Purge in China Before the XX Congress of the Communist Party

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Former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua and a former Deputy Security Minister Sun Lijun were convicted of corruption a month before the conclave in which Xi Jinping will keep himself in power

The irony of the “hunted fighter” irony, Fu Zhenghua, who served as China’s justice minister between 2018 and 2020, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for corruption. According to the official press, Fu has been sentenced to death for taking bribes worth 117 million yuan (16 million euros), but the sentence has been postponed to life.

Along with him, other former senior officials of the Ministry of Public Security have fallen. Chief among them is Sun Lijun, who was a former deputy security minister and is accused of leading an “unfaithful” clique of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Like Fu Zhenghua, Sun Lijun has been sentenced to death, but has been commuted to life imprisonment.

This new purge is shaking the regime less than a month before the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China, in which Xi Jinping will keep himself in power. In addition to the corruption charges, which in Sun Lijun’s case amount to bribes of 646 million yuan (90 million euros), all those charged in this trial have been charged with “infidelity”. Fu Zhenghua, who is 67 years old and was sentenced Thursday, and Sun Lijun, 53, who was sentenced this Friday, will be joined by a former head of legal and political affairs in Jiangsu province, Wang Like, who is 57 years old and will serve the rest of his life in the shadows. In addition, three former police chiefs were sentenced on Wednesday to sentences ranging from 14 years to life in prison.

According to state media, they are all part of a group led by Sun Lijun who had abused his enormous power in the state security apparatus. Another alleged member, Liu Yanping, 67, a former head of the Security Ministry’s Disciplinary Committee, was fired three weeks ago and expelled from the Communist Party but has yet to be arrested or charged.

With this new purge in the name of fighting corruption, Xi Jinping is issuing a serious warning ahead of the 20th Congress, which will begin on October 16. In said conclave, Xi will break the two-year limit of five years that the presidents of China had to avoid the personalist excesses of the Mao era since the time of Jiang Zemin. But Xi Jinping has reformed the Communist Party’s constitution and bylaws to remain in office and establish himself as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Since coming to power, first as party secretary in 2012 and then as president in 2013, Xi Jinping has purged not only dissidents and political activists, but also his rivals within the regime. In total, nearly five million Communist Party officials and cadres have been punished in successive anti-corruption campaigns. With the slogan to chase both “tigers and flies”, Xi has persecuted not only minor officials but also senior officials who could threaten his power.

Among them is a former head of state security, Zhou Yongkang, who was curiously examined by former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua before taking office during his time with the police. Along with Zhou Yongkang, other senior party and military officials close to the previous president, Hu Jintao, fell. But in the clearest example that no one is safe from the purges in China, the hunters of then have now been hunted.

Source: La Verdad

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