After Shanghai lifted the lockdown, the officials there must face political purges. Faction officials led by Jiang Zemin “fell off their horses,” and are now confronted with failure or investigation.
After announcing the lifting of the lockdown, Shanghai’s (officials) immediately faced political purges by Xi Jinping’s government. On June 1st, the director of The Prosecutor’s Office, the control institution, officially lifted the lockdown on the day when many officials suddenly were investigated.
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) worked directly with the Shanghai Discipline Inspection Commission to hear the case. Politicians say this is Xi Jinping’s “killing the chicken to scare monkeys” trick against the Jiang faction’s bureaucracy in Shanghai.
In Shanghai, Xi Jinping’s administration purges the Jiang faction’s bureaucracy
According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Zhang Bencai, director of the Shanghai Municipal Prosecutor’s Office, was under investigation on the evening of June 1st. The Shanghai official was raided immediately by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, bypassing the Shanghai Disciplinary Inspection Commission.
There was no warning before the probe into Zhang Bencai. On May 30th, he also attended the Shanghai government’s “Coordinated Conference on Epidemic Prevention and Socio-Epidemic Development.” Two days later, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection officially announced his resignation.
After more than two months of lockdown until June 1st, Shanghai officially announced its reopening. Zhang Bencai was also the leader of the Shanghai procuracy system’s epidemic prevention team at this time. On May 13th, the CCP’s Supreme Procuratorate’s “Procuracy Daily” issued an article recognizing Zhang Bencai as the “primary leader” in the anti-epidemic process when Shanghai was shut down. This news was also reported on linked websites. Zhang Bencai, on the other hand, was fired the night the blockade order in Shanghai was lifted.
Experts feel that the situation in which Zhang Bencai lost his position is related to the CCP’s highest level of internal infighting.
Xia Yifan, a China analyst, told The Epoch Times, “purging officials of the Jiang Zemin faction—the former leader of the CCP in Shanghai where they are in power, is the iron law regulating Shanghai of Xi Jinping—the CCP’s head.”
Xia Yifan stated,” “If Shanghai remains steadfast in its original epidemic prevention measures, an outbreak will undoubtedly result in Shanghai officials being held accountable. However, for the time being, based on the evolution of the scenario, Central control, and proclamation (blockade of the city, implementation of the “zero-COVID” policy), a humanitarian crisis has occurred, and Shanghai officials are still responsible. No matter what you do, you will be purged at the end.”
The infighting has spread to Shanghai functionaries
According to the Epoch Times, Zhang Bencai is a member of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin’s faction in Shanghai and dominates the Shanghai procuratorate system. However, inside the CCP, the Jiang faction is a key political opponent and a risk to Xi Jinping.
Li Qiang, Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and a Xi Jinping comrade was transferred to Shanghai in October 2017 to succeed Han Zheng, a senior official of the Jiang faction who is currently a member of the General Assembly’s Standing Committee. Li Qiang, a member of the CCP Political Bureau, was previously the secretary of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee.
Going to follow Li Qiang, several Xi Jinping faction officials were sent to Shanghai from other places, in charge of important positions such as the police system (for example, the current director of the Shu Qing is also Xi’s person, and the former director Gong Dao An is a member of the Jiang faction, has fallen from his horse, is under investigation, and is being handled in court), and so on.
Shanghai’s Jiang faction officials were gradually deposed. This indicates that Xi Jinping is purging the Jiang faction’s bureaucracy in Shanghai, one of China’s critical economic locomotives, but it also deepens the rivalry between the Xi factions and the Jiang factions.
During the city’s lockdown, the performance of Shanghai’s bureaucracy drew widespread criticism from the outside world. Routine civic and government services were disrupted, and 26 million people in Shanghai were forced to live in poverty, resulting in a humanitarian calamity.
Furthermore, the government’s many harsh epidemic prevention and control tactics enraged the populace and fostered clashes between Xi’s rebels and Jiang’s local forces.
“In fact, Shanghai was originally a base for the Jiang faction, many local officials not only were not satisfied, but also refused to stand under the leadership of the party secretary Li Qiang,” current political commentator Zhou Xiaohui said in the Epoch Times on June 2nd.
Profit from the chaos and seize the opportunity to cause crashes and create a “circle of death.” The goal is to incite public outrage, and even provoke public opinion, thus undermining Xi Jinping’s “zero COVID” policy.
“On the other hand, in regard to Shanghai officials’ delay and disorderly behavior, as well as the persecution of the Jiang faction, senior Chinese officials picked the no-compromise, hard-nosed alternative, be tough and resolutely make every move connected to ‘zero covid,’ even if people are hungry, till people’s unhappiness boils over,” Zhou Xiaohui said.
Following the dismissal of Zhang Bencai, Li Qiang announced before the Shanghai Municipal Standing Committee on June 2nd that “political loyalty must be enhanced” and to “be a politically capable person,” expressing support for Xi Jinping.
According to Chen Pokong, a political observer based in the United States, Xi Jinping’s administration is “killing chickens to scare monkeys” to achieve control over the internal party fighting.