採訪/陳漢 編輯/宋風 後製/建銘
Ling Jihua Investigated—CCP Power Struggle Upgraded?
On Dec. 22, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) media
reported that Ling Jihua, the vice chairman of the National
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)
was under investigation over alleged violations.
He is the third national level leader to be investigated
this year, following Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou.
Ling Jihua served as the director of the CCP General Office
and Youth League Faction as Hu Jintao’s most senior aide.
Does his downfall signify that the CCP’s
internal power struggles are intensifying?
Let’s see today’s story.
Ling Jihua serves at the deputy national-level as
the vice chairman of the CPPCC, as well as being the head of
the United Front Work Department.
On Dec. 15, he published an article that was in line with
Xi Jinping’s ideas, in the CCP’s political theory periodical,
Qiushi—this turned out to be Ling Jihua’s final public
appearance in the media.
The article didn’t give him safe landing, but seemed to give
a foregleam of Ling Jihua’s downfall.
On Jun. 19, Jihua’s brother, Ling Zhengce, who served as
the vice chairman of Shanxi People’s Political Consultative
Conference, was investigated on suspicion of committing
a serious violation of the law.
The officialdom of Shanxi Province—Ling Jihua’s hometown
—has had quite a shock over the downfall of senior officials.
Jihua’s young brother, Ling Wancheng—alias Wang Cheng—
was also repatriated from the U.S. in October; so it was only
a matter of time before Ling Jihua was taken down.
And as expected, he is now under investigation and expected
to be expelled from the Party together with Zhou Yongkang
Chen Minghui, Political Commentator: “For now, the most
immediate and obvious power struggle is ’anti-corruption’;
it seems it’s the most effective way to prevent a comeback,
compared to economic or political struggle."
Minghui says, to maintain the current political stability,
the CCP only has one path—political struggle through
removing dissidents, in the name of anti-corruption.
Li Shanjian, U.S.-China Independent Commentator:
“What’s the true reason for Ling Jihua’s downfall?—
I believe it’s far from corruption, because there is no honest
and upright official in the communist officialdom."
Li Shanjian says, one reason for Jihua’s downfall may be that
he has some political dealings with Jiang’s faction in handling
the Bo Xilai case, especially after the Ferrari car accident.
The mainland’s Caixin website posted on the official
microblog: “58-year-old Ling Jihua is the fourth national
leader to be officially taken down, within half a year;
his career reversed in 2012."
“There are signs that Ling Jihua, Zhou Yongkang
and Politburo member Bo Xilai—who was sacked after
the Wang Lijun Incident—are alliances."
According to the U.S.’ Wall Street Journal and other foreign
media disclosures, Jihua’s son, Ling Gu—alias Wang Ziyun—
died in a car accident in a Ferrari on Mar. 18, 2012 in Beijing.
On Dec. 22, the Caixin website reported that Ling Jihua had
reached an agreement with the political and legal system
leaders to cover up the cause of his son’s death; however,
an immediate disclosure of this agreement led to a reversal in
Jihua’s promising political career.
However, this report at Caixin is subsequently deleted.
On the eve of the 18th CCP National Congress, Ling Jihua
was transferred from the position of office director to become
the head of the United Front Work Department.
He was also elected as vice chairman of the CPPCC
the following year.
According to senior reporter Luo Changping, Jihua had
organized an underground society, the Xishan Club,
in Beijing, consisting of native Shanxi senior officials.
The recently sentenced Ding Shumiao, Liu Zhijun
and Liu Tienan were all members of the Xishan Club.
It’s said that another reason for Ling Jihua’s downfall is that
he engaged in forming a small group.
One media reported that Zhou Yongkang, Ling Jihua,
Luo Zhijun and Li Yuanchao had had a big dinner before
the 18th CCP National Congress and were considered allies
by the CCP; hence Ling Jihua and Li Yuanchao’s careers
plunged downhill from the 18th CCP National Congress.
U.S. political commentator, Chen Pokong says the coup plot
involved the princeling Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang from
Jiang’s faction and Ling Jihua from the Youth League faction.
However, Xi Jinping successfully forced the CCP senior level
into a compromise, reaching an agreement after hiding out for
two weeks before the 18th CCP National Congress.
After taking office, Xi has been getting rid of the coup groups
and their henchmen one by one.
Chen Pokong believes that without the CCP system changing,
the battle against corruption will forever continue, because
it’s impossible to solve through such ‘anti-corruption’ fights.
Interview/ChenHan Edit/SongFeng Post-Production/JianMing