The last spot after a decade of purges


In addition to being expelled from the conclave, former President Hu Jintao has had to swallow the corruption charges against his closest associates.

His humiliating forced departure from the Communist Party Congress, in front of 2,300 delegates and the Chinese and international press who had just joined, is the latest offense Hu Jintao, former president of China, suffered at the hands of his successor, Xi Jinping. Since taking power, first as party secretary general in 2012 and then as president of the People’s Republic in 2013, Xi has targeted Hu’s close associates and senior officials in his fierce anti-corruption campaign.

The latest was his right-hand man, Ling Jihua, who was sentenced to life in prison for corruption in July 2016. Tried behind closed doors, he was convicted of taking more than $10 million in bribes, using his power to help his relatives and holding state secrets, according to state news agency Xinhua.

While his former superior Hu Jintao was dragged from the Great Hall of the People, Ling Jihua celebrated his 66th birthday exactly this Friday in prison, where he will spend the rest of his life. His fall from grace began in March 2012, when his only son, Ling Gu, was killed when his sports car, a Ferrari 458, crashed into the fourth ring in Beijing while driving late at night with two half-naked girls. used to be. An episode that, despite censorship, once again exposed the luxurious and unruly lifestyle of the ‘red aristocracy’ that has thrived under the patronage of the Communist Party’s economic growth in recent decades.

The scandal targeted Ling Jihua, then President Hu Jintao’s chief of staff. After being demoted, he began under investigation in late 2014 and was expelled from the Communist Party in July 2015. Along with him, one of his brothers, Ling Zhengce, a senior official in Shanxi Province, was purged, while the other, Ling Wangcheng, fled to the United States, where he apparently owns a $2 million mansion in California.

As reported by some media outlets in that country at the time, Ling Wangcheng allegedly took with him 2,700 classified documents provided by his brother, including China’s nuclear codes and copious information about Communist Party leaders and their power struggles. He is currently missing and it is not known whether he is protected by the American authorities or whether Chinese secret agents have managed to repatriate him.

In addition to Ling Jihua, in 2015, Zhou Yongkang, former head of state security under Hu Jintao, was sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption. His purge included the prosecution of China’s top political leader since the trial of Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, and the “Gang of Four” for the misdeeds of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). According to the verdict, both Zhou Yongkang and his family received bribes worth $19 million and used their influence to favor their allies within the regime, who were also punished.

Among them was his protégé Bo Xilai, sentenced to life in prison in September 2013 for corruption and whose wife had been sentenced to death a year earlier – but with a suspended sentence – for the murder of the British partner who helped them achieve the fortune they had made. had got out of the country they had kneaded with politics. Bo Xilai, a former trade minister and party secretary in Chongqing, a megacity in southwest China on the banks of the Yangtze, was one of the regime’s most prominent figures. But his arrest in 2012 sparked a bitter power struggle between Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping.

Behind him rolled the heads of his political godfather, Zhou Yongkang, and his ally Xu Caihou, former number two in the Chinese military. The latter suffered from prostate cancer and died in 2015 while waiting to be tried for corruption. A year later, another deputy chairman of the Central Military Commission, Guo Boxiong, was also sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption.

At the previous Communist Party Congress held in 2017, the head of the Securities Market Commission, Liu Shiyu, revealed that all of these Hu Jintao employees were “hugely greedy and corrupt and had conspired to carry out a coup d’état” against Xi Jinping. Years after finishing them, and perhaps because he failed to purge his boss, Xi has retaliated against Hu Jintao with a public disdain that further cements his power.

Source: La Verdad


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