A rural woman cooks with a biogas stove in the outskirts of Kunming, in the China's southwestern Yunnan province on Nov. 4, 2009. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)A rural woman cooks with a biogas stove in the outskirts of Kunming, in the China's southwestern Yunnan province on Nov. 4, 2009. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

Last October at a forum in Beijing, Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping pledged by 2020 to lift out of poverty the poorest of Chinese—the 70 million who make less than $1 a day.

Nearly a year later, the ambitious plan been fraught with setbacks. Many of the Communist Party officials initially assigned to provinces in the greatest need of assistance have been found to be either corrupt or incompetently lazy.

In an Aug. 16 report, the state-run China Youth Daily made an example of Yunnan, a province far to the southwest and on the front line of Xi’s fight against poverty.

Here, almost 40,000 Party officials were assigned to their tasks and were supposed to render aid to 4.7 million people in over 4,000 “poverty villages.” But starting in April, the Yunnan authorities have issued removal orders for 1,117 of the functionaries. Among the reasons are “not putting their hearts in the work,” or “talking the talk without walking the walk,” China Youth Daily said.

Common complaints (and grounds for removal) included unexpected absences from work and spending less than 50 days at work during a whole season. Officials removed from their assignments were punished by being barred from promotions or subject to further education and training. In other cases they were simply sacked.

While the state-run Xinhua news agency has reported the exploits of model officials taking a  hands-on role in supporting locals in their daily lives—an example being officials in the  Chongqing municipality who helped villagers raise goats or farm walnut trees, Xi Jinping’s continuing anti-corruption campaign has painted a less flattering portrait of China’s officialdom. Some suspects were caught with golden statues of Chairman Mao, boxes full of bribery money, and truckloads of riches.

On Aug. 8, the Party’s anti-corruption authority reported that Luyi Sifu, a former village Party secretary in the northwestern province of Qinghai, transferred 1.5 million yuan (about $226,000) in government-issued food subsidies to his own account. Luyi has since been expelled from the Party.

Two days earlier, on Aug. 6, 2016, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) reported that in the first six months of this year, 182 Party officials in China’s southern province of Guangdong received disciplinary punishment and 7 others were prosecuted for work-related problems related to their anti-poverty duties.

In another report this March, CCDI offered two hotlines for people in the central Chinese province of Gansu, to report corruption in the poverty-assistance effort in the province.

On the comment section of Chinese news portal Sina, many netizens expressed doubt that the poor would be the ones benefiting from the regime’s anti-poverty campaign.

“In Chinese villages, those who are really poor never get the chance to submit their names to the authorities [to receive aid],” a netizen from Zhejiang Province wrote. “Thugs and family members of village Party officials got the chance—they were the ‘poor’ who got helped.”

“This shows that the policy of ‘stationing officials in villages’ is not the way to go. It has become a superficial task,” says a comment from Xinjiang in western China. “Officials use the village position as an opportunity to get promoted.”

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HONG KONG—The anti-corruption campaign of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has officially entered Hong Kong. For the first time, China’s anti-corruption watchdog has assigned an official to be stationed at the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council, as well as oversee discipline inspection work in the Hong Kong and Macau Liaison Office.
Hong Kong has long been under the control of the faction headed by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, and it is also a financial paradise for CCP princelings. Since last year, the anti-corruption action led by Jiang’s rival, current CCP leader Xi Jinping, has accelerated.
The majority of the senior officials who have been sacked in the campaign are members of the Jiang faction.
Now the anti-corruption agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), is also focusing on Hong Kong and Macau, which means that instant sacking of Hong Kong’s high-ranking officials could happen any time. Public attention is now on who will be the first “tiger,” or high-ranking official, to be disciplined in Hong Kong and Macau.
The CCDI is the highest internal-control institution of the CCP, and it is tasked with enforcing internal rules and regulations and combating corruption and malfeasance in the CCP. The Secretary of the CCDI is its leader.
In the past, the discipline inspection work of the HKMAO and the Hong Kong and Macau Liaison Office was the responsibility of the internal department in the HKMAO. This is the first time the CCDI has taken over the task.
Li Qiufang, the new discipline inspection team leader, has the title of “CCDI team leader and committee member stationed at Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council,” ranked after HKMAO deputy directors Wang Zhimin and Zhou Bo, but ahead of deputy director Feng Wei.
As a member of the CCDI committee, Li will also oversee the work of discipline inspection in the Hong Kong and Macau Liaison Office.
Previously, the CCDI did not have officials stationed at the Central Propaganda Department or other CCP central departments, including the HKMAO, the Taiwan Affairs Office, the Hong Kong and Macau Liaison Office, and other administrative departments.
In early January, the Central Office of the CCP’s Central Committee issued a notification stating that the CCDI has set up 47 agencies to monitor 139 central government level agencies, including a CCDI team stationed in the HKMAO.
Power distribution
Commentators familiar with the CCP system said that under the CCP’s top leader, each leader has his or her own “territory.”
For example, the HKMAO is under the management of the CCP’s vice chair. In Jiang’s time, it was controlled by Jiang’s top supporter, Zeng Qinghong.
In the past, public security, the Procuratorial department, and the court system were controlled by Jiang faction member Zhou Yongkang, a former Politburo Standing Committee member and Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission. The Propaganda Department is in the hands of current Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan.
As different people are in charge of their “territories,” it is very hard for others to step in.
It was often heard in the past that the CCDI toured around the HKMAO and the Liaison Office, but it was all done privately. Since the 18th National Congress of the CCP in 2012, when Xi’s “tiger hunt” moved forward, this practice has gradually been discontinued.
In 2003, Zeng Qinghong, then-vice president of the CCP, began to serve as the leader of the Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs. He had been in charge of Hong Kong and Macau for many years, and Hong Kong has been known as his territory.
Now the CCDI has made a high-profile entry into Hong Kong for the first time, which indicates that Zeng and his political supporters have encountered a major problem.
Translated by Susan Wang. Written in English by Sally Appert.

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HONG KONG—On Feb 17, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) of the Hong Kong government unexpectedly announced the withdrawal of the Tsim Sha Tsui, Avenue of Stars expansion plan that was assigned to New World Development Company Limited (NWD).
The LCSD said in a statement that the new space for food and beverage outlets, the observation deck, and other facilities are out now. The announcement cut the three-year timing budget in half.
Upon completion, the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade will be managed by the LCSD. When NWD chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun attended a shareholders’ meeting the next morning, he responded to media inquiries by saying it was “not clear” and “no official notification was received.”
However, commentators have said the incident is related to the political battle between the factions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) loyal to current regime leader Xi Jinping and former leader Jiang Zemin. Hong Kong is said to have become Beijing’s wrestling arena.
Last September, the LCSD announced the expansion plan of the Avenue of Stars in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. The revitalization project, plus a 20-year management contract, was entrusted to NWD without an open tender process.
This caused a widespread public outcry questioning the under-the-table deal and the financial benefits involved. The company Sino Land and the Shangri-la consortium have filed applications for judicial review to challenge the government’s decision to renovate the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.
In previous related articles, Epoch Times reported that New World Development chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun had provided support to Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for Leung’s chief executive election. Cheng has been considered one of Leung’s four primary financial sponsors.
Media has reported that several heavyweight consortiums have formed an alliance to contend with the government. This can be viewed as open dissatisfaction with Leung’s team, and it also signifies that Leung’s behind-the-veil supporter—the faction of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin—is losing ground.
Reports also stated that after Jiang came to power, he started the most corrupt state policy in China. Due to Hong Kong’s special geographical location, Jiang, his ally Zeng Qinghong (a former CCP vice chair), and their supporters arranged many underground forces in all walks of life in Hong Kong over the past 20 years.
They have formed a huge interest group. Many wealthy businessmen had a very close relationship with the Jiang faction and made their fortunes jointly with the Jiang faction over the years.
Those who were disobedient were purged widely, and few dared to voice out their discontent.Since Leung took office, he has been accused of intentionally provoking social conflicts in Hong Kong with the support of the Jiang faction.

Leung is an underground CCP member selected by the Jiang faction as Hong Kong’s chief executive. After Leung took office, he implemented Jiang’s policies to create chaos in Hong Kong, including promoting the mainland educational curriculum (which Hong Kong parents view as brainwashing), persecuting the spiritual practice Falun Gong, undermining Hong Kong’s judicial independence, and pushing a “white paper” issued by the State Council’s Information Office aimed at destroying the policy of “one country, two systems” that defines the relationship between China and Hong Kong.
This caused a public outcry in Hong Kong. Previously, many Hong Kong tycoons had difficulty seeing through the situation and became Leung’s financial supporters. Now, seeing that the Jiang faction is on the losing side, they have chosen to cut connections with the Jiang faction one after another.
After the Tianjin explosions and a series of other incidents, the struggle between the Jiang Zemin faction and the faction of current CCP leader Xi Jinping entered an intense stage. What used to be positive factors have now become negative ones.
One example is Asia Television Limited (ATV). The reason it took so long to find a new owner is because Xi would not let any interested consortium or tycoon with connections to the Jiang faction take over ATV.This could be Xi’s response to the Mongkok incident, because of the timing of the related incidents.— Shi Cangshan

Mongkok incident
The timing of the abrupt withdrawal of the Avenue of Stars project is sensitive, as it occurred soon after the Mongkok incident. On the morning of Feb 9, the second day of the Chinese New Year, two warning gunshots were fired into the air as hundreds of protesters clashed with the police in Mongkok.
It was the first gunshot fired by Hong Kong police during public protests in 40 years. Nearly 70 people have been arrested in the wake of the Mongkok incident.
Since Leung took office, he has been accused of intentionally provoking social conflicts in Hong Kong with the support of the Jiang faction. These include the rise of the pro-Beijing party Caring Hong Kong Power to counteract the pan-democratic camp, as well as the Beijing-backed Hong Kong Youth Care Association being used to harass Falun Gong.
CCDI
On Jan. 28, media reported that Li Qiufang, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) team leader of the State Council of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), has been appointed to be stationed in the HKMAO and will be directly accountable to the CCDI. This is the first time in the CCDI’s history that it has had officials stationed in the HKMAO.
Some analysts believe this indicates Zeng Qinghong’s influence in Hong Kong will be further purged.
Current affairs commentator Xia Xiaoqiang stated that the Mongkok gunshot incident, called a “riot” by Leung, occurred in such a context. Xi’s officials’ anti-corruption campaign is approaching Jiang and Zeng, Xia believes.
Hong Kong has been a hideout for Jiang’s allies. The recent crisis and chaos are the inevitable result of Jiang desperately fighting back.
In the afternoon of the day the LCSD officially announced the scrapping of the project, NWD chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun attended a shareholders’ meeting in the morning. When the media asked about the relevant information, he repeatedly claimed that he was unaware of any changes.
Shi Cangshan, an expert on China issues, believes this

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/lin-yi/" rel="author">Lin Yi</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/li-zheng/" rel="author">Li Zheng</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a> and <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/wang-taotang/" rel="author">Wang Taotang</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
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For 11 years, Chang Xiaobing headed two highly profitable Chinese state telecommunication companies. After barely four months as chairman of China Telecom, however, Chang was formally investigated by the Chinese Communist Party’s internal disciplinary agency.  
On Dec. 27, the Central Committee of Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced that Chang, 58, was placed under investigation for grossly breaching Party discipline. The charge usually implies massive bribery and official malfeasance, and has been used, it seems, every day since Party leader Xi Jinping began an anti-corruption campaign in early 2013.
China Mobile and China Telecom “formed a parasitic family that hunted and feasted on state assets.”— Dong Hong, director of Central Committee of Discipline Inspection 12th inspection team

Chang Xiaobing is the latest and highest ranking state telecom executive to fall in the current probe of the Chinese regime’s telecom sector. Analysts say that the telecom probe, which began last December, is aimed at the son of former regime and powerful Party faction leader Jiang Zemin.
Party anti-corruption officials could have arrested Chang, the former head of China Telecom, as early as Dec. 26. That day, Chang didn’t answer several calls by a Caixin journalist, and a mid-ranking China Telecom staff also told the Chinese business magazine that an important annual meeting Chang was supposed to attend on Dec. 28 was suddenly cancelled.
Chang Xiaobing previously helmed China Unicom from 2004 until this August. China Telecom and China Unicom are the country’s second and third largest public telecom companies respectively, according to Forbes. Before entering the lucrative state-owned telecom sector, Chang held several positions in the Chinese regime’s Ministry of Information Industry, eventually becoming its director.
State Telecoms Troubled
Official investigations into China’s telecom giants began last December with Chang Xiaobing’s old company, China Unicom. Then, two China Unicom general managers, Zong Xinhua and Zhang Zhijiang, were taken away. Chang sold all his shares in the company, and senior officials at the company had their passports confiscated. Board executives were made to acknowledge their errors and repeat anti-corruption nostrums, and investigators set up a “feedback” session in an auditorium in which the rank-and-file exposed wrongdoing in the firm. Some of these complaints about the corrupt culture of the firm later emerged in the press and online.
The purge of Chang Xiaobing, by any accounts a person at the top of the telecommunications hierarchy, is likely not the end of Wang Qishan and Xi Jinping’s probe into China’s state-owned telecoms industry.

By February, the Party’s anti-corruption agency collected enough evidence of malfeasance at China Unicom to present to Chang Xiaobing a damning report—top executives were guilty of taking bribes and sexual favors, practicing nepotism, and other corrupt behavior.
Next on the list was China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by subscribers, and China Telecom.
In April, China Telecom’s former vice general manager Leng Rongquan became one of the first high-ranking telecoms executives to be taken away. In mid-June, Dong Hong, the director of the CCDI’s 12th inspection team, accused the leadership of China Mobile and China Telecom of having “formed a parasitic family that hunted and feasted on state assets.” Shortly after Dong’s denouncement, anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan formally opened investigations into 26 state-owned companies, including China Mobile and China Telecom.
By August, there were signs that Chang Xiaobing was headed for a fall—despite having been with China Unicom for over a decade, he was suddenly made to swap companies with then China Telecom head Wang Xiaochu. A little over four months after the move, Chang was formally investigated.
Encircling a ‘Telecom King’
The purge of Chang Xiaobing, by any accounts a person at the top of the telecommunications hierarchy, is likely not the end of Wang Qishan and Xi Jinping’s probe into China’s state-owned telecoms industry. Rather, analysts say the purge is a key step towards investigating the figure who actually held sway over the industry for so long behind the scenes.
Overseas Chinese newspapers have referred to Jiang Mianheng as China’s “Telecommunications King” because he had from the mid-1990s acquired a significant stake in the country’s telecoms industry through an investment company that ostensibly belonged to the city of Shanghai. Jiang is believed to have pursued his business interests by leveraging his status as the son of Jiang Zemin, who was the most powerful man in China as Communist Party leader for over a decade.
That Jiang Mianheng could wield immense influence without a corresponding formal title was illustrated by Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd.‘s purchase of China Netcom, a struggling company whose holdings were suddenly boosted in 2002 after it was handed half of China Telecom’s infrastructure by the Chinese regime. Edward Tian, then China Netcom chairman, had let slip that Jiang was “the actual head of the company,” according to researcher Bo Zhiyue. At the time, he was merely a board member.
Present or past association with Jiang Zemin has been risky since Xi Jinping started his anti-corruption campaign in 2013. Over the past two years, Jiang’s top lieutenants—former Chongqing boss Bo Xilai, former security czar Zhou Yongkang, state oil magnate Jiang Jiemin (no relation to Jiang Zemin)—have been accused of corruption, expelled from the Party, and are currently serving lengthy prison sentences.
Former China Telecom chief Chang Xiaobing is known to have close links with Jiang’s confidentes: Wang Xudong, the former minister of information industry and Jiang’s trusted aide, as well as Lu Yimin, current China Unicom president and former secretary to Zeng Qinghong, Jiang Zemin’s powerful political enabler.

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