Xi Jinping is not mincing his words when it comes to the PLA, China’s military. In a recent speech, the president spoke to officers who had served under the powerful general Xu Caihou until Xu was very publicly snared by the wide net of China’s ongoing party purge. In his speech, Xi laid down the law, as Shanghai Daily reports:
Education is also needed to ensure that military personnel recognize the Party’s absolute leadership over the army and help them follow the orders of the Party and the commission at all times and under all situations, he said.
Xi also asked Party members and cadres to be strict in political discipline and rules.
The influence of Xu Caihou’s activities, which had violated Party rules and broke the law, had profoundly damaged army-building efforts, Xi said […]
The president said that the negative impact of Xu’s case had to be eradicated while the proud tradition and sound work style of the Red Army should be upheld and maintained to enhance the purity and solidarity of the military force.
Meanwhile outside the military, the purge of powerful Party officials continues apace. Using the rubric of a populist anti-corruption campaign, Xi has declared open season on anyone in China who would oppose him, and seemingly nobody is safe. Just this week, the antiseptically named Central Commission for Discipline Inspection brought the hammer down on yet another “tiger”, an official from the administration of Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao. The New York Times has more:
The charges against the official, Ling Jihua, 58, are the result of an internal investigation begun last December by the party’s Politburo, which found evidence that he took bribes, committed adultery and improperly hoarded a large amount of state and party “core secrets,” according to a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The decision to prosecute Mr. Ling, who once held a position akin to that of White House chief of staff under Mr. Hu, is the latest move by Mr. Hu’s successor, President Xi Jinping, as he seeks to scour the party of official corruption while purging his political rivals, experts say.
The steady, tightening scrutiny was almost identical to the methods used by Mr. Xi to topple other high-ranking officials, including Bo Xilai, a former Politburo member now serving life in prison on corruption charges and Zhou Yongkang, the former domestic security chief and retired member of the Politburo standing committee who was sentenced to life in prison last month. Both were accused of conspiring directly against Mr. Xi.
Clearly, Xi thinks his plan to consolidate power in his own hands is going well. And he’s right. The fact that he can get away with publicly tongue-lashing the PLA and locking up any Party member who’s not in his good books leaves little doubt that there’s a new game in China.