Sunday, September 24

Xi Jinping purges his own cabinet to put an end to the corruption.

Recent high-profile disappearances from the PLA and government have made corruption a deeply embedded aspect of China’s political landscape.

Despite Chairman Xi Jinping’s lack of explanation, the replacement of the top two generals of PLA Rocket Force and the disappearance of Foreign Minister Qin Gang are indicative of corruption charges in China. QIN was removed from power by a decree signed on 25 July.

The ex-ambassador to the USA, Qin, who is a passionate supporter of Xi and arguably his most prominent celebrity, is believed to have had arranged marriage and child with Phoenix TV presenter Fu xiaotian, but has not been seen since she took up the foreign ministerial role until December 2022.

The Foreign Ministry website has announced that Wang has been recalled from his previous position as head diplomat, replacing him with the “wolf warrior” who held the post of foreign minister for only 207 days. As a result, Chinese citizens are equally interested in Qin’s future as they are to the outside world, with searches on Baidu show 5,000% increase in just one week in mid-July!

The PLARF, a central force in China’s nuclear-missile arsenal, is experiencing significant turmoil, which could be more concerning than Qin’S future. In the most severe purge in ten years, both General Li Yuchao and General Ling Guangbin were ousted from their positions after being out of the public eye for several months.

General Li’s absence from a promotion ceremony chaired by Xi in late June was noticeable, with his eyebrows raised.

In addition to controlling conventional and nuclear-tipped missiles, the PLARF would also have a crucial role in any attack on Taiwan. General Li’s appointment as the chief of staff for China’S nuclear arsenal highlights his status among Xi’sian top officials, who were promoted to this position in January 2022.

General Wang Houbin, who was once the deputy commander of the PLA Navy, has been appointed as the new commander and the newly promoted naval and air force officers have been named in a ceremony in Beijing on 31 July.

The appointment of individuals not affiliated with the PLARF to lead the organization is unprecedented. This provides ample evidence that Xi worries about the loyalty and integrity of the institution, as well as potential issues related to leaked military information. Although the Rocket Force is one of China’s most secretive organizations, Western analysts have a fairly good understanding of its structure, personnel, and equipment.

Cercius Group, a Canadian consultancy that monitors Chinese politicians, stated that the situation of around ten senior PLARF officers is unclear. In late 2018, Cercias revealed that lower-level PLARP officials were detained in late 2022. Although no official proclamation was issued by Beijing, this is typical for this type of corruption.

Xi’s decision to assign missile force leadership to unexperienced commanders is a clear indication of his lack of trust in the PLARF hierarchy and its ability to predict future war campaigns against Taiwan.

Previously known as the Second Artillery Corps, the PLARF was only elevated to full-service in January 2016. The arrest of its top leaders is a significant setback for the Rocket Force. No other PLA service has been subjected to this level of humiliation.

It is worth mentioning that the PLARF’s leadership was not appointed by Xi himself, which shows that he is as flawed as anyone else in judging character. Despite this, despite his consolidation of power, his authority is far from complete. There are valid reasons for why the Chinese government should remain loyal to the CCP at all times.

The PLARF has received significant funding from China’s nuclear strategy, and it appears that this unexpected cash injection was too much for the local government to ignore.

Hu Wenming, the former head of CSIC, who managed China’s aircraft carrier program, was expelled from the CCP in January 2021 for “grave violations of party discipline and causing great damage to the national interest”, while his subordinate Sun Bo was treated similarly.

The disappearance and defeat of the PLARF leaders and the country’s foreign minister demonstrate that Xi’ influence is not entirely exclusive, and there are still widespread flaws in this tightly managed communist regime. These flawes challenge xi’s power by destroying the paramount leader’ reputation, as all were appointed by him directly.

The Central Military Commission (CMC) called for an inquiry into corruption in the procurement of military equipment over the past six years and established an early warning mechanism for integrity risks in China.

To what degree is corruption present in the PLA and CCP? In early June, the CCDI disclosed that over 39 senior military and political figures have been apprehended since the 20th Party Congress in October 2022. The commission stated its commitment to eliminating corruption with a zero-tolerance approach.

Since 2012, almost five million lower-level officials and thousands of higher-ranking officials have been imprisoned.

The CCDI recognized in 2015 the dual-sided approach of Xi’s anti-graft program, which has been proven to have negative effects on the party and its reputation.

Nowadays, corruption is much less significant compared to the massive amounts of corruption it was ten years ago. Military officers would siphon off money from military contracts, use military property and resources for profit-making side businesses, and purchase or sell promotions that were almost necessary to advance in a military career. Millions of dollars were transferred offshore for personal use, while personnel and their families could eventually move abroad to enjoy their ill-gotten gains.

The PLA has a track record of remarkable arrests, including the 2014 convictions of two former CMC vice-chairmen for corruption. Xu Caihou, who was accused of taking bribes worth at least CNY1 billion, died from cancer in 2015 before Guo was charged, and Vice-Admiral Ma Faxiang committed suicide in 2014 by jumping to his death.

The recent high-profile cases may have caused Xi to believe that the current military leaders are no longer as scared as they used to be. This event will therefore reinvigorate xi’s anti-graft drive within the military and instill fear of being caught, as the old Chinese saying goes: “Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.”

General Fang Fenhui, former Chief of the Joint Staff of PLA, was sentenced to life in prison in 2019 for other high-profile corruption cases. In November 2017, General Zhang Yang, who headed the CMC’s Political Work Department, took his own life after being investigated.

Anti-corruption inspection units were introduced by the PLA in various departments and theater commands around 2016. This approach was similar to what was done in the civil sector, but Xi believes that it will take years to completely remove corruption from the communist system.

Deng Xiaoping famously declared that “becoming wealthy is glorious” during his economic reforms in the 1980s, and in a society where wealth is more important than prosperity, few would dare to follow suit. In contrast, China’s dual-track economy has seen private entrepreneurs, state enterprise representatives, local officials, politicians unduly supporting each other, as growth goes hand in hand with corruption; with no firewalls between the government and CCP, the state permeates everywhere. Despite this, he does not advocate for political liberalization of higher-level levels of business

China’s GDP in 2015 was estimated to be 12%, which is the proportion of bribes, or “grey income”. However, corruption does not always align with global trends, and the economy grew rapidly despite rampant corruption.

In the past, Xi has made a warning about the presence of careerist and conspiratoric individuals who are undermining the party’s governance. We must take measures to eliminate these issues and prevent future violations.

Despite the abundance of free press, independent judiciary, and non-political investigation branch in China, Xi Jinping is not actively working to address corruption, according to Ian Easton, Senior Director at the Project 2049 Institute. He believes that under his leadership, corruption in the PRC has become more widespread than it has been previously believed.

Easton pointed out that China’s corrupt system is largely due to the presence of a powerful opposition party, which has been observed in every aspect of PRC society.

It is unsurprising that corruption within the PLA poses a direct threat to national security. This leads to misappropriation of funds, promotions at the expense of the talented, fosters incompetence at higher levels, and cultivates patronage networks instead of CCP rule.

China’s economy has failed to recover despite the disappearance of its foreign minister and top nuclear force commanders. This is in contrast to the dismal economic conditions experienced by other countries during the COVID period.

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