The mysterious disappearances inside the Chinese Communist Party
Xi Jinping’s fixation with cementing his place in the Communist Party pantheon is rife with inconsistencies. Despite ruthlessly suppressing dissent, the yes-men surrounding him from opposing factions become casualties when dirt leaks out. Xi’s management of foreign affairs and the economy is also causing concern.
High-ranking CCP (Chinese Communist Party) members are departing at an alarming rate. Is it for corruption or disloyalty that they are being punished? While this does suggest some disturbance to Xi Jinping’s third term, are they signs of impending upheaval?
Xi’s Third Term Difficulties
When it was revealed that term restrictions for the president and vice president will be lifted in February 2018, public outrage erupted. Former State-run Youth Daily editor Li Datong criticized the plan in a WeChat post, calling on 55 deputies to resist the action, which he said would lead to instability and turn the clock back to the period of Mao Zedong.
Dissatisfaction with Xi’s handling of the COVID outbreak resulted in more open condemnation of this move on social media by academics, professors, and people. An significant reference in this respect is a letter released by renowned Tsinghua University Professor Xu Zhangrun, who produced a 6,246-word article titled “Angry People No Longer Fear” on February 5, 2020, which went viral on China’s social media.
It accused China’s leaders, particularly Xi Jinping, of being disconnected from the concerns of the people and of reproducing an elite with so-called “Red Genes.” It charged Xi Jinping and a “small circle of leaders” of establishing a “state within a state” and committing “big data terrorism.”
The Communist Party’s New Credo: Loyalty to Xi
Xi Jinping replied by publishing monthly essays on how cadres should conduct themselves and studying rewritten party history. At the CCP’s Sixth Plenum Central Committee, new principles were introduced to “protect the ‘core’ status of General Secretary Xi Jinping within the CCP” and “to safeguard the Party’s centralised authority,” implying that preserving Xi Jinping became the primary mission of Chinese society. Furthermore, Xi Jinping’s men were placed in key positions within the security apparatus in order to quell any criticism.
An article published by Xinhua in October 2022 is crucial in showing how loyal yes men were crammed into party posts. Instead of participating in direct elections, there was a process of screening and interviews to settle the candidates and the major test was adherence to the new doctrine of defending Xi.
Purges will not halt as discontent against Xi Jinping grows for two reasons.
First, in response to the suppression of any voices of opposition against Xi Jinping’s internal and exterior policies (particularly worsening US-China ties and Russian assistance for the Ukraine conflict).
Second, there is the bleak situation of the economy, which seems to be Xi Jinping’s least concern, with all of his effort focused on political and ideological education to protect his position.