After the CCP’s 20th National Congress, Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China Fan Yifei was fired. Because Fan was once a subordinate of Wang Qishan, the outside world believes that the move was aimed at Wang’s confidants.
Many officials directly related to Wang Qishan were let go
The Chinese-language Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said that on November 4, Fan was arrested by the investigating agency at his office. This shocked China’s financial world.
This is seen as a sign as a rearrangement of China’s financial system after the 20th National Congress and the start of Xi Jinping’s third term.
China’s financial system was the seat of power for Wang, the vice president of the People’s Republic of China.
In April this year, a former subordinate of Wang’s, during his time at the Construction Bank, Tian Huiyu also “fell from grace.”
Then in mid-October, the WSJ reported that Xi’s anti-corruption campaign appeared to target Wang. While Wang doesn’t appear to be challenging Xi’s ambitions, his background can be seen as a hidden threat to Xi. That’s why many of Wang’s former confidants have been arrested.
Especially earlier this year, Wang’s nephew-in-law Yao Qing, the great-grandson of former CCP Vice Premier Yao Yilin, was arrested and his relationship to HNA Group is being investigated. It is a warning to Wang.
In addition, real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, a one-time close friend of Wang’s, who published an article condemning Xi in 2020, was also sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption. Less than two weeks after Ren was sentenced, “butler” Dong Hong, Wang’s former secretary, was also investigated and sentenced to death in January.
Some analysts think that after Xi has firmly sat in the chair of supreme power, it is very likely that he will kill Wang.
Will Wang be the target of the next wave of purges?
On whether Wang will become one of Xi’s political targets, on November 10, pro-democracy activist Wang Dan wrote an analysis for Radio Free Asia.
First, Wang Dan, who lives in the U.S., said that Wang Qishan is a person who has held many positions in the CCP system, from local to central, so he has many old confidants, and there is even a way of calling Wang’s influence the ‘Financial Gang,’ which is clearly a taboo matter for Xi. Currently, the major factions, the Duan faction and the Jiang Zemin faction, have been weakened, so Xi will definitely focus on clearing out the other factions, the ‘Wang Qishan faction’ may therefore be in trouble.
Second, recently people from the “Party prince” faction such as Ma Xiaoli and Tao Siliang have publicly criticized the pandemic policy. It can be seen that they are very dissatisfied with Xi. Currently, moves aimed at Wang Qishan can be used by Xi as a deterrent against those “Party princes.”
Third, Xi went against Party standards and continues for a third term, causing widespread discontent within the Party. To consolidate power, the first and only thing Xi must do is purge within the Party to maintain his authority. Even if he doesn’t purge Wang, Xi will find someone else to kill. Faced with all kinds of challenges and dissatisfaction within the Party, Xi has always felt very insecure. A person with no sense of security is naturally always on the lookout for any potentially dangerous opponents, and Wang is one of them.
Fourth, during Xi’s first term, Wang was given the authority to investigate and purge within the Party, thus holding too many internal Party secrets. Most likely, because Wang knew too much, he became a concern for Xi. Thus, a new round of purges within the CCP has likely begun and who is the key target this time will be revealed soon.