GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
In January 2021, President Xi Jinping declared corruption as “the biggest risk in the Party’s governance”. This is not new. In his early articles Xi stressed that the People would lose faith in the Party if officials were corrupt – took money for favours – and got away with it.
The West misrepresents the policy as Xi merely removing rivals + challengers to his leading role. They miss the point. The Party has to be above suspicion. The campaign has to be relentless.
Dong Hong was a former leading anti-corruption investigator. He will shortly be tried in Qingdao for allegedly accepting “extremely large bribes” according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. Dong is accused of “seeking benefits” while working as a senior inspector at the Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Dong has also been a close associate of former Vice-President Wang Qishan who, himself, oversaw an anti-corruption campaign that brought down senior party + government officials at state-owned enterprises. Wang was the top party official in Hainan before becoming Mayor of Beijing in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics.
There is a precedent. Ling Jihua was an aide to former President Hu Jintao. Ling was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after being found guilty of corruption.
Corruption is a fact of life. It has to be combatted otherwise the People will turn away from the Party. The campaign is relentless + far-reaching.