søndag 11. oktober 2020

Behind Xi Jinping’s Steely Façade, a Leadership Crisis Is Smoldering in China

Even after years of intensifying authoritarian rule under Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief Xi Jinping, the 18-year prison term handed down in late September to real estate mogul and social media commentator Ren Zhiqiang — a de facto life sentence for the 69-year-old man — came as a shock to many inside and outside China.

Although Ren’s penalty was unusually harsh for a party insider with no political power or ambitions of his own, it fit a recent pattern in which the regime has lashed out with greater intensity against Xi’s perceived enemies within the ruling elite. The punitive actions and targets — particularly those in the party’s propaganda, education, and security systems — indicate that the party chief’s grip on power may not be as firm as it appears.