martes, 25 de agosto de 2015

China: "This is a test of the leadership's ability to execute its mission."

We have reason to believe the unthinkable is happening to China's president

by Linette Lopez

The one thing the West has taken for granted in China is that the Chinese Communist Party is unified behind its leadership.

But now, under the pressure of an economic slowdown and a stock market in free fall, we are likely seeing the CCP fracture in a way we've never seen before.

It seems some factions within the party are turning away from President Xi Jinping behind closed doors and at high-level retreats.

This is what we know. 

Not known for subtlety

Nothing that's run in China's state-run media is there by accident, and in the last few weeks the government has been sending less-than-veiled messages to power brokers, especially retired officials, within the party.

The message is simple: Back off.

"It should become a norm for officials to relinquish their power after retirement," said an editorial published earlier this month in government mouthpiece The People's Daily.

The government has the means to take down whoever it thinks isn't falling in line. Xi's regime has been engaged in a far-reaching anticorruption campaign for more than a year that many experts believe is his way of getting rid of any opposition and consolidating party power.

The People's Daily article made reference to that investigation and cited Zhou Yongkang — the country's former security czar and the highest-level official to be taken down since the days of Mao Zedong — as an example of someone who didn't know how to relinquish his power.

He'll probably have time to figure it out in jail, where the 76-year-old will likely spend the rest of his days serving a sentence for corruption.


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