Compared with the previous Party congress, the situation before the 20th National Congress of China is not only unstable, but over time, has been giving more and more strange signals.
On September 22, a video appeared on Twitter of a military convoy. The person who posted the video said that the Chinese army was approaching Beijing. The convoy stretched 80 km (about 50 miles). The first vehicle was in Huanlai District under the management of Zhangjiakou near Beijing, and the end of the convoy was in Wanquan District, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province.
The news site “new highland vision” tweeted that this was a large-scale military advance into Beijing to protect the capital Beijing and its vicinity. It listed a series of unusual news events over the past two days, including that “more than 6,000 domestic and international flights had been grounded, there was a high-speed rail embargo into Beijing, deputy directors and division-level officials have been barred from leaving, and the Military Commission has organized a meeting with Xi Jinping absent.
New Highland Vision tweeted that these events show that a major change has occurred in Zhongnanhai. Xi’s re-election has been opposed by Party members, and Xi’s end may have finally come.
On September 24, new highland vision reported that Hu Jintao (the former leader) and Wen Jiabao ( the former general secretary of the state council) cooperated with retired senior government officials to bring down Xi’s military power and put him under house arrest in Zhongnanhai. Earlier, according to RFA, Xi had brought six members of the political gang Sun Lijun who were suspected of assassinating and opposing Xi to trial. This is a big step for Xi ahead of the 20th National Congress of Deputies.
In particular, the RFA said that the sentences of both Sun Lijun (former deputy minister of public security) and Fu Zhenghua (former minister of justice) made it clear that both of them “provided important documents and clues to others.” It is speculated by Sound of Hope that “others” are Xi’s successor, who has been behind the scenes having Sun Lijun’s back. Xi’s approach was similar to when he defeated Sun Zhengcai, who was appointed by Jiang Zemin as his successor before the 19th National Congress. Strangely though, this time it completely failed to suppress public opinion abroad, and speculations about Xi’s loss of power continue to arise.
Commentator Jiang Senzhe has analyzed on his own media channel that the official media of the Chinese government has recently shown a tendency to “downplay Xi Jinping”. For example, on September 24, the People’s Daily Newspaper published a commentary on the gang case of Sun Lijun, with the headline “If there is corruption, it must be wiped out, if there is corruption, it must be punished.” . In the article, there are two paragraphs enclosed in quotation marks, seemingly quoting someone, but it is not clear who said it.
Commentator Jiang Chenzhe discovered that both of these sentences were from Mr. Xi Jinping. Jiang analyzed that Beijing’s mainstream media quoted Xi’s speech without giving any explanation, which reduced Xi’s propaganda and promotion. In Mao Zedong’s era, when newspapers quoted him, they not only labeled it “the teachings of Chairman Mao”, but also marked it boldly, otherwise it would be considered great disrespect.
Jiang speculated that the original version of the People’s Daily article read that “General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out”, but it may have been deleted during a review of the manuscript. Mr. Jiang believes that the possibility of Mr. Xi Jinping leaving the political game empty-handed at the 20th National Congress of Deputies has increased.
The outside world also noticed that the recent foreign policy of the CCP has undergone major adjustments. As for Taiwan, the Party has changed Xi’s rhetoric of “reunifying Taiwan by force,” specifically the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council proposed to re-emphasize the reunification of Taiwan peacefully. Regarding Russia-related matters, China seems to have abandoned Xi’s promise of unlimited Sino-Russian cooperation evidenced by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi meeting with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Wang assured Kuleba that China respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and opposes the use of force.
Sound of Hope shared Akio Yaita, a well-known person in the Japanese media, saying that the political atmosphere before the 20th National Congress of China is very unusual, and it’s unlike previous Party congresses. So far no media has provided a clear list of candidates, which shows that the power struggle in the CCP is extremely fierce, and the list is yet to be determined, which is why, Xi’s re-election is uncertain.
In this atmosphere, if he is re-elected, he is likely to launch a major purge within the administration after the 20th National Congress. This is not only to secure his position but also because he felt that the regime is facing an existential crisis.
Also according to Sound of Hope, Wang Dan, leader of the June 4 student movement, said that the supervision of the CCP is very strict, but Xi talks about the color revolutions (referring to political movements in several countries of the former Soviet Union in the early 2000s) and regime security at the SCO summit, which indicates the rule of the CCP is not safe. When the economy slips, when the rule of law is at risk, the oldest direct method of the Chinese regime’s totalitarianism is to create enemies, such as the Four Purges and the Great Cultural Revolution. So at this moment Xi does not dare mention Taiwan anymore, and he will obviously turn to the home to capture the enemy, which is also the class struggle.
Wang said that based on his own experience that, if the CCP wants to participate in a class struggle, it must start with the internal struggle. Wang advocated for what is often expressed in the Chinese idiom, “Dogs biting themselves is a good thing.”
Where the regime’s ruling position is stumbling, if there is another struggle within the Party, it will not be just the end of Xi but the end of the CCP.