Ming Pao reporter Mai Jun reports from Chongqing that on June 18 the reporter visited Chongqing, before the opening of Chongqing Party Congress today, to collect missed details of the political storm of Bo Xilai’s downfall. His findings will be provided to readers in a series of reports beginning from today.
Power struggle between Bo Xilai’s conservative faction and reformist Wang Yang
When Bo Xilai was in charge of the government, many Chongqing officials, placed in important positions when Wang Yang was in charge, were demoted to idle positions and replaced by Bo’s trusted followers.
Bo has thus given rise to complaints among quite a few officials. Liu Guanglei, secretary of Chongqing Political and Legal Committee, went to Beijing to lodge his complaints about the replacement by Wang Lijun of his concurrent post of Public Security Bureau chief.
Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu was unable to interfere with the appointments of public security officials in Chongqing
Liu Guanglei began working in Chongqing in 2006 as a member of the Standing Committee of Chongqing Party Committee, secretary of the Political and Legal Committee and chief of the Public Security Bureau. In 2009, Wang Lijun followed Bo Xilai to Chongqing, and was appointed deputy chief of the Public Security Bureau, and then the chief of the Bureau to replace Liu. Liu was thus deprived of any position in the Bureau and became a commander-in-chief without any troops.
Sources in Chongqing reveal that Liu was then very indignant at such an arrangement and went to Beijing more than once to reflect the situation to the Ministry of Public Security. However, as Bo Xilai was a Politburo member, but Meng Jianzhu was only a State Councillor serving concurrently as Public Security Minister, Meng was helpless about the appointment of officials in Chongqing.
In his speech after Bo’s and Wang Lijun’s downfall, Liu said that during the campaign against organised crime, he pointed out to Wang Lijung to his face that Liu suspected that the scope of the campaign had been excessive. However, the above sources say that though a member of the City Party Standing Committee, Liu was utterly unable to control Wang, and could only turn a blind eye to Wang’s actions.
Liu was even suspected of “helping Wang in his abusive activities”. In dealing with quite a few arguable cases during the campaign, the City Political and Legal Committee could be seen participating in the processes by giving guidance to the courts in the trials.
Another demoted official was Zhang Ji, who served as Nanan District Party Secretary at the young age of 47. When Bo was Chongqing boss, Zhang was transferred to be secretary of the Rural Work Committee of the City Party Committee, and was in fact laid idle. Meanwhile, Bo’s trusted follower Xia Zeliang was appointed to be in charge of the Nanan District.
Transfer of Wang Yang’s favourite officials, a black box operation
After Bo’s downfall, Ming Pao asked Zhang Ji about the reason for the sudden transfer. Zhang smiled and said, “To be honest, I do not know either.” He pointed out that when he asked the authorities about the reason for the transfer, “no one gave me any reply but said that it was due to work requirements.”
Concerning his impression of his successor Xia Zeliang, Zhang said that he worked in the district for a long time, five years as the district head and five years as the district party secretary. When he was the district head, Xia was merely a deputy official in a county. “At that time there was quite a disparity between our ranks and we were not familiar with each other.”
He also said that when “Xia had been suddenly transferred” to replace him, they talked for half an hour on handing over the job and then it “was not convenient to ask about Xia’s work”. Five months later Zhang was demoted again to the position of the chief of the City Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. Then he returned to Beijing to work in the Policy Research Office of the CCP Central Committee.
County official promoted due to efforts to please Bo
According to an official biography, before Bo became Chongqing boss, there had been no overlapping of Xia and Bo’s work. However, sources say that after Bo became Chongqing boss, the relations between Xia and Bo grew rapidly. They were so close later that Xia’s family had dinner with Bo during Chinese Rural New Year, an obvious sign of their closeness.
During Chongqing’s campaign of growing gingko trees, Xia’s Nanan District was the most active. Less than one week after Bo was removed from all his positions, Xia Zeliang was taken away by relevant authorities for investigation. According to a report by foreign media, in the case of British Neil Heywood’s murder, the poison cyanide used by Bo’s relative in the killing was provided by Xia.
Another official demoted by Bo is Fan Zhaobing who was placed in a very important position when Wang Yang was the boss. Fan began to serve as a standing committee member and secretary general of the City Party Committee, but 2 years after Bo became the boss, he was transferred to the less important post of director of the United Front Department.
Xu Ming who succeeded Fan as the Secretary General of the City Party Committee, was Bo’s follower for three years when Bo was Commerce Minister. Xu later became a standing committee member of the City Party Committee and played the role of Bo’s overman and penman. Last year, Xu was appointed the secretary of the work committee of the Liangjiang New District.(Item one of the series)
- Chongqing torturers now the hunted, ex-lawyer says (chinadailymail.com)
- Bo Xilai filled Chongqing with his cronies: Ming Pao (wantchinatimes.com)
- New Chongqing Leader Says Bo Xilai Damaged China’s Image (theepochtimes.com)
Categories: Politics & Law