tirsdag 5. oktober 2021

He helped bring down one of China's most corrupt officials. So why is the country cheering his downfall?

Once a rising star in law enforcement and widely regarded ally of Xi Jinping, he was the man in charge of a special investigation that brought down the most powerful official in the Chinese President's sweeping anti-corruption campaign. Fu Zhenghua, China's former justice minister and deputy police chief, seemed to have all the stars aligned for a high-flying official career. But instead, the 66-year-old has now become a target himself in Xi's relentless crackdown on graft and disloyalty, which critics say has also been used to purge political rivals.

On Saturday, the ruling Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog announced Fu is under investigation for "serious violations of party discipline and law." The one-sentence statement did not offer any details, yet intriguingly sparked an outpouring of cheers and applause online -- from rank-and-file police officers and prison guards to investigative journalists, human rights lawyers and intellectuals.

In Xi's China, the purges of political rising stars and powerful officials have become a common occurrence. But what's remarkable about Fu's downfall is how widely it is being celebrated -- both by people working for the regime, and by those who have been subject to its repression.