GJust six senior officials in China's security apparatus were sentenced this week: three former provincial police chiefs on Wednesday, a former justice minister and a former political commissar on Thursday, and, to top it off, a former deputy minister of public security on Friday. The choreography of the judgments was no accident. The men are accused of forming a "political clique" together. Heads of state and party leaders sensed behind such networks Xi Jinping Germs for the rise of political opponents.
Former Deputy Minister of Public Security, Sun Lijun, who was sentenced to death on Friday. However, the execution was suspended for two years and is then to be commuted to life imprisonment. The court in Jilin Province charged him with corruption, stock market manipulation and illegal possession of firearms.
culmination of a cleanup campaign
Earlier, the Communist Party's disciplinary commission had broken the baton: "Sun Lijun has formed a clique for personal gain, cultivated personal power and interest groups, and thus seriously endangered political security," an official of the supervisory authority said in a television documentary , which aired in January. His rope team is a “typical example” of extremes corruption and decadence. So an example should be made of Sun. The remarks came from a prime-time television four-part series entitled "No Tolerance," which praised Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign.
The former deputy minister himself appeared in the same documentary. In an allegedly coerced "confession," he revealed his "political clique" and that he accepted bribes totaling the equivalent of $14 million in 2011, much of it hidden in boxes of seafood. Such televised confessions are part of Chinese show justice.
The suspected financier Wang Like, former deputy provincial head of the Jiangsu Political and Legal Affairs Commission, was also sentenced to a suspended death penalty, effectively life imprisonment, on Thursday. The same applies to former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua, who was accused of corruption and lack of loyalty to Xi Jinping. Sun also "confessed" to buying apartments for the children of former Shanghai Party leader Gong Daoan and finding jobs for his family. Gong was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday.
It is no coincidence that the verdicts were handed down three weeks before the Communist Party Congress, which takes place every five years and at which Xi Jinping plans to further cement his power. They are to be understood as a warning to potential adversaries. The trials are the dramatic culmination of a campaign to purge the security and judicial apparatus launched two years ago. The accompanying slogans, "Drive the blade inward," "Scrape the poison from the bones," and "Sort out the harmful members of the herd," evoked purges of Mao's day.
Party policy "criticized without reason"
With the campaign, Xi Jinping secured absolute control over the judiciary and security apparatus. In June, Wang Xiaohong, a close associate of the party leader, was promoted to head the Ministry of Public Security. The two have known each other from Fujian Province since the 1990s. When Xi was governor there, Wang rose to become deputy chief of the local police department. He was also responsible for Xi's personal security at the time, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. Since he took power as party leader in 2012, Wang's career has skyrocketed. Even then, Xi took on the security apparatus. In an unprecedented move, he arrested and tried former security chief Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of the main body of power, the Politburo Standing Committee.
This week's trials are also intended to serve as a reminder of how corrupt and nepotistic the party was when Xi Jinping took over. His anti-corruption campaign secured him popular approval and at the same time the opportunity to eliminate potential rivals and free up positions for his own confidants. The political trials are never just about corruption, but also about a lack of loyalty and loyalty to the party line. Under Xi's leadership, ideological steadfastness has become the most important criterion for promotion and exclusion. The relevant guidelines of the party have just been tightened again. It states that those "who are fickle in their ideals and beliefs," who lack the fighting spirit, misjudge the party's political achievements, or whose wives and children have emigrated are considered unsuitable for leadership positions.
When Sun Lijun, the former vice minister, was expelled from the party last year, the reason given was that he had shown "excessive political ambition and a lack of political integrity" by "baselessly criticizing the party's policies and spreading political rumours." In this way he undermined the unity and political security of the party.