Sources say the atmosphere in Beijing is bizarre, with the top brass having ordered that no one be allowed to talk about the 20th National Congress, highlighting the intense struggle at the top of Zhongnanhai.
The two sessions of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are being held in Beijing at this sensitive Time, and Xi Jinping‘s recent repeated emphasis on “struggle” is said to be a warning to the opposition within the party, setting the stage for the 20th National Congress. There are rumors that the atmosphere in Beijing is bizarre and the top brass has ordered no one to talk about the 20th National Congress, highlighting the intense struggle at the top of Zhongnanhai.
The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and National People’s Congress (NPC) open in Beijing on March 4 and 5, respectively, and Hong Kong‘s South China Morning Post previously reported that this year’s sessions are particularly important for Xi, giving him an opportunity to showcase the administration’s work achievements and further consolidate his power ahead of the 20th National Congress.
Recently, the official media have been working at full throttle to promote the so-called “comprehensive poverty eradication” campaign. Deutsche Welle quoted an analysis that suggested this was a way to build up Xi’s achievements.
At the same time, Xi Jinping’s repeated emphasis on “struggle” before the two sessions drew public attention, as he spoke at the Central Party School on March 1, mentioning “struggle” 13 times and stressing that the risks and tests facing the Communist Party are no less than those of the past.
In an article published by the Epoch Times, commentator Zhong Yuan said that Xi’s repeated emphasis on struggle indicates that the current internal and external situation of the CCP is indeed not good.
While emphasizing struggle, Xi also stressed that officials should be “loyal to the Party. Zhong Yuan said that the so-called “loyalty” is, of course, about internal strife, and Xi’s lecture to the reserve officials is actually a continued strong signal of “struggle” to the opposition faction within the party.
On the eve of the two sessions, the Communist Party’s highest authorities, including members of the Politburo and the State Council, were asked to report to Xi Jinping, highlighting Xi’s control over power.
However, Xi’s bid for re-election to the 20th National Congress is not without resistance. “Overseas military commentator Ping Kefu, founder of the Hanwha Defense Review, recently revealed that the power struggle within the CCP is extremely intense in the run-up to the 20th National Congress.
The political atmosphere in Beijing right now is very bizarre,” he said on his YouTube channel on Feb. 25. I have obtained information that officials at the central level in Beijing have issued a document that the 20th National Congress cannot be discussed, that is, not to discuss the 20th National Congress presumptuously. The seal was sealed to the inner and outer governments, central committee members and ministerial cadres.”
Pinkov said that it was meant to discuss issues before and after the 20th Congress, but now it is forbidden to talk about the 20th Congress, “You can imagine the weirdness of the power struggle.”
He believes the ban on delusional discussions about the 20th National Congress is a reflection of Xi’s lack of confidence and the fact that he does not yet have full control over the strength of Communist Party officials.
Some analysts say that whether Xi is re-elected to the 20th National Congress is a battle for his Life, either for life or as his Waterloo, so the internal struggle in the CCP is extremely intense and Xi has also made a series of moves to set up for the 20th Congress.
This year, the authorities issued a “ten forbidden” at the beginning of the year, strictly forbidden to form a party, strictly forbidden to canvass and bribe elections, strictly forbidden to buy and sell officials, strictly forbidden to run for officials, strictly forbidden to have a personal say, strictly forbidden to greet with favors, strictly forbidden to use people in violation of the rules, strictly forbidden to leak wind, strictly forbidden to falsify, strictly forbidden to interfere with the election. The “ten prohibitions” are considered to help Xi “establish authority” and “eliminate murmurs” to further consolidate Xi’s strength.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong History Department visiting professor Lin He Li told the Voice of America that this is related to Xi Jinping’s power layout for the 20th National Congress next year. Xi fears that some officials will criticize him, and the “ten bans” aim to strengthen Xi’s core position.
In addition, Xi Jinping’s recent heavy-handed purge of the political and legal system is seen as a battle to defend power at the 20th National Congress. The Central Inspection Group announced before the New Year that the Ministry of Public Security had “failed to purge the residual influence of Zhou Yongkang, Meng Hongwei and Sun Lijun”. Currently, former Shanghai Public Security Director Gong Daogan and former Chongqing Public Security Director Deng Zuolin have fallen from grace.
Gao Guangjun, an American lawyer and former teacher at the Communist Party’s Public Security University, pointed out that Xi Jinping has not fully grasped the “knife handle” since he came to power, which is a major problem for Xi Jinping.
According to the law, the “ten ban” is Xi Jinping’s layout at the political level, but the specific removal of obstacles must rely on the power of the political and legal system to complete, so Xi grasp the “knife handle” is crucial.
Recently, Xi also launched a “Party history study and Education” campaign. Hu Ping, a U.S.-based political commentator and editor-in-chief emeritus of Beijing Spring magazine, told VOA that the authorities’ move is aimed at further consolidating Xi’s “one” authority and elevating him to the same status as Mao and Deng. This will pave the way for him to remain in power at the 20th National Congress and unify the Party’s thinking.
However, the history of the CCP is in fact a history of struggles within the party that have led to the death of each other. The authorities recently commemorated in a rare high profile the birthday of Hua Guofeng, who during his lifetime brought down the Gang of Four and was eventually forced out of power by Deng Xiaoping. According to current affairs commentator Zhou Xiaohui, Beijing’s sudden high-profile commemoration of Hua Guofeng does not rule out the signal of a new palace coup in Zhongnanhai.
Other analysts believe that Xi is raising Hua Guofeng at this time, releasing a political signal to deny Deng Xiaoping’s line, while reflecting that Xi is pulling in all the forces of the Communist Party to pave the way for a smooth continuation of power at the 20th Congress. The appearance of Mao Xinyu and other Red II figures, who were once left out by Xi, seems to illustrate this point.
Theoretically, the Standing Committee of the CCP’s Politburo will need to be replaced in the fall of 2022, and the struggle within the party is unprecedentedly fierce. Xi Jinping wants various factions of the CCP to learn from Hua Guofeng, with the fundamental aim of suppressing the CCP’s infighting and not turning over this table of the CCP, said Xue Chi, a scholar of Chinese issues.