Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, on Sept. 4, 2016. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, 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 billion, while Zeng Qinghong’s wealth exceeded $1.4 billion. 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 billion.

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.

Firstly, 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. However, 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.

Meanwhile, 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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Beer is displayed at the Jinzhu Manjiang beer factory in Heilongjiang Province, China, on Aug. 1, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Beer is displayed at the Jinzhu Manjiang beer factory in Heilongjiang Province, China, on Aug. 1, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

In today’s face-conscious—and bribe-heavy—Chinese society, gift-giving has come to occupy a weighty place in the local economy. So much so, in fact, that stores are actually making money by buying back the wares purchased to influence officials.

In 2012, China’s Gift Industry Research Institute estimated that gift purchases accounted for about 768 billion yuan (about $115 billion) yearly—a sprawling business that appears to be closely linked to the world of corruption and money laundering.

Mao Yushi, a renowned Chinese economist, often observed how people carrying filled bags would enter government offices at South Yuetan Street in Beijing, then come out empty-handed. Looking out his window at home, he would then see officials leave work with the bags they had received and head towards nearby shops, where they would sell the gifts.

According to Mao, the merchandise would be resold to people arriving in Beijing, again for use as gifts, Hong Kong’s Phoenix Weekly magazine reported in June 2012.

A shop in Nanjing (via CCTV)

The business, according to the magazine, comes in a variety of forms, with over 200 businesses in Beijing alone. Xinhua, the state-run news agency, says the practice emerged in the early 2000s, as China began to experience major economic growth.

Some specialize in reprocessing fine alcohol and wines, others in less flashy products. Some of these entrepreneurs ran physical shops, while others offered services and asking prices online.

Some had no shop at all. Xinhua reported that one woman would stand outside a retail store and buy 1000-yuan gift cards from officials for 850 yuan, then turn them over to someone who would resell them for 900 yuan.

Processing Corruption

According to a 2004 article on China Radio International, the gift industry has paved the way for officials to turn the gifts they have received into cash, becoming a “[commercial] ring orbiting around a corrupt body.”

Bribery is common in China, but it is often veiled in a pretense of courtesy, in which gift-giving plays a role.  

Wang Huaizhong, a former deputy provincial governor in Anhui Province who was executed in 2004 for accepting over 5 million yuan in bribes (about $780,000) defended his behavior in a statement reported by the state judiciary’s Procuratorial Daily.

“During the holidays and New Year celebrations, there are always people who come to pay me visits to express their goodwill,” Wang said. “This is a reciprocal politeness. How can this be considered a form of bribery?”

Faced with a life sentence in 2000 for accepting bribes of 500,000 yuan, thousands of American dollars, and 15,000 yuan in gifts, former village-level Communist Party secretary Ding Yangning told investigators that he was simply following the Chinese lunar new year spirit of giving and receiving red envelope cash, the Procuratorial Daily reported.

The state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported that gift resale is illegal, and that the authorities never issue registrations for shops specializing it. But in 2012, lawyer Wang Liang told the Communist Party’s Xinhua news agency that there was no regulation specifically banning the practice of purchasing and reselling gift items.

In 2014, CCTV made a half-hour report about corruption associated with the buying industry. In Hangzhou, there were over a hundred gift-buying shops, mostly located near, and sometimes in government buildings. According to CCTV, some shop owners admitted that average people made up only a small portion of their customers.

Gift buyback seems to have been significant as early as 2001, when Xinhua published an article on the lucrative practice. When asked about the Communist Party’s calls for frugality and how this might affect business, one shop owner was quoted as saying that “the authorities have all sorts of slogans, but people continue to give gifts. What can the government do about it?”

Tightening the Screws on Extravagance

But after ten years and shifts in leadership, more concrete changes may be afoot.

The luxury industry and the associated gift buyback business seems to be in decline as the anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2013—a year after he took power—has taken its toll on thousands of offenders.

In January 2014, the state-run news site People’s Net reported a drop in demand for high-end tobacco and alcohol products.

In April this year, the state-run Silver Evening News in western China published a story on its WeChat account, saying that the buyback industry in Baiyin, in north-central China’s Gansu Province, was withering because of Xi’s 2012 Eight Point Regulation. That proclamation anticipated the anti-corruption campaign by demanding more discipline among Communist Party officials.

Across the country in coastal Zhejiang Province, the Qianjiang Evening News reported that local buyback shops were going out of business.

Fu Shuaixiong, a postdoctoral graduate of applied economics at Peking University, told Xinhua in 2014 that state ordinances had curtailed the extravagance, driving the gift market in a more affordable, “commoner-friendly” direction.  He also said that a dip in extravagance reflected a “healthy and rational development” in changing purchasing trends.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/frank-fang/" rel="author">Frank Fang</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a> and <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/leo-timm/" rel="author">Leo Timm</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is escalating and heading towards the ultimate “tiger”—Xi’s political rival, former CCP leader Jiang Zemin.
Many of Jiang’s high-ranking supporters have been investigated in the campaign. Epoch Times has secured an exclusive report that Zeng Qinghong, the former vice president of China and the second-in-command of Jiang’s faction, is under house arrest, while his brother Zeng Qinghuai is barred from traveling overseas.
The former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), Guo Boxiong, has been handed over to prosecutors. Guo is another supporter of Jiang.
On top of that, it is rumoured in Shanghai that Jiang’s two sons, Jiang Mianheng and Jiang Miankang, are being internally controlled by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
House arrest
U.S.-based China expert Ji Da believes that Guo’s being handed over to prosecutors is a prelude to the arrest of Jiang and Zeng Qinghong.
Ji Da told Epoch Times that the Zeng brothers are in the soup. Zeng Qinghong is not only under house arrest in Beijing, but also forbidden from travelling overseas, like his brother. His brother was previously rumoured to have been arrested.
Zeng’s son Zeng Wei is in Australia, while his daughter Zeng Baobao has been absenting herself from sales reports presentations in Hong Kong.
Zeng Qinghong, 76, is the Jiang faction member who used to run Hong Kong. Sources close to the government say he plotted the coup to overthrow Xi and played a major part in the conspiracy to assassinate him.
As an official and commissioner in Hong Kong under the regime’s Ministry of Culture, Zeng Qinghuai was active in the political, business, and cultural circles of Hong Kong and mainland China. He collaborated with the former vice president of China Central Television (CCTV), Li Dongsheng, to source pretty women for high-ranking officials.
The corruption cases of CCTV and tycoon Che Feng are both linked to the Zeng family.
It is believed that the Zengs are the next target in the anti-corruption campaign. Zeng Qinghong’s niece Wang Xiaoling was removed from office as the vice-mayor of Guangzhou and the secretary for disciplinary inspection at the end of last year.
At the beginning of this year, the state media again stated that nobody is exempted from the anti-corruption campaign, implying that Zeng Qinghong would be under probe.
According to a Beijing inside source, Zeng’s secretary Shi Zhihong and former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa recommended to Xi that Leung Chun-ying should be the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
The source said that Zeng thought it was easy to manipulate Xi, but little did he expect that Xi would crack down on the allies of the Jiang faction, striking fear into the gang.
The source predicts that when Jiang and Zeng are removed, Leung will be punished as well.
Sons under surveillance
Shanghainese lawyer Zheng Enchong said he learned from a reliable source that Jiang Mianheng and Jiang Miankang are under internal surveillance. Their crimes have been thoroughly investigated and their assets frozen.
It is only a matter of time before the scandal is exposed, the CCDI is coming down harder on the Shanghai clique, and Jiang’s allies are terrified Zheng said. Translated by Su Lin. Edited by Sally Appert.

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In October last year, Chinese leader Xi Jinping outlined ambitious plans of lifting 70 million Chinese out of poverty by 2020—with a particular emphasis on the young. But when it comes to what actually takes place on the ground in China, the reality is rather different.
Below are two recent cases where schoolchildren who were originally the target of poverty relief efforts were tricked or extorted by officials or their teachers, triggering outrage online.
A Donation Minus Lunch Costs
About a month after Xi’s speech, a company in Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province in eastern China, decided to donate 1,200 yuan (about $183) to 30 poor students at the Song Temple Elementary School in Yongqiao District, Anhui. Days before the donation was officially handed out, however, Party officials at the school summoned the parents of the student recipients and outlined the strange conditions for the gift.
“School officials told us that we must treat the company representatives to lunch, since they came all the way here to make such a donation,” a parent going by the pseudonym Wang Ming told Anhuinews.com, the official mouthpiece of the local government.
“Then they told us that because the school was short on funds, the children getting the donation must pay for lunch.”
The school demanded 200 yuan (about $30) from each student candidate for donation—about 16 percent of the donation.
When she refused the request, Wang said she was told that the school would choose another child for the donation. Upon hearing that, Wang said that all parents simply turned up and silently forked over their 200 yuan.
Attending the lunch were company representatives, school officials, and the 30 students, as well as local Party officials.
The story quickly went viral on Chinese social media, leading to the headmaster Ma Jijie being fired.
On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, Chinese Internet users were on a warpath. One netizen called for Ma to be “shot in the head” for allowing the extortion from students; others were quick to point out that the problem went beyond the headmaster.
“The school headmaster has been fired, alright. But what about those Party officials who were there at the lunch?” asked an Internet user from Heilongjiang. “What does it mean that they’re ‘being dealt with’? How come they weren’t fired as well?”
Chinese media reported that several Party officials were being investigated, but it was unclear if any sanctions had been administered.
“It is the same thing with colleges in China. When you get a scholarship, you have to share it with school officials,” wrote a netizen calling him or herself “UNIQUE Duan Jianfei” from Jilin Province. “Don’t ask me why. It’s an unspoken rule.”
Students Become Tools For Photo Op
On Jan. 15 this year at the Jinshan High School in Dawu County, Hubei Province, 183 poor students were invited by their teachers to participate in a photo session, showing how they are receiving financial aid. Each was asked to hold up one-hundred yuan bill and wear a beaming smile, reported business magazine Caijing.
But at the end of the session, not only did the school take back the bill, but they also failed to give the students the more than 1,000 yuan in aid each was promised.
Dawu County has been designated a “poverty county,” and many of the students at the school are so-called left-behind children—that is, children of rural migrant workers who have moved to the cities to find work.
Mr. He, an English teacher at the school, told Caijing that the school withheld the money because they were afraid the students might lose it. When asked why they were nevertheless made to smile for the photo, Mr. He responded: “You can’t possibly look sad when receiving financial aid, can you?”
An investigation was carried out, and the headmaster was suspended. All 183 students eventually got their financial aid. Nevertheless, the story touched a nerve among Chinese netizens.
“Anti-corruption, anti-corruption—when will the educational industry be the target of the anti-corruption campaign?” asked a netizen from Henan Province with the name “cocrear.”
Another netizen with the name “Hao Luo” wrote: “Nowadays, poor students cannot change their fate even if they go to college. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
“A common phenomenon. Don’t take this to be something strange in this magical country,” wrote a netizen from Gansu Province.

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Through the age-old Chinese literary device of using allusions to communicate meaning, Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has indicated his intention to purge two former officials who for a long time were the most powerful individuals in China.
The allusions were made in “Xi Jinping’s Treatise on Impartial and Strict Party Discipline and Standards,” a book of speeches made last year by Xi at various meetings with officials, which went into circulation countrywide on Jan. 3.
It’s one step away from naming someone— Li Ding, senior researcher, Chinascope

People’s Net, the web edition of official Party news outlet People’s Daily, carried a summary of the treatise and a sample of the offerings. Many of the speeches in the book were made public for the first time, People’s Net claimed.
One such speech was to inspectors of the Chinese regime’s anti-corruption agency in Jan. 2015. Some Party leaders, Xi said, have “established a clique,” became a “‘Taishang Huang’ with extensive reach,” accumulated “absolute authority,” and have “great potential to dominate.” In another newly released speech dated February, Xi told key provincial officials that no cadres are above the law, and that there are no “iron-cap princes” in the Party.
Analysts say that the allusion Taishang Huang is a direct reference to former Party chief Jiang Zemin, and “iron-cap princes” refers to Jiang’s trusted right-hand man, the former regime vice-chair Zeng Qinghong. By singling out the powerful Party duo at the start of the year, analysts add, Xi Jinping has set the agenda for this year’s anti-corruption campaign.
Li Ding, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Chinascope, an organization that specializes in translation and analysis of Communist Party documents, told Epoch Times that Xi Jinping is referencing Jiang and Zeng in his speeches, because the allusions are “very explicit.”
“It’s one step away from naming someone,” Li said in a telephone interview.
Jiang Zemin, the ‘biggest tiger,’ is the target of the 2016 anti-corruption campaign.— Xia Xiaoqing, political analyst, Epoch Times

Take Taishang Huang, a title held by emperors who abdicate in favor of another ruler in Chinese dynastic history. In modern times, the title is reserved for retired leaders who are perceived to be puppet masters, wielding power behind the throne. Because Jiang Zemin has been widely known to still head a sprawling, powerful Party faction since formally stepping down as leader of the Chinese regime in 2002, “any Chinese person will immediately link Xi’s reference to Jiang,” Li said.
MORE:Anti-Corruption Campaign Prepares 2016 for Changes in China
Read on its own, the term iron-cap prince refers to a sort of political immunity. In the Qing dynasty, there were 12 princes who were allowed to inherit their father’s title in perpetuity, a special right since the sons of princes normally assume a title one rank lower than that of their father. Anti-corruption investigators started using the term last year in a generic fashion to reference officials who presume their privileged political positions would keep them safe from corruption investigations.
However, since an article published last February on the anti-corruption agency’s website highlighted the crimes of the corrupt Prince Qing, a long-dead Manchu noble and a so-called iron-cap prince, mentions of iron-cap princes became linked with Zeng Qinghong, Jiang’s enabler and hatchetman. Many have read the criticism of Prince Qing as an open attack on Zeng Qinghong since the two share the Chinese character “Qing” in their name.
Xi Jinping’s making public his speeches and allusions suggests that anti-corruption campaign has embarked on a “new step,” Chinascope’s Li Ding said. Earlier, high-ranking officials earmarked for purge were referred to as “Big Tigers,” a blanket term that kept people guessing who precisely was being targeted. “But ‘Taishang Huang’ is very specific,” Li added.
Xia Xiaoqing, a political analyst with the Chinese edition of this paper, also thinks that Xi Jinping is alluding to Jiang Zemin in his new book of collected speeches.
The book and the recently announced sweeping reforms in the Chinese military—analysts say Xi is using the reforms to consolidate his political power—clearly transmit a message: “Jiang Zemin, the ‘biggest tiger,’ is the target of the 2016 anti-corruption campaign, and all major political maneuvers will revolve around it,” Xia told Epoch Times.
MORE:China’s Anti-Corruption Boss Wang Qishan Says His Agency Needs to Be Cleaned Up
This newspaper has pointed out several signs that Xi Jinping had spent 2015 homing in on Jiang Zemin.
First, in general Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has targeted officials linked to Jiang Zemin.
Also, the purging of retired elite officials who once held key positions in the regime and are key allies of Jiang Zemin was carried out with little fanfare, an indication that a bigger prize is afoot.
Moreover, many of Jiang’s allies and associates in the massive state-owned enterprises, particularly in the telecommunications industry where his son Jiang Mianheng holds immense influence, were purged.
And Jiang himself was obliquely targeted, first in a scathing editorial in state mouthpiece People’s Daily, then in the removal of a stone bearing his inscription which was prominently displayed in the Communist Party’s training school for cadres in Beijing.
Now, with Xi Jinping’s new book made publicly available in a political environment where allusions and coded language or actions can hold dire significance, Jiang Zemin’s position is looking increasingly precarious this year.

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