On July 1, the Chinese Communist Party held a “birthday party” in Beijing, with 70,000 people attending, more than 100,000 police officers guarding, and hundreds of thousands of people providing logistical support, and the whole of China suffering. In Guangdong province, for example, the epidemic had already slowed down, but residents of Guangzhou, Foshan, and other cities were not allowed to leave, and were only unsealed on July 2. There was also severe flooding everywhere, but the news was not allowed to report it, and local governments would not report it to ask for assistance because they could not add to the centennial of the Party. There were also confirmed cases in Yunnan, for example, but they could not be reported until after July 1.
Of course, there are also those that cannot be covered up, such as Hong Kong, where a police officer was attacked on July 1 and the attacker committed suicide, which overshadowed all the news of the “birthday celebration” on July 1 and turned it into a bloodbath, which is quite unlucky.
On July 1, Xi Jinping also talked about the word “blood” on Tiananmen Square, “head broken blood”, “the Great Wall of Flesh and Blood”, etc. It is not auspicious for the Chinese to say this on their birthday. But Xi’s speech actually reflects the fear of the Chinese Communist Party, both externally and internally. The Great Wall of Flesh and Blood, Xi Jinping said is more than 1.4 billion people, but the real work to build the city, mainly by the flesh and blood of the military and police.
Since last year, there have been various rumors of CCP infighting, and even news of attempted coups, which are indistinguishable from the truth. But judging from the various measures taken by the CCP itself, I am afraid these rumors are not empty.
First, the political and legal system. The CCP launched a major purge of the political and legal system last year, which has not yet ended. Senior officials who have fallen include Sun Lijun, vice minister of the Ministry of Public Security, Deng Guolin, vice mayor and public security chief of Chongqing, and Gong Daogan, vice mayor and public security chief of Shanghai, all three of whom are at the vice ministerial level. Other public security systems have fallen, with more than a hundred public security chiefs at the county level and above, and many in the court and procuratorate systems, in addition to the fallen and suicides. For example, on April 17, Ma Lina, director of the political department of the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate, fell to her death in her residence. Ma Lina was a judge of Beijing No. 1 Central Court, and was also the vice president and a member of the trial committee of Beijing No. 1 Central Court.
In addition to Judge Ma in Beijing, Zhang Mian, a female judge at the Hangzhou Central Court, died last July, also rumored by the Internet to have fallen to her death at the age of 41.
So far this year, the CCP’s purge of the Political and Legal Committee continues, and top officials continue to fall.
For example, Tan Xiaorong, deputy secretary of Chongqing’s Political and Legal Committee, was double-opened on May 24; Yu Donghui, secretary of Zhengzhou’s Political and Legal Committee, was arrested on May 20; Hui Congbing, deputy secretary of Shandong’s Political and Legal Committee, “surrendered” on May 14; Jiang Kaixin, deputy secretary of Guangdong’s Political and Legal Committee, fell on May 11; Chen Wenmin, deputy secretary of Guangdong’s Political and Legal Committee, was investigated on Jan. 17; and Wu Wu, deputy secretary of Inner Mongolia’s Political and Legal Committee, was arrested on Jan. 17. Inner Mongolia Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee Wu Guorui was investigated on February 26, Xinjiang Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee Dai Guanghui was double-opened and transferred to the judiciary on March 14, Sanya City, Hainan Province, Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee Chen Xiaoya was investigated on January 15. There are also smaller officials, Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee Yuan Weixiang was investigated and so on.
The regime that relies on violence to control the state and society relies mainly on two monopolistic instruments of violence, one is the police and the second is the military. The Chinese call it the knife handle and the gun barrel. The cleanup of the military has long been carried out by the current top CCP rulers because that one is more important, but by now the cleanup of the military is still not fully completed.
On July 5, Xi Jinping promoted and ranked four admirals. This should have been a joyous event for the Communist Party’s military, and should have been scheduled as part of a series of Party celebrations, but instead took place in a low-key manner after the Party celebration. Video from the party media shows the promotion and ranking ceremony still taking place in a small conference room in Beijing’s Bayi building, with dozens of people similar in size to last year, and Xi Jinping’s face still not smiling; the replacement of the four promoted admirals also reveals an unusual meaning, and it is hard to say whether Xi’s military power has been further consolidated or there are deeper concerns.
The promotion to the rank of general includes: Southern Theater Commander Wang Xubin, Western Theater Commander Xu Qi zero, Army Commander Liu Zhenli, and Strategic Support Force Commander Ju Gangsheng.
These four people have just been promoted to the military region or military rank chief officer, it is not unexpected to get the rank of general. Two of them replaced the former retired chief officer; the strange thing is that the other two replaced the chief officer who had not yet retired, and the current whereabouts of those replaced are unknown, and the reasons for their removal are unclear.
The most intriguing replacement for the Western Theater chief is Zhang Xudong, who retired in December 2020 as the former commander of the Western Theater, and was replaced by Xu Qi zero in June this year, who was promoted to general on July 5.
Zhang Xudong, who was replaced, had served in the Thirty-ninth Army Group of the Shenyang Military Region for a long time. The 39th Army is responsible for defending Beijing and is considered a forbidden army, which must be in the hands of close associates. After Xi Jinping came to power, Zhang Xudong was promoted to commander of the 39th Army Group in 2014, indicating that he was a close friend; after the military reform in 2016, he was promoted to deputy commander of the central war zone and commander of the army in the war zone. on Oct. 1, 2019, Zhang Xudong served as deputy commander-in-chief of the National Day parade ceremony, almost considered a red person under Xi Jinping. in December 2020, Zhang Xudong was promoted to commander of the western war zone and promoted to general. The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to its customers.
Xu Qi zero this year is also 59 years old, the main experience is also in the army; after the military reform in 2016, as the deputy commander of the central war zone army, equivalent to Zhang Xudong’s deputy; in 2018 was promoted to the eastern war zone army commander. 2020 April, Xu Qi zero transferred to the western war zone army commander, in June this year was promoted to the western war zone commander. Xu Qi zero was promoted to lieutenant general in December 2019, and then to general 1.5 years later, which is a soaring promotion.
If Zhang Xudong to the western war zone is just gold-plated, and after that a high promotion is not known, but there is no further information, it is difficult to confirm whether he may be promoted or something happened, if he was cleansed, should be considered a not small earthquake within the Chinese Communist Party military.
The unusual change of command may be related to the Sino-Indian border. After Zhang Xudong took charge of the Western Theater, he may have disappointed Xi Jinping with his handling of the Sino-Indian border, while Xu Qizhi, the army commander of the Western Theater, may have proposed a more satisfactory solution to Xi Jinping and was promoted; or Zhang Xudong may have really had a major incident and there was no one else available for the time being, so Xu Qizhi was promoted. Recently, Chinese and Indian troops started to gather at the border again, which is probably not unrelated to this.
The chief of the strategic support unit is also unusual. The commander of the Strategic Support Unit was originally Li Fengbiao, now less than 62 years old and at least three years away from retirement, but left in June this year; his successor, Ju Gangsheng, was also promoted to general this time.
Li Fengbiao started from the grassroots level and served as the commander of the airborne division, army chief of staff and army commander; he was promoted to deputy commander of the Chengdu Military Region in 2014; after the military reform in 2016, Li Fengbiao served as deputy commander and chief of staff of the Central War Zone; he was promoted to commander of the Strategic Support Force in 2019 and promoted to general, and is also a member of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Li Fengbiao has not reached retirement age, why early retirement, there is no exact news, almost 62 years old should no longer have much room for upward mobility, the possibility of a flat transfer is greater, if nothing happens, it is also possible for the successor to vacate the position. However, the successor, Ju Gangsheng, who is actually a few months older than Li Fengbiao, has turned 62 and was formerly the deputy head of the Technical Investigation Department of the General Staff; in 2018, he was the commander of the Network Systems Department of the Strategic Support Forces. Ju Gansheng was promoted to lieutenant general in 2019 and to commander of the Strategic Support Force in June this year, and this time to general, which is also a rapid promotion.
However, replacing senior officer Li Fengbiao, who is not yet 62 years old, with a mid-ranking officer over 62 years old, seems out of line, unless Li Fengbiao is highly trusted by Xi Jinping and needs to take on other important positions, but something may have happened.
It certainly cannot be ruled out that Xi Jinping wants to upgrade the specifications of his cyber forces in preparation for a larger cyber war with the United States. As the U.S. and Western countries are tightening their technology blockade against the CCP, cyber theft by the CCP will undoubtedly assume a larger role and become more rampant.
In addition, Wang Xubin, who just assumed command of the Southern Theater, was promoted to general this time, replacing Yuan Yubai, who retired as former commander of the Southern Theater. Yuan Yubai is the only naval general among the chief officers of the five major war zones of the Communist Party.
He served in the Qingdao Submarine Base, where he was the base commander, and then the commander of the North Sea Fleet. 2016, after the military reform, Yuan Yubai became the deputy commander of the Northern War Zone and the commander of the Navy of the Northern War Zone; in 2017, he was transferred to the commander of the Southern War Zone, becoming the first naval general to serve as the commander of the war zone, retiring in June this year.
The main operational direction of the Southern Theater should be the South China Sea, the Communist Party of China’s Shandong aircraft carrier assigned to Hainan Sanya base, including the first 075 amphibious assault ship just commissioned; in addition, the main base of the Communist Party of China’s strategic nuclear submarines are also in Hainan Sanya.
So the original commander of the Southern Theater is the Navy, which is considered logical. This time Wang Xiubin was promoted to commander of the Southern Theater again, 1.5 years after his promotion to lieutenant general and then to admiral, which is also considered a spike. But the Southern Theater Commander from the Navy to the Army, this change is noteworthy.
The military confrontation between China and the United States in the South China Sea is heating up, and if the Chinese Communist Party attacks Taiwan, I’m afraid it will be mainly a matter for the navy and air force, and Wang Xubin, as an army general, can be the commander of the southern war zone, does it mean that the Chinese Communist Party has changed its military planning? It is hard to say, but perhaps political loyalty is more important.
The other general promoted this time is Liu Zhenli, who just replaced the former army commander Han Weiguo, who retired at the end of the year and seems to have little to look forward to.
The promotion ceremony on July 5 was quietly scheduled after the party celebration, and the unusual replacement of the chief officers of the western war zone and strategic support forces is perhaps the main reason. It is likely that it was precisely because it was not good news for the CCP military that it was not included in the Party Day series, or that certain senior officers may have given Xi Jinping such a hard time that Xi could not even smile from the Tiananmen Square on July 1.
After Xi Jinping took over the military power, he kept cleaning the officer system arranged by the previous dynasty, and after the strong implementation of the military reform, it did have the effect of reshuffling, but still could only promote from the original officers, some got promoted quickly, but had to carry out a big transfer of officers from east to west and north to south, whether they are really loyal should always be doubted.
Whether or not there may be a more shocking story behind this change of chief officers in the war zones or military branches, it is certain that loyalty to Xi Jinping is increasingly becoming the foremost prerequisite for officer promotion. The facts suggest that Xi’s concerns about military power should continue unabated.