The battle inside the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to determine the core components of the next regime remains fierce.
A U.S.based media cited sources saying that the CCP’s high-level officials continued to send signals of tense infighting ahead of the Beidaihe meeting in August.
In the latest sign, the Guangxi officialdom has turned abnormal.
The Guangxi Party Committee held a plenary meeting on April 17. It shouted the Cultural Revolution-style slogan: “Always support the leader, defend the leader, and follow the leader.”
The slogan shows their loyalty to General Secretary Xi Jinping. Thus Guangxi became the first local government to promote Xi for re-election.
Then the Guangxi Party Committee launched a feature film touting Xi Jinping. A week later, Guangxi launched another “Xi Thought” pocketbook propaganda wave. They posted various photos of people holding pocketbooks on the official website.
These god-making movements in Guangxi have pushed Xi Jinping into an embarrassing situation. The outside world linked him with Mao Zedong, who launched the Cultural Revolution.
On May 11, reports emerged that Nanning, the capital of Guangxi, ordered the recall and destruction of the “Xi Thought” pocketbooks.
Netizens also reported that the photos and reports on “Xi Thoughts” on the Guangxi government’s official website could not be found, which means they were deleted.
And the feature film praising Xi could not be found on the official website.
The CCP’s deletion of their reports came amid rampant speculations about internal struggles.
Guangxi’s sudden action may be because its leaders see the infighting in the CCP and uncertain direction.
In the 19th National Congress, Xi Jinping reached a compromise with Jiang Zeng and other political opponents. This allowed him to successfully amend the constitution to remove the term limit, but it also planted hidden dangers.
With the 20th National Congress approaching, the anti-Xi faction has moved to fight back. They are using topics such as diplomacy, economy, people’s livelihood, and Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President Wang Qishan to attack Xi Jinping.
A Wall Street Journal report cited sources saying that dissatisfaction with Xi Jinping inside the CCP increases before the next congress. People are worried about his practice of putting ideology over giving priority to the economy. That is providing an opportunity to Premier Li Keqiang. Li is in charge of the economy and has suddenly become active in the last year of his term.
According to the report, Xi Jinping wants Li Qiang, Shanghai’s party secretary, to be the next prime minister. But the Covid outbreak in Shanghai has made Li Qiang questionable within the party. In the meantime, Li Keqiang’s preferred successors, Wang Yang and Hu Chunhua have begun to gain more support.
Wang Yang is ahead of China’s top government-advisory body, and Hu Chunhua is a current vice-premier in charge of trade and foreign investment.
The CCP Politburo is a 25-member central decision-making body, and it will determine the composition of the next Politburo Standing Committee during the Beidaihe meeting this summer. And the competition for the next prime minister will reflect the degree of Xi Jinping’s control of power.