persecution.

The most obvious reason that Xi Jinping can use to take down Jiang is the crimes he committed against Falun Gong practitioners.

“The Falun Gong issue could serve to breach the Jiang Zemin problem because he can’t escape responsibility this way,” said Xin Ziling, a former defense official with connections to elite cadres with moderate leanings.

“On the issue of persecuting Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin has no support in the Party; not in the National People’s Congress, nor in the State Council,” Xin stressed. “He will be held accountable for the matter.”

Whether Xi will end the genocidal persecution of Falun Gong is not clear, but there are signs that he has opposed it.

In January 2014, Xi closed the regime’s labor camps, key sites used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners.

Under Xi’s leadership, the regime’s highest prosecuting body has accepted over 200,000 criminal complaints by Falun Gong practitioners against Jiang Zemin; two practitioners who filed legal complaints against Jiang during his reign were subjected to cruel torture, and one died from his injuries.

When the former public security minister Li Dongsheng was arrested, his role as 610 Office head was publicized, the first time the regime officially acknowledged, in such a prominent manner, the existence of this secretive organization.

The arrests or legal actions against key members of Jiang’s clique or their families also appear to be announced on or near dates that are significant to Falun Gong.

For instance, security czar Zhou Yongkang was prosecuted on June 11 last year, while Jiang was said to be removed from his residence this June 10—the very date from which the notorious 610 Office got its name.

This April, Xi made three reconciliatory gestures near and on the anniversary of April 25, the date in 1999 Jiang revealed to the Politburo his intentions to suppress Falun Gong following a peaceful petition in Beijing by 10,000 practitioners.

Once the power of the Jiang Zemin faction is ended, China will enter a new era, and Xi, no longer burdened by factional opposition, can freely choose a new direction. If he ends the persecution of Falun Gong, this will be an unprecedented change in communist China. The Chinese people, free from the fetters of the Party, will finally enjoy liberty of conscience.

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Former Chinese leader  Jiang Zemin attends the18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Nov. 14, 2012. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Former Chinese leader  Jiang Zemin attends the18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Nov. 14, 2012. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

ГЭСине, the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party, has been removed from his residence and is in custody of the military in Beijing, according to a source in China with direct knowledge of the events.

The source told the Chinese-language edition of доору Times the flow of events, which the newspaper is still in the process of verifying.

At 4:00 a.m. июнда 10, Jiang was forcibly taken from his home and handed to a People’s Armed Police squad, on the orders of the commander of a security detail assigned to retired senior cadres, маалымат булагы. The source is an individual in this security detail.

The armed police squad, led by the chief of staff of a department in the armed police, then brought Jiang to a military compound belonging to the Beijing Military Region, and delivered him to a lieutenant general and a senior colonel from the People’s Liberation Army. An individual in plain clothes, presumably a security agent of some kind, was also present when Jiang was delivered, маалымат булагы.

The source told Epoch Times that the order to remove Jiang came directly from the Central Military Commission, the regime’s top armed forces governing body, and was conducted with extreme secrecy.

Epoch Times is trying to ascertain the authenticity of the information. Jiang’s current whereabouts are unknown; there are no official reports on the matter.

There has been already word that Jiang Zemin’s two sons have been placed under some form of control.

Zheng Enchong, a well-known Shanghai-based human rights lawyer who was placed under house arrest after tangling with officials connected with Jiang in Shanghai, told доору Times in March that Jiang and his sons have had their movements restricted. Zheng says his tip comes from “extremely reliable” channels, and points to the relaxation of restrictions on his own person as supportive evidence.

Speaking to international broadcaster Sound of Hope Radio on June 14, Zheng said that he was recently invited to a reunion of old classmates, one of whom was a former deputy director-level officer. “They said you have to come, because we’re celebrating the fact that Jiang Zemin’s finished,” Zheng said.

Zheng added that the police detail assigned to keep watch on him have started openly talking about the soft detention of Jiang Zemin and his sons.

A source close to the Party disciplinary inspection branch in Shanghai told Epoch Times earlier in June that Jiang Mianheng, Jiang Zemin’s elder son, is presently being placed under house arrest in an undisclosed residence outside Shanghai.

The arrest of Jiang Zemin, if true, would be the climax of a power struggle between current Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and Jiang Zemin that has lasted throughout Xi’s reign.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/fang-ming/" rel="author">Fang Ming</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">доору Times</a> жана <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/larry-ong/" rel="author">Larry Ong</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">доору Times</a>
  • Category: жалпы

Jiang Mianheng, former president of the Shanghai branch of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences, speaks at a conference in July 16, 2005. (Chinese Academy of Sciences)Jiang Mianheng, former president of the Shanghai branch of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences, speaks at a conference in July 16, 2005. (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

News Analysis

Jiang Mianheng, the elder son of former Chinese Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin, is presently under house arrest, according to a source close to the Party disciplinary inspection branch in Shanghai.

The source told the Chinese language edition of доору Times that Jiang is being held under house arrest in a secret location on the outskirts of Shanghai. He is only allowed outside the residence for fresh air, маалымат булагы; the source said he had personally seen Jiang at the location, using an “observation device” to confirm a tip-off.

The detention of Jiang Mianheng by the Party’s anti-corruption investigators is the culmination of probes conducted over about the last 18 months into prominent companies and institutions that Jiang is associated with. The development also points to the possibility that Party leader Xi Jinping’s intends to bring the anti-corruption drive to its endgame, with the arrest and punishment of the senior Jiang, whose effective control over the communist regime extended until 2012.

The Shanghai disciplinary inspectors want from Jiang Mianheng a complete account of his personal and family financial affairs, the source, who is close to the investigators, told Epoch Times. Based on what inspectors currently know about the Jiang family’s property, assets, and wealth secured through illegitimate and obscure means, маалымат булагы, “it’s enough to feed and water the Chinese people for several years; the figure is eye-popping!

“Over the years, countless state enterprises and foreign investors have to give this family valuable presents that are each worth hundreds of millions [of yuan] at least,” the source added.

The ‘Telecommunications King’ and Academician

The Jiang family would have gotten a chance to get immensely wealthy when China was ruled by Jiang Zemin.

Former President Jiang Zemin attend the closing session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Nov. 14, 2012, in Beijing, Кытай. Names of Jiang was absent from a mourning list of dozens of high level leaders and retired officials, hinting a fading power of Jiang. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Former Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin attends the closing session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Nov. 14, 2012, in Beijing, Кытай. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

As Party leader, Jiang entrenched a political system where regime officials leveraged political power for monetary gain and other benefits. This system reared became particularly acute after Party paramount Deng Xiaoping opened up the Chinese economy in the early 1990s to stamp out democratic yearnings from the Chinese people in the aftermath of the June 4 pro-democracy protests and military massacre on Tiananmen Square.

The children of top Party officials soon found themselves controlling and enriching themselves from massive state-owned enterprises. And as the state-run telecommunications industry rapidly expanded, Jiang appeared to hand his son a generous slice of the lucrative pie.

As is customary, moves begin with the offsprings, the sons.

— Xin Ziling, Retired Chinese defense official

Within two years of returning from doctoral studies in the United States in 1992, Jiang Mianheng took over Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. (SAIL), the investment arm of the Shanghai municipal government. Jiang Mianheng remains the chairman and chief executive officer of SAIL, according to a company profile on Bloomberg current of June 2016.

Jiang Mianheng was only able to control the prominent but secretive SAIL in September 1994 with no managerial experience or financial know-how “mainly due to his princeling background,” surmised Hong Kong-based scholar Wing-Chung Ho in a 2013 paper. The term “princeling” refers to the children of revolutionary Party cadres; Jiang Zemin stakes a claim to this powerful heritage because he claims to be the foster son of Jiang Shangqing, an uncle who died fighting the Japanese during the Second World War.

Through SAIL, the younger Jiang was able to invest billions in the building up of Shanghai’s telecommunications infrastructure, and later owned shares and reversed the fortunes of China Netcom. The struggling state-run telecommunications company was transformed into the third largest telecommunications firm in China merely three years after Jiang oversaw its operations. While he held no formal role at the time, China Netcom CEO Edward Tian let slip to researcher Bo Zhiyue that Jiang Mianheng was “the actual head of the company,” according to a 2007 book.

The confluence between politics and power also appeared to have helped Jiang the “Telecommunications King,” as overseas Chinese media dubbed him, survive potentially damaging revelations of his massive corruption in leaked U.S. State Department cables in 2007. A year later, China Netcom merged into China Unicom, and with Jiang continuing on as a backroom operator.

While he was busy running a telecommunications empire, Jiang Mianheng somehow managed to get himself appointed to top positions in China’s most prestigious scientific research institute despite having hardly any academic achievements.

From 1999 үчүн 2011, Jiang held one of the vice president positions in the China Academy of Science. In 2005, Jiang became president of the academy’s Shanghai branch, but resigned in 2015 “due to age reasons”—a curious development because Jiang was some years away from the official retirement age.

This early retirement was a tell-tale sign that the Jiang clan was coming under political pressure.

Prescient Whispers

Jiang’s present predicament has been foreshadowed by information from a reliable source to this newspaper, and persistent rumors in the overseas Chinese language media.

In March, Zheng Enchong, a renowned Shanghai-based rights defense lawyer who was placed under house arrest for his constant skirmishing with Jiang Zemin’s cronies in the city, told Epoch Times that Jiang and his sons, Jiang Mianheng and Jiang Miankang, have had their freedoms restricted.

Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (доору Times)

Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (доору Times)

Zheng said his tip comes from “extremely reliable” sources, and held up the reduced restrictions on his own person, and the very fact that he is allowed to pass on sensitive information about the Jiang family freely, as supporting evidence that the word he received is accurate.

Speaking to international radio station Sound of Hope in May, Xin Ziling, a feisty former top defense bureaucrat with connections to top Party cadres who are politically moderate, said that the Xi Jinping leadership has completed corruption investigations into the sons of Jiang Zemin, as well as the son of Zeng Qinghong, Jiang’s right-hand man and former regime vice chair.

Hong Kong Chinese-language media have long speculated that Jiang Mianheng is being targeted for a takedown, but none provide details as specific as that in a report in the June edition of Chengming Magazine.

Chengming, a political magazine known for at times issuing accurate reports on elite political developments in Beijing, wrote that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection summoned Jiang Mianheng for a formal chat on May 14. Discipline inspectors requested that Jiang declare his personal and family assets, and whether he owns any businesses—news that corroborates with the information that this newspaper recently obtained about Jiang’s house arrest.

Working Up

Jiang Mianheng’s detention, Бирок,, wouldn’t come as surprising to those who have been closely tracking Party leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

Purges since the campaign started in early 2013 have closely followed a pattern: Discipline inspectors first target lower ranking officials before announcing the investigation of their political patrons in the coming weeks or months. Then, depending on the status or influence of the elite cadre in custody, further arrests, forced transfers, or mandatory retirements are enforced to rid a Party organ or state-owned company of the cadre’s influence.

Previously, the question was whether Xi Jinping whether or not would make a move against Jiang Zemin; increasingly, it seems to be a question of when.

The case of former security czar Zhou Yongkang is one example. As early as 2013, Zhou’s cronies in his former workplaces—state oil, Sichuan Province, and the state security apparatus—were hauled away by Party discipline police. Zhou was formally investigated a year later, and handed a life prison term in July 2015.

Former security czar Zhou Yongkang in a courtroom at the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin in Tianjin, Кытай, июнда 11, 2015. (AP)

Former security czar Zhou Yongkang in a courtroom at the First Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin in Tianjin, Кытай, июнда 11, 2015. (AP)

Party disciplinary agents appear to have been working their way up towards Jiang Mianheng since late 2014.

Among the first to be investigated were two top executives at China Unicom, general managers Zhang Zhijiang and Zong Xinhua. Февралда 2015, disciplinary inspectors released a scathing report on China Unicom, noting that its employees engaged in bribe taking and traded sex for favors. By the year’s end, Chang Xiaobing, the former chair of China Unicom, was purged.

The Shanghai branch of the Party’s internal disciplinary agency opened investigations into the Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd., Jiang Mianheng’s piggy bank, in November 2015.

Academicians close to Jiang Mianheng were likewise targeted. In October 2015, Shi Er’wei, a deputy director at the China Academy of Sciences who often appeared in public together with Jiang for Academy events, was suddenly removed from office. State media offered no explanation for this move.

Also marked for take down were Jiang Mianheng’s allies in Party organs. Perhaps the most prominent of these individuals is Ma Xiaodong, the former deputy chief of the science and information technology bureau in March 2015.

Ma is known to have been instrumental in developing the “Golden Shield Project,” an advanced surveillance system that targets dissidents and practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been subjected to a statewide persecution campaign on the orders of Jiang Zemin. Jiang and his son Jiang Mianheng were also involved in “Golden Shield,” according to Chinese activist writer Wang Yuanfei.

The Big One

If the purge of Zhou Yongkang, the former security czar whose arrest was once thought impossible, then following the the model of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive, having Jiang Mianheng in custody is likely a stepping stone towards the arrest of his father.

“As is customary, moves begin with the offsprings, the sons,” said Xin Ziling the former defense official.

Xin Ziling in an undated photograph. (Weibo.com)

Xin Ziling. (Weibo.com)

Xi’s motivation for ousting Jiang Zemin and his political network is survival. According to Party insiders, боюнча 2012, Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing in southwest China, revealed a plot by Jiang’s allies—Bo Xilai the Politburo member and Chongqing boss, and Zhou Yongkang the security czar—to supplant Xi after he takes office. Xi has alluded obliquely at this coup attempt when speaking about Party “conspirators” and “wreckers and splitters” in recent speeches.

Because Chinese politics is highly personal, Xi’s campaign can only reach a logical conclusion with the arrest of Jiang. According to Xin Ziling, so long as Jiang Zemin doesn’t fall, the “the Jiang clique will always have hope and faith.”

Xi appears to have grasped this point, and seems to have already put Jiang on notice since the third quarter of 2015.

On Aug. 10, Party mouthpiece People’s Daily published an editorial cautioning retired Party leaders against interfering in the present leadership. A fortnight later, a large stone stele bearing Jiang’s inscription that was displayed prominently on the lawn of the Party’s main cadre training school was removed.

And in a book of speeches released this January, Xi accused some Party leaders of becoming a “Taishang Huang,” or power behind the throne, seemingly a pointed reference to Jiang’s godfather-like influence.

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping (L)  walks past former Party head Jiang Zemin (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 14, 2012. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping (L) walks past former Party head Jiang Zemin (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 14, 2012. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

There are also signs that the senior Jiang’s movements have been restricted.

Jiang isn’t on the guest list of the recent funerals of noteworthy Party cadres, a highly symbolic absence since the attendance or nonattendance of public events has long been used as a gauge of political standing.

In May, the Hong Kong political magazine The Trend reported that 1,500 top Party officials and their families, including Jiang Zemin and many of his allies, are banned from traveling abroad. These officials are also required to surrender their passports to the Party disciplinary agency, and report all property and financial assets.

Previously, the question was whether Xi Jinping whether or not would make a move against Jiang Zemin; increasingly, it seems to be a question of when.

Reporting by Yue Hua.

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Under orders of the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party, the regime’s security forces jailed and tortured the husband, daughter, and son-in-law of an elderly Chinese woman from a northeastern province.
Zhang Liqin, a 67-year-old resident of Tonghua City in the province of Jilin, has since joined hundreds of thousands of others who have filed criminal complaints against ex-Party chief Jiang Zemin with the regime’s highest legal bodies. These complaints list the forms of torture and abuse suffered by the litigant, or their family and friends, resulting from Jiang’s campaign to “eradicate” Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that comprises five sets of gentle exercises, and the teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Threatened by the immense popularity of the practice—about 70 million people from all walks of life practice Falun Gong, according to a survey commissioned by the Party—Jiang had ordered a Cultural Revolution-style suppression of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.
Zhang Liqin, her husband Song Wenhua, her daughter Song Dianhua, and her son-in-law Zhang Hongwei were all practitioners of Falun Gong, and they were all victims of the persecution. Song Wenhua eventually succumbed to the abuses he received in detention, and Zhang Hongwei was severely abused.
An account of their tribulations is found in a copy of Zhang Liqin’s criminal complaint, which was published on Minghui.org on May 30. Minghui is a website that serves as a clearinghouse of information about the persecution.
Husband
The Song family first came under the regime’s gaze after they traveled to Beijing on July 4, 2000, to present a petition that explained the practice of Falun Gong and request the persecution be called off to the relevant authorities.
Song Wenhua after released from labor camp. (Minghui.org)
The family was temporarily held in Beijing, then transferred to a detention facility in Tonghua City. They were tortured and made to do forced labor, and were only released two months later after other family members posted bail.
Tragedy soon befell Song Wenhua, Zhang Liqin’s husband.
Song was detained two times in a span of three years. After police raided their home in 2002, Song was taken to a local police station where the deputy police personally administered a beating to him.
The following year, provincial security officers arrested Song while he was handing out Falun Gong literature that explained the practice and persecution. The security officers beat up Song and burned his genitals with cigarettes during interrogation sessions. Song was later incarcerated in Chaoyangguo Forced Labor Camp in the city of Changchun on Aug. 8, 2003.
Song was subjected to frequent abuses in detention, and eventually came down with tuberculosis. Although routine medical examinations found that one of Song’s lungs was nearly full of fluids, he was denied medical care and proper food.
In October 2004, a labor camp staff told Zhang over the telephone that her husband was “pretty good” and could be released for a substantial bail fee. Zhang immediately suspected something amiss, and after some negotiations, agreed to bail him out at a reduced fee.
Zhang was “stunned” to find her husband reduced to “skin and bones.”
“I could barely hear his voice, and his movements were sluggish,” Zhang wrote. Song later told her that the labor camp doctor had injected him with an unknown substance just before his release.
Song passed away 11 days later. He was 56.
Son-in-law
Some time after her husband’s death, Zhang Liqin suffered another scare—Jilin Prison sent word that Zhang Hongwei, her son-in-law, had contracted a severe case of tuberculosis.
Zhang Hongwei (Minghui.org)
Zhang Hongwei, a security officer for the Tonghua Steel Group Corporation, was arrested in January 2001, and sentenced to 13 years in prison for printing Falun Gong literature. He was first detained in Changchun’s Tiebei Prison, and was transferred to Jilin Prison in March 2002, according to an account on Minghui.org.
Prison guards in Jilin Prison subjected Zhang Hongwei to excruciating torture in a bid to force him to sign a letter renouncing Falun Gong and swear loyalty to the Communist Party.
The guards would frequently poke Zhang Hongwei in the eyes and pinch his privates. They also placed him on a so-called “stretching bed,” a near medieval torture device where a victim’s four limbs are bound with rope to the four bed frame posts in a manner that suspends the victim’s body. Zhang Hongwei was subjected to a total of 52 days on a “stretching bed.”
During Zhong Hongwei’s 12-year stint in Jilin Prison, he developed medical conditions that were serious enough for him to be granted medical parole—a bad case of tuberculosis in 2006, a type of stroke in 2010, and even a brain tumor in 2012—but his family was never allowed to bail him each time.
Reenactment of “stretching bed.” (Minghui.org)
Zhong Hongwei was eventually released on January 19, 2014.
On her criminal complaint, Zhang Liqin wrote: “I hope that the procuratorate and the court can register the case for investigation, look into all the crimes committed by Jiang Zemin, deliver justice for my family, and allow citizens to live a life without fear.”
Since the end of last year, over 201,800 Falun Gong adherents have filed criminal complaints against Jiang for crimes against humanity and genocide, according to Minghui.org.

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Xu Jiatun, a 100-year-old, former elite Chinese Communist Party official turned defector, chooses his words carefully. In the two decades he has lived in exile—he defected after the June 4 massacre in 1989—he has only given a handful of interviews to Hong Kong media, and says little that’s worthy of a good headline.
After an emergency spell in a Los Angeles hospital, Бирок,, he appears to have thought it time to confide his musings and hopes for current Party politics in a well-known Hong Kong journalist.
Simon Kei Shek Ming, the 2009 winner of the prestigious Society of Publishers in Asia’s Journalist of the Year award, has had about a dozen informal interview sessions with Xu over the past eight years. Kei, formerly with the reputable Chinese language magazine Yazhou Zhoukan, connected with Xu in Los Angeles, and got the centenarian to share his thoughts on Party leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.
Now, steps are being taken to go after bigger tigers.— Xu Jiatun

From the late 1970s to the 1980s, Xu held prominent positions in the Chinese regime: he was a member of the Communist Party’s elite Central Committee, governor of Jiangsu Province, and was the head of Party mouthpiece Xinhua in Hong Kong, the Party’s de facto presence in the then-British colony. He went into exile in the United States in 1990 because he opposed the Tiananmen Square massacre, and was expelled from the Party in 1991, after Jiang Zemin, leader at the time, got wind of the defection.
Somehow, Xu appears to remain a staunch believer in the Party, though has no kind words for the Party officials that effectively ruled from the time of his exile until recently. Xu resides in Chino Hill, Los Angeles.
“China, боюнча 30 years of reform and opening, has unexpectedly achieved a level of development that the West only attained after 300 years of industrialization,” Xu told Simon Kei. The interview was published in The Initium, a new Hong Kong-based news website.
“However, Jiang Zemin and Li Peng placed their interests above all else during their reign,” Xu added. Jiang the former Party chief, and Li the ex-Chinese premier had “formed cliques, engaged in corrupt activities with their children, and bred streaks of tigers and swarms of flies everywhere in China.”
Xi Jinping coined the term “tigers and flies” at the start of his anti-corruption campaign in 2013 to reference venal and crooked elite and low-ranking officials.
There is basis for Xu’s critique of Jiang and Li, the inheritors and propagators of Party paramount Deng Xiaoping’s bureaucratic capitalism, or the use of political power for private, monetary gain.
Jiang had built up a sprawling political network during his time in office, and continued to influence Chinese politics for over a decade after relinquishing the position of Party leader. (He only gave up the military chair three years later.) Elder son Jiang Mianheng leveraged his father’s prestige to build up a telecommunications empire, while younger son Jiang Miankeng had a stranglehold on the transportation and public works industry in Shanghai.
Li Xiaolin, the daughter of former premier Li Peng, was for many years a state electricity mogul, and until last year, was the CEO of the Hong Kong-based China Power International, a subsidiary of one of China’s five biggest electricity companies. In 2015, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed that Li and her husband had a Swiss bank account with about $2.5 million, and the Panama Papers showed that Li owned an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands; offshore companies are often used as tax havens by the wealthy.
Conversely, Xu Jiatun holds Hu Jintao, Jiang’s immediate successor, and Hu’s premier Wen Jiabao in good esteem. In a 2008 interview with journalist Kei, Xu said that Hu and Wen, had, “in the face of disaster, showed ‘people-oriented’ governance by respecting the rights and values of the people, and embraced the philosophy of ‘serving the people.’”
“Not just me, but fair-minded people everywhere rated them highly,” he added.
He has similar regard for Xi Jinping.
“After the 18th National Congress, the Party leadership of Xi Jinping has not only cleaned up the ranks and restored China’s traditional national virtues, but also arrested tigers and flies,” Xu said. “Tigers have been arrested regardless of position or power, such as Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang, and Xu Caihou and Gu Junshan in the military; they have been purged, expelled from the Party, and dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Bo, Zhou, Xu Caihou and Gu Junshan all occupied important positions in the political web woven by Jiang Zemin.
Jiang had intended for former Chongqing chief Bo Xilai to take over Zhou Yongkang as security czar—and perpetuate Jiang’s control—at an important political conclave in 2012. The plan, Бирок,, was derailed when former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun outed a Bo and Zhou plot to eventually displace Xi Jinping as Party leader to the Americans when he tried to defect at a U.S. consulate in Chengdu.
When it came to the takedown of Jiang’s army designees, anti-corruption investigators had to bring in several trucks to haul away the ill-gotten loot accumulated by the late Xu Caihou, the former second-in-command of the Party’s military governing body, and Gu Junshan the former military logistics general.
Xu says it’s far from over.
“Now, steps are being taken to go after bigger tigers,” he told journalist Simon Kei.
Given how extensive the anti-corruption campaign has already been, there are only so many “bigger tigers” available to be removed. Perhaps the only men that fit this description are Jiang Zemin and his key henchman, former Chinese vice president Zeng Qinghong.
Last year, state mouthpiece People’s Daily published an editorial calling for Party elders to stop interfering in current political affairs, and the anti-corruption agency criticized a long-dead Manchu noble. Both were interpreted by observers as public warnings against Jiang and Zeng. A large stone stelae bearing the calligraphy of Jiang Zemin was also unceremoniously removed from the entrance to the Central Party School, the regime’s ideological training ground, in Beijing. (As the public engaged in heady speculation that it was

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News Analysis
For the past three years, the southern metropolis of Shanghai has been the site of a struggle for control between the Party leader Xi Jinping and his anti-corruption investigators on the one side, and the entrenched political network of his chief antagonist, the former Party leader Jiang Zemin, on the other.
Now, there are signs that this year will be the decisive battle for the city, and indications that the investigations which take place there will be used as leverage to effect a thorough purge of the Shanghai faction that has for decades derived its power from the patronage of Jiang.
Anti-corruption inspectors in mid-May concluded a massive sweep of over two dozen Shanghai government agencies, some of which are linked with Jiang’s kin and allies. Recently, a prominent human rights lawyer also indicated that Jiang and his sons have been placed under internal political control, restricting their activities. Well-placed sources in China have told this newspaper that the “Shanghai gang,” a byword for Jiang’s faction, would be ousted. And Wang made menacing statements earlier in the year about leveraging on the investigation of lower-level officials to smoke out the captains of malfeasance.
‘Shanghai is key
On March 26, the Shanghai branch of the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced a two month-long investigation of 28 local agencies. At least four of these agenciespublic security, transportation, film and culture, and the press and publicationsare connected with members of the Jiang family or their hangers-on.
The investigation of Shanghai’s transportation agency could potentially embarrass Jiang Miankang, an inspector in Shanghai’s transport infrastructure administrative committee and the younger son of Jiang Zemin. Jiang Miankang had made considerable inroads into the Shanghai’s construction and land use industry by leveraging his father’s political position.
Anti-corruption inspectors have earlier opened investigations into the private sector companies connected with the Jiang brothers. Over a year ago, cronies of Jiang’s eldest son, Jiang Mianheng, were targeted in an investigation of major telecommunications firms that he controlled. Inspectors also probed a prominent Shanghai investment company controlled by Jiang Mianheng, Jiang Zemin’s elder son, in November 2015.
Last December, anti-corruption officials had investigated and purged the head of a major state-owned construction group in Shanghai which Jiang Miankang is closely linked with.
Until recently, Shanghai’s public security bureau was firmly in the hands of the Jiang family. Before leaving in 2013 to chair Shanghai’s political consultative body, Wu Zhiming, the nephew of Jiang Zemin, had spent a little over a dozen years at or near the top of Shanghai’s security apparatuseight months as head of the public security bureau, and 10-and-a-half years as head of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission, a small but powerful Party organ that coordinates the prisons, courts, and the police.
Film, маалымат каражаттары, and cultural departments come under the purview of the regime’s propaganda apparatus, which is headed by Liu Yunshan, a Jiang loyalist and a member of the Politburo Standing Committeethe most powerful decision making body in the regime. In recent months, according to analysts, Liu has been steadily undermining Xi Jinping through the propaganda machinery, even as Xi strives to control the Party’s pen.
Though Liu is not directly in charge of Shanghai’s propaganda units, and Wu has long left the public security department, any evidence of official malfeasance gathered could very possibly lead to their eventual arrest and prosecution, according to recent remarks by Wang Qishan the anti-corruption chief.
At a key CCDI meeting in January, Wang instructed his inspection officials to smoke out and implicate all parties who directly partake in or are associated with corrupt activities. The idea is to trace up the line all parties implicated with corrupt conduct, a change from usual Party practice where investigations are often limited and localized to scapegoat cronies and protect powerful political patrons.
More crucially, Wang is determined to break up the “Shanghai gangthis year, according to a source from the top levels of administration in Beijing. Speaking to Epoch Times on condition of anonymity, the source added that Wang had said during a discipline inspection committee cadre meeting that, “in 2016, Shanghai is key.
The massive raid of hai appears to be part of this bold offensive against the powerful “Shanghai gang,” and its godfather, ГЭСине.
Jiang and Sons ‘Under Control
Jiang hasn’t personally intervened to prevent all this taking place in his own backyard because his own power seems to be waning.
The Chinese Communist Party has inherited a Chinese political tradition of conveying key political messaging in code and cryptic signaling. So China watchers, argued the well-respected, late Belgian sinologist Pierre Ryckmans, must scrutinize the celebration or non-celebration of anniversaries, and “check the lists of guests at official functions and note the order in which their names appear.
This year, Jiang has failed to appear on the guest list of notable Party cadresfunerals, a stark contrast to the consistent attendance of Xi Jinping and those whom Jiang formerly sidelined.
For instance, former Party leader Hu Jintao, and former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, Wen Jiabao, and Li Peng have joined Xi and members of the Politburo Standing Committee in paying their respects at some of the four wakes in March and April. Hu was even named immediately after Xi on the list of guests attending the funeral of Chinese Academy of Engineering academician Song Wenchong.
Until recent times, missing public events would be unthinkable for Jiang, known for maintaining a certain public image. Jiang’s non-attendance of recent funerals is possibly a less than subtle indication by Xi that the Party godfather no longer has any standing in the pantheon of Party elders, and that he has limited freedom to come and go as he pleases.
Indeed, Jiang’s sons now have their movements restricted, according to Zheng Enchong, a prominent Shanghai-based human rights lawyer who was placed under house arrest after having long tussled with members of the “Shanghai gang.Zheng told Epoch Times that he received his information about Jiang from “extremely reliablechannels.
Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (доору Times)
“If Jiang Zemin’s sons are not being restricted, then I’m the biggest

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Ling Jihua, the former chief of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party and top aide to former Party leader Hu Jintao, was recently indicted by the regime’s top prosecuting body.
According to report by state mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency on May 13, Ling, 59, was charged with taking massive bribes, abusing his office, and illegally obtaining state secrets. The No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin, a port city in eastern China, will adjudicate Ling’s case.
Ling could be due for a lengthy stint in jail is he’s proven guilty, which is almost a certainty in communist China. The greatest punishment he faces is the death sentence on the charge of misappropriating state secrets, but execution is unlikely. Overseas Chinese language news website Bowen Press said that the trial is likely to be held sometime in June, referencing an insider in Beijing.
MORE:Keepers of the Chinese Regime’s Secrets Quietly PurgedHere is the California Mansion of Ling Wancheng, Brother of a Purged Top Chinese Official
Formerly one of the most influential Party cadres in China, Ling quickly fell into disgrace after a failed attempt to cover up the death of his son, who was killed in a high-profile Ferrari accident in 2012. From heading the Party’s secretive General Officea Party agency that handles highly classified paperwork and provides logistical support for the Politburo and Party SecretariatLing was moved to the United Front Work Department, which handles political warfare. In December 2014, Ling was formally investigated by the Party’s internal disciplinary bureau, and was expelled from the Party nearly seven months later.
During Ling’s incarceration, Hong Kong and overseas Chinese media revealed the extent of his corruptioninvestigators retrieved six truck-loads of valuables worth about $13.4 billion from his luxurious homes in China and abroadand even carried rumors of his feigning insanity while being subject to “shuanggui,” the Party’s infamous process of interrogating Party members, in which torture is often used to extract confessions.
Earlier this year, Ling was one of five purged top cadres fingered by Party leader Xi Jinping in a speech as a political conspirator who had sought to “wreck and split the Party.Importantly, the other figures denounced are allies of Jiang Zemin, the former Party boss and the primary political force that has obstructed Xi Jinping from gaining control of the levers of power in China. Key to Xi’s efforts in uprooting Jiang’s political network and cleaning up the Party organs that have been deeply infiltrated by Jiang’s clients is the anti-corruption campaign.
Recent reports in the Chinese media, Бирок,, suggest that Xi could be employing gentler methods to cleanse the General Office of Ling Jihua’s remaining influence. Earlier this year, many top officials at the General Office were quietly transferred out, or have opted for early retirement.

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News analysis
The Chinese Communist Party has a lengthy list of “sensitivedays, or the dates of events that the regime deems politically threatening. On those sensitive days and in the lead up, the Party’s security apparatus becomes unusually vigilant, and often conducts round-ups and crackdowns on those associated with the events.
Targets include democracy activists on the anniversary of June 4, when tanks crushed student activists in Beijing in 1989, and practitioners of Falun Gong on April 25. This year, Бирок,, the 17th anniversary of Falun Gong’s peaceful appeal in Beijing on that date, Си Цзиньпин, the leader of the Party, deviated from the script.
Through a number of unusual political gestures, Xi Jinping appears to have hinted at a departure from the policy of his predecessor toward the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline, a large group that was targeted for elimination in 1999 shortly after they mounted that appeal to the central government.
Xi Jinping’s recent actionswhich include moderate remarks on how to treat petitioners, the purge of some particularly rough security officials, demands that the security forces conduct themselves with probity, and what border on conciliatory remarks about religion in Chinawhile subtle, indicate, in part due to their sequence and timing around such a sensitive anniversary, a potential shift in stance and emphasis to the Party’s status quo policies.
Beijing, 1999
On April 23, 1999, 45 practitioners of Falun Gong were assaulted and arrested by police in Tianjin, a city about 90 miles from Beijing, as they engaged in a peaceful protest at Tianjin Normal University. The practitioners were demanding that the academician He Zuoxiu retract an article defaming Falun Gong, a practice of self-improvement that involves slow exercises and teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
He Zuoxiu, by then a committed enemy of Falun Gong, is the brother-in-law of Luo Gan, the then-head of public security, who had for years sought to target Falun Gong. The practice had spread freely in China throughout the 1990s, most of the time with the tacit or explicit support of various state entities; large numbers of Communist Party members counted themselves practitioners, and were excited at the revival of ancient traditions in modern China.
All this was seen by some hardliners, Luo Gan prominent among them, as a threat to the ideological and political security of the regime.
After news of the April 23 arrests spread, large numbers of practitioners decided to petition the central authorities in Beijing, which is done at the Office of Letters and Calls, adjacent to the Party leadership compound of Zhongnanhai. On April 25, Beijing police blocked the road to the Office, and marshalled the arriving practitionersover 10,000to surround Zhongnanhai, the official residential and office compound of the Party’s top leadership and a sensitive location in Beijing.
In the early afternoon, premier Zhu Rongji emerged and agreed to speak to representatives. The matter seemed to be resolved after nightfall.
The Party chief, ГЭСине, Бирок,, was furious, and soon declared the appeal “the most serious political incident since June 4.
In a letter issued to the Politburo that night, Jiang Zemin declared: “Can it be that we Communist Party members, armed with Marxism, and a belief in materialism and atheism, cannot defeat the Falun Gong stuff? If that is so, wouldn’t it be the greatest joke on earth?”
That summer, on July 20, Jiang ordered the regime’s security and legal apparatus to suppress Falun Gong. “Ruin their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically,” were the orders given to police, according to numerous reports by Falun Gong practitioners who say the police told them this.
According to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for information about the persecution, over 3,900 practitioners have been persecuted to death, and hundreds of thousands others languish in detention since July 20, 1999, the formal start of the anti-Falun Gong campaign. Researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been killed for their organs as part of a grisly state-run organ transplantation industry.
Ever since 1999, the anniversaries of April 25 and July 20 have often seen police across China break into the homes of practitioners and make arrests.
Petitioning and the Security System
It is this background that undergirds the significance of Xi Jinping’s recent gestures, subtle they may be.
Petitioningthat is, delivering complaints to higher levels of governmentquickly became the primary means with which Falun Gong practitioners appealed to the regime. Once it became clear this method would be met with violent reprisal, they largely ceased. Petitioners now are still a large body of disenfranchised Chinese who are treated often lawlessly by the Party’s security forces.
On April 21, Xi Jinping said that it is in the Chinese regime’s interests to “amicably settle reasonable and lawful appeals by the masseswho submit petitions, according to a statement carried by state mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency. Chinese premier Li Keqiang added that the regime should “strive to dispel conflicts and protect the legal rightsof petitioners.
Closer to the April 25 anniversary, Xi Jinping took aim at regime’s security apparatus.
Under former security czar Luo Gan, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC)—a small but powerful Party organ that controlled the police, the prisons, and the courtshad played a crucial part in staging the so-called “siege of Zhongnanhai,” and the persecution of Falun Gong. The Beijing police had deliberately directed Falun Gong practitioners to the streets around Zhongnanhai, and the 610 Office, an extralegal organization set up specifically to oversee the persecution, came under the purview of the PLAC.
On the eve of this April 25, four top security officials, including Hebei provincial PLAC Party Secretary Zhang Yue, were purged. Zhang is considered responsible for the torture of Falun Gong practitioner Liu Yongwang, who was tied to a board, whipped with leather belts and shocked with electric batons. The following day, the PLAC chief Meng Jianzhu told the public security head, the chief justice, the procurator-general, and other security apparatchiks gathered at a national-level meeting, that Xi Jinping was once again demanding that the security apparatus remain a professional and disciplined outfitan implicit contrast to the corrupt, personal fief

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