Power, money and sex deals: memoirs of Communist Party secretary describe shady officialdom

History is like an old man. Cheng Weigao would never have dreamed that, after his big secretary Li Zhen’s eastern exposure, the task force decided to set up an audit team, and the one who was ordered to head the audit team turned out to be me, Zhang Chengqi, the head of the Audit Department of Hebei Province.

The former Hebei Provincial Party Secretary Cheng Weigao had removed 17 county party secretaries in one breath, confessing that he was domineering (file photo)

Where did the trouble come from? The sudden adjustment of the post

The Hebei Provincial Party Committee officially decided to adjust my job in the afternoon of December 2, 1997. Although I knew that the matter of adjusting my job had been on the agenda of the provincial party secretary Cheng Weigao, I still did not expect him to act so quickly. The next day, I arrived at Shijiazhuang at almost nine o’clock. I went straight to the provincial party committee building. The Minister of Organization and a deputy minister have been waiting in the room for a long time.

The conversation went straight to the point: “The Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee decided yesterday afternoon that you will no longer serve as secretary of the Langfang Municipal Party Committee and will be transferred to the Provincial Audit Office as secretary of the party group. The appointment and removal of the director of the post, subject to statutory procedures. Do you see any other comments?”

I maintained maximum restraint and asked indifferently, “Finished talking?”


“Is this a conversation with me, or is it a notice to me?”

“A talk is the same as a notice, right?”

“If it was just a notice, would it be necessary for me to get up early in the morning and travel more than 300 kilometers? Wouldn’t it be enough to tell me directly over the phone? Even if my time is already worthless, is it not good to save some gasoline and highway tolls for the public?”

“What do you have in mind, you can say it!”

“Is there any need for me to say anything in this tone and manner of conversation? I just want to ask, the reason for adjusting my position should not be a few words to me? I have been working in the municipal party committee secretary position for nearly six years, should not have any evaluation of my work? Even if the organization gives me some face, I do not want to bluntly criticize the problems and even mistakes, can not point out what I should pay attention to in the future in what areas? I do not know where the door of the Audit Office, the organization should not introduce me to the situation of the Audit Office? Is this the way the organization should treat a leading cadre who has served for many years?”

A terrible silence followed, and the two ministers did not say a word. I admired their “calmness” cultivated over the years, but at the same time, my heart was disgusted by this impersonal coldness to the extreme.

Six eyes stared at each other for a long time, I could not help but shoot up: “You usually always say that the Organization Department is the mother’s family of cadres, I came back to my mother’s family today, a belly of sweet and sour to confide in my mother’s family, but it seems that I am self-absorbed!”

There was a breathless silence again.

In the silence, I finally slowly regained my senses again. I said coldly, “Forget it, I won’t embarrass you. As a thirty-year old member of the Party, I know how to proceed on this issue. Finally, I will make a statement: obey the organization’s decision. As long as I am still left with even a three-foot stage, I will do everything possible to sing the play well. However, I make a small request, please tell Cheng Weigao, I want to interview with him! It’s not unreasonable for a six-year municipal party secretary to ask for a meeting and a talk with the provincial party secretary when he is out of office, is it?”

“We can convey it.”

The conversation, just like that, did not end happily. After the incident, some well-meaning friends blamed me for not understanding the times and scolded me for being stupid and pedantic, failing to get on good terms with my own top boss. In this regard, I do not want to make any futile defense. I can not be stupid and pedantic to such an extent, but also extremely clear with the ability to get a good relationship is closely linked to the different consequences, but I cherish the minimum conscience should be a human being.

Six months earlier, Cheng Weigao, the provincial party secretary, had sent someone to visit me

In the year 1997, when I was reassigned, the Hebei Provincial Party Committee made an unprecedented three consecutive official inspections of the Langfang municipal leadership. To this day, I am still very grateful to the sincere and merciful Langfang people, although the inspection team in individual conversations with them repeatedly inspired them to talk more about Zhang Chengqi’s shortcomings and problems, but they did not say a word of conscience, three democratic evaluation, I almost all passed with all the excellent votes.

On June 10, 1997, I received a phone call from the provincial Party Secretary personally, asking me to come to Shijiazhuang at 9:00 a.m. the next day, and the provincial Party Secretary would talk to me. The next day, I arrived at Cheng Weigao’s office on time. Entering the door, I saw that the people waiting for me to talk, not only the provincial party secretary Cheng Weigao, and the Secretary of the discipline inspection and the Minister of Organization of the two provincial party committee standing committee. At the beginning of the conversation, the Secretary of the discipline inspection will drag up the yin and yang accent, first listed my two major problems: one is Xianghe County, two deputy county commissioners to Beijing prostitutes case, in dealing with this issue to protect the Xianghe County Party Secretary, not to speak of principle; second is Langfang, there are six farmers to Beijing petition events, affecting the stability of the city as a municipal party secretary is a major responsibility.

It seems that their words for today and I talk “good”, it is likely to have done a set of well-thought-out program or rehearsal exercises. So, I did not wait for the second person to speak, and immediately made a soft in a hard comeback: “As a municipal party secretary, a city of all the problems occurring I should be responsible for is no doubt. However, everything should not only be about principles, but also about fairness under the principles. The two party members of Xianghe deputy county governor of the case of prostitution, the municipal party committee has been in accordance with the party discipline, the initiative to make the two ‘expulsion from the party, expulsion from public office’ treatment. But I think it is necessary to give the county party secretary what disciplinary action, the reason is not sufficient. Almost at the same time, two county-level cadres of our province x city (the city where the secretary of the provincial discipline inspection committee had been the secretary of the municipal party committee) also had the problem of prostitutes in Guizhou, and it happened during the study at the provincial party school and the study tour to Guizhou, and its impact was also extremely bad. The two prostitutes are ‘drunk and not sober’ as a reason to reduce or exempt from disciplinary action, how is it that similar cases in Xianghe must be held responsible for the county party secretary? In addition, the two vice governors of Heunghe this prostitute in the youngest one, was the secretary of a provincial leader, was only a short time ago by the Provincial Organization Department found me, issued instructions just transferred to Heunghe to serve. I reckon the provincial party committee organization department is going to take the initiative to take part of the responsibility for the misconduct of employing people.”

I went on to say, “If we talk about petitions to Beijing, the six petitions you mentioned all happened at the grassroots level in the countryside, and moreover, they happened one after another in the last six years. Of course I can not Langfang is close to Beijing as an objective reason for petitioning to Beijing, and I will not be held responsible for the villagers’ petition, but I have been secretary of the municipal party committee for six years, the city’s nine counties 3.7 million people have six petitions to Beijing, an average of only once a year, and each time a very successful solution, which affects the stability? Other cities to the province and Beijing petition in the end than Langfang more and less, I do not need to say, the provincial leaders know better than me.” I intentionally took the Minister of Organization, who had not yet had a chance to speak, as a piggyback.

Once the words came out, the atmosphere was suddenly tense. After that, the organization minister said something else, I do not remember too clearly. I only remember that at the end, Cheng Weigao to the provincial party committee secretary of the “general poise” and a rare gentle tone made a conclusion: “This time to talk to you, mainly to inform the provincial party committee of Langfang municipal party committee and your personal investigation results. Old Zhang you do not have any ideas! After two inspections, the organization believes that your political theory level, dedication in the work, the ability to coordinate and plan, as well as the language level are very good, Langfang people on your secretary is still very recognized! The purpose of the briefing is to help and support you to do a better job as the municipal party secretary. Of course, in the issue of employment, in the major issues of principle, pay more attention to the future is.”

At that time, although I understood the real meaning of his words “employment” and “major principles”, but he, as the provincial party secretary, made such a high evaluation of my work, but I was still very touched, so I can only ” Thank you for the care of the provincial party committee secretary” as the closing words, and this gratitude from the heart.

Less than half a year after that, I was transferred to the Audit Office as director in the name of “work needs”, which many people did not know what audit was at that time.

History is like a narrow-minded old man, often inadvertently play a joke on people. Cheng Weigao would never have dreamed that his great secretary Li Zhen after the incident, by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Supervision composed of the central task force in Hebei in March 2003. In order to find out the facts of Li Zhen’s economic crimes, the task force decided to set up an audit team, and the one who was ordered to head the audit team was me, the head of the Hebei Provincial Audit Department!

Was adjusted because of the rejection of Cheng Weigao’s son Cheng Muyang

As early as the beginning of 1992 when I took over the presidency of Langfang Municipal Party Committee, the provincial party committee had a clear confession to me: first of all, we should improve the unity of the municipal party committee team. In the years before my arrival, the contradictions between the main leaders of the Langfang Municipal Party Committee and the municipal government had become public, and the Standing Committee had almost fallen out to the extent that they could not sit together (TV series) to meet and study the problem.

Fortunately, a few years down the road, the hard work has not been in vain – through the joint efforts of all, the team situation has been fundamentally improved, the economic development has also shown unprecedented momentum. But at the end of 1994, the second year of Cheng Weigao’s presidency of the provincial party committee, he was determined to carry out a major restructuring of the Langfang municipal party committee, leaving only myself as the core figure of the original team. Later I learned from within the provincial party committee that Cheng Weigao made such an adjustment mainly because he could no longer hear the different voices in the team I led!

I was transferred away from Langfang for a long time, a colleague in the team quietly “confessed” to me: he was transferred to Langfang, he was ordered to undertake a special task of monitoring me. 1996, the provincial party committee election, a provincial leader in Langfang delegation here lost a vote, this was a normal thing, but Cheng Weigao in the evening I called my colleague to ask if the one lost was the one in Zhang Chengqi’s hand. Fortunately, in this congress, I was a member of the presidium and voted for the special ballot box on the podium, not the special ballot box of the Langfang delegation, so Cheng Weigao’s suspicion could not be established, which stopped the pursuit.

One night in the summer of 1996, in my small living room, suddenly came several unexpected guests. The head of a person, I did not forget – the then provincial party secretary Cheng Weigao’s son Cheng Muyang.

Between making tea and pouring water, I have been thinking, we have no interaction – not only Cheng Muyang, I have no interaction with any provincial leaders’ families and children – this guest, who has no interaction, suddenly visited my Langfang municipal party secretary’s house at night, naturally nothing to come The first time I saw him, I was able to see him.

Sure enough, once the conversation got into the topic, it proved my suspicion – he came to contract the development zone exhibition center building decoration project. What to do? According to the situation at that time, with his special status, if I say a word, this project by him to do, there will not be many people opposed. But at that time, “Nanjing Second Construction” and Cheng Muyang between the various rumors, as early as in Hebei boiling. At the same time, I also know Cheng Muyang is not engaged in engineering, he is bound to subcontract out the project. A large project with an investment of more than 200 million, interior and exterior decoration almost two-thirds of the total project investment, my words will be such a large project to him, which in any case can not be made ……

I think again and again, I said to him very politely: “You bring people to Langfang to solicit projects and participate in the construction of the development zone, I welcome and support. But the rules set by the municipal government are that no one, including the city’s main leaders, is allowed to specify which construction unit will build which project. All projects have to operate according to market rules and go through the bidding process ……”

The final outcome of the matter and my end is already self-explanatory. I no longer need to bother to study whether there is any necessary connection between the two. I’m just glad that my retardedness saved me. If I had given this project to Cheng Muyang, if he had pulled “Nanjing Second Construction” into Langfang’s construction market, in the end, I would not only have to face the accusation that people in Langfang were scolding me for kissing ass and luring wolves into the house, but also to bear the question of whether I was taking bribes to make money from it.