The “defection” of Chinese Vice Minister of State Security Dong Jingwei from the United States has aroused international public opinion over the past few days. In particular, the official disguise of the rumor and the media exposure of the details of the escape in the U.S. have formed a war of attrition, making the incident confusing and confusing. At the same time, the mysterious complexity of the Chinese Communist Party’s state security system is once again in the spotlight.
As in the case of successive party leaders, Xi Jinping has been purging the State Security system, which was controlled by Jiang Zemin’s faction and was deeply involved in Zhou Yongkang’s case. Now, the so-called Dong Jingwei, a senior state security official, has fled the country. If it is false, who is releasing the information overseas? Because of the involvement of the United States, there is currently a great deal of commotion, which is by no means a tide of public opinion that can be stirred up by ordinary people.
On June 18, the Central Political and Legal Committee’s WeChat public number “Chang’an Jian” took the initiative to announce the news of Dong Jingwei presiding over a counter-espionage symposium, which declared that “the Ministry of State Security pointed out that it is necessary to catch not only spies, but also ‘traitors’ and ‘behind-the-scenes gold masters’.”
But a number of foreign media, including the English-language South China Morning Post, which has a pro-China background, were concerned that the official media report gave no photos or video of the meeting with Dong Jingwei. The official use of the word “traitor” is quite suggestive.
The Chinese Communist Party’s State Security Department claimed to be trying to catch the “mole,” but Dong Jingwei was not confirmed to be at the meeting. At this critical moment, it is impossible to know whether Dong Jingwei is really in trouble or not, but it is important to know who he belongs to.
Is it related to the advance layout of the Chinese Communist Party’s national security system to protect the centenary of the founding of the party?
The author believes that this so-called “defection” of a high-ranking official may be related to the fierce struggle between various factions in the top echelons of the Communist Party before the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party.
The State Security Committee of the CPC Central Committee, established since Xi Jinping came to power, has always been secretive and has become a mysterious body to deal with so-called political risks.
In late April 2019, Chen Wenqing, deputy director of the CCP’s State Security Commission Office and head of the State Security Department, published an article about talking about Xi Jinping’s outlook on state security in the party media Quyi magazine, proposing to “create a safe and stable environment” for the 100th anniversary of the CCP’s founding, which is in 2021, meaning that a politically sensitive period is scheduled for three years.
Since 2019, the CCP’s top brass has frequently mentioned “political security” and “risk,” and the pace has accelerated. The Minister of National Security, Chen Wenqing, must have foreseen this when he announced three years ago that he wanted to ensure the stability of the party’s centennial, but now the door is closed and the storm over Dong Jingwei’s case before July 1 has suddenly risen.
The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible solution to the problem.
Chen Wenqing became secretary of the party committee of the Ministry of State Security in April 2015, and on November 7, 2016, he officially replaced Geng Huichang as minister of the Ministry of State Security.
Speaking of these figures, let’s take a look at the evolution of the power layout of the State Security system and what role Dong Jingwei plays in it.
A recent Radio Free Asia report said that Dong Jingwei has “close ties” with Xi Jinping, having served as head of the State Security Department in Hebei province, where he trained many of the people responsible for Xi’s security.
From the only publicly available information, Dong Jingwei, who was born in November 1963 in Zhao County, Hebei Province, served as secretary of the party committee and director of the Hebei Provincial State Security Department from Feb. 14, 2006, to March 30, 2017, and as vice minister of the Ministry of State Security in April 2018, where he served as director of the political department.
It is a bit far-fetched to assume that one is in Xi Jinping’s circle simply because he trained security personnel for him in Hebei. On the other hand, during the period when Dong Jingwei was in control of Hebei’s state security, when Zhou Yongkang, the Communist Party’s “King of Politics and Law,” was at the height of his power, Zhang Yue, a known confidant of Zhou Yongkang and the “King of Politics and Law” in Hebei, was reappointed Party Secretary of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Bureau in December 2007. In June 2008, he became the secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the CPC Hebei Provincial Committee and the director and party secretary of the Provincial Public Security Department, and in December 2008, he was promoted to the Standing Committee of the CPC Hebei Provincial Committee and the secretary of the Political and Legal Committee, and the director and party secretary of the Provincial Public Security Department. During that time, he served as the secretary of the Hebei Political and Legal Committee until his fall on April 16, 2016. Apparently, Zhang Yue and Dong Jingwei had a close working relationship.
The Communist Party’s state security system has long been controlled and infiltrated by Jiang faction bigwigs such as Zeng Qinghong and Zhou Yongkang, and thus Jiang faction people have been all over the state security system. Xu Yongyue, the minister of state security under Jiang Zemin, is a direct descendant of Jiang Zeng. Geng Huichang, Minister of State Security during Xi Jinping’s first term, is also a former member of Zhou Yongkang.
Geng Huichang, who was born in November 1951 and is a native of Hebei with Dong Jingwei, was appointed Minister of State Security in August 2007 and has been replaced by Chen Wenqing in November 2016.
Therefore, before Xi Jinping came to power, Dong Jingwei was a member of Zhou Yongkang’s inner circle, both as his local boss Zhang Yue and as his superior in the State Security Department Geng Huichang, which is telling, and it is more plausible to say that Dong was originally from Zhou Yongkang’s circle.
Is Dong Jingwei a passer-by or a fish out of water?
Xi Jinping deconstructed the state security system immediately after taking power, first single-handedly promoting the establishment of the State Security Commission, and then carrying out a major purge operation.
On July 29, 2014, Zhou Yongkang, the former secretary of the CCP’s Political and Legal Committee who had controlled the State Security system, was formally filed for investigation. Earlier that year, Liang Ke, the head of Beijing’s State Security Bureau, who was involved in wiretapping the top brass for Zhou Yongkang, had been taken away by the CCDI.
In January 2015, Ma Jian, vice minister of the Ministry of State Security, was reportedly a confidant of former CCP Vice President Zeng Qinghong and a close associate of Zhou Yongkang, the former secretary of the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee. There are also reports that Ma Jian is suspected of being linked to the investigation of Li You, a director of the Beifang Founder Group, and that he is also close to the former head of the Communist Party’s Central United Front Work Department, Ling Plan, who previously fell from power.
On June 26, 2015, Le Dake, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan People’s Congress, was investigated. Le Dake had long been in charge of the state security system in Jiangxi and Tibet. Le Dake was allegedly a close associate of Zeng Qinghong.
On January 19, 2015, Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao reported that Qiu Jin was being investigated by the Commission for Discipline Inspection for his close ties to Zhou Yongkang, and on February 12, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily published a lengthy article by Qiu Jin on the counterintelligence law to dispel the rumors.
On January 20, 2015, Xinhua reported that Xi Jinping, in a speech to officials in charge of the political and legal system, reiterated that the CCP has a firm grip on the “sword”. The report also said that 35 people, including state security and public security officials, were investigated under Zhou Yongkang’s leadership.
According to the Financial Times, hundreds of State Security agents have been purged or quietly removed from the Ministry of Security since Zhou Yongkang stepped down as secretary of the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs.
In addition, among the top State Security officials, in June 2018, Vice Minister Su Deliang, who had been immersed in the State Security and Public Security departments for more than 30 years, was transferred to head the Discipline Inspection and Supervision Group of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office.
The two 1953-born vice ministers, Dong Hai Zhou and Sun Yonghai, have both now moved to idle positions in the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Among the newcomers to the top level of state security, the one with a clearer public resume on the mainland online is Tang Chao, vice minister of the Ministry of State Security, who became assistant minister of the Ministry in January 2015. in July 2017, he became vice minister of the Ministry of State Security.
Chen Wenqing, the current party secretary and minister of the Ministry of State Security, has a complicated background. He was in the same class as Ma Jian, the vice minister under investigation, and was the head of the provincial security department and the prosecutor general during Zhou Yongkang’s rule in Sichuan, so he was considered a member of Zhou Yongkang’s “Sichuan gang. But he also worked for three years in the Discipline Inspection Commission headed by Wang Qishan.
In November 2016, the Hong Kong media disclosed that Xi Jinping had examined the candidate for minister of state security for more than a year, and it was difficult to introduce Chen Wenqing, but he was accused of being Zhou Yongkang’s man, and the reporting materials were even submitted to Xi Jinping. At the same time, some retired veteran cadres suggested to the Central Politburo to investigate the relationship between Zhou Yongkang and Chen Wenqing. For the sake of caution, Xi instructed to launch an investigation into Chen Wenqing.
Chen Wenqing was confirmed by official sources in May 2018 as the executive deputy director of the Central Office of State Security. This is also believed to have earned the trust of Xi Jinping.
So, does the fact that Dong Jingwei, who apparently belonged to Zhou Yongkang’s circle, remained safe after the fall of Zhou Yongkang and Zhang Yue, and finally rose to the top of the State Security Office, mean that he was also personally gauged by Xi Jinping? Does it mean that such a person will oppose Xi at a critical moment?
Of course, no matter which faction Dong Jingwei belongs to, or whether there is someone else who has fled, it does not mean that the defector himself represents justice, just like Wang Lijun, the Chongqing public security chief, who fled the U.S. Consulate at night with black information about the Chinese Communist Party, is also an executioner who participated in the persecution of human rights. Without powerful revelations about the Chinese Communist regime, it is clear that the defectors cannot erase the crimes they have committed over the years in the CCP’s political and legal system.