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China: Killing chickens, not for bird flu

A corruption probe has led to the dismissal of Chen Liangyu, the highest-ranked Communist official in Shanghai and key member of former Chairman Jiang Zemin‘s Shanghai Gang, a rival faction to the current administration headed by Chairman Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Where the hundred million dollars has gone is not yet clear, and most bloggers have focussed on the possible political motivation behind the bust, which—perhaps in preparation for next year's 17th National Congress—seems to have been a serious blow to the second-strongest political alliance in China today.

Zhang Tianju:


On the evening of September 23, Chen Yuliang was still with Shanghai mayor Han Zheng and others, watching the Shanghai international track & field championships in the Shanghai Sports Stadium.
Shanghai officials above district and bureau chief were all forced to surrender their passports, in the event they try and flee.
Past Shanghai Party secretary [equivalent to mayor in Party hierarchy] and current member of the political standing committee Huang Ju's political future is being considered. The Shanghai pension fund case involves an amount which reaches into the tens of billions of RMB. According to overseas Chinese media reports, Huang's wife Yu Huiwen is a key figure in the pension funds case.
Officials at the district level and above's passports and Hong Kong and Macau travel permits were required to be handed in for safekeeping. Officials at the deputy level and above, in the case they need to leave the country, must report to the central discipline and inspection committee members and the central organization department for approval.

David Peng at An Anachronist's Life:


Before this, before the pension funds case had been made public, Huang Ju was already off on sick leave. Since then, affairs have taken a sudden turn for the worse and Chen Liangyu's dismissal will come any day now. The day before yesterday, Wu Guanzheng wrote an article in which he said, ‘the punishment will come to those up top’. Overseas Chinese media are all discussing whether the sword is pointing at Chen Liangyu or Huang Ju.

MSN Spaces blogger Yao Whai suggests that for all the talk in Beijing off cracking down on corruption, it seems the biggest busts only come every ten years or so, and heavily politicized at that:

陈良宇被抓了,2006年9月的事情,陈希同被抓,1996年的大事;陈良宇,上海市第一把手,陈希同,北京市的第一把手;陈良宇2006年,距离2010 年上海世博会尚有4年而下水,陈希同1996年,距离2000年奥运会(当时北京申办2000年奥运会)4年而落网;陈良宇因为挪用社保基金而犯事,陈希同由于贪污奥运会资金而犯科;1996年陈希同(北京人)被老江(上海帮)抓,2006年陈良宇(上海人)被小胡(北京)抓;陈良宇,上海大都市,陈希同,北京大都市;他姓陈,他也姓陈;都因为贪!

Chen Liangyu was arrested, happened in September 2006. Chen Xitong‘s arrest was the big event of 1996. Chen Yuliang, Shanghai city's #1 hand, and Chen Xitong, Beijing city's #1 hand. Chen Liangyu in 2006, just four years away from the 2010 World Expo to be held in Shanghai. Chen Xitong in 1996 was caught just four years before the 2000 Olympics (Beijing had bid at the time to host the 2000 Olympics); Chen Liangyu for the crime of embezzling pension funds; Chen Xitong for graft with the Olympics monies. In 1996 Chen Xitong (Beijinger) was caught by Jiang Zemin (Shanghainese). In 2006 Chen Liangyu (Shanghainese) was caught by Hu Jintao (Beijinger) [sic]. Chen Liangyu got what was coming, maybe ten years from now, that'll be 2016, some city in China will bid to host some large-scale international event in 2020, and the #1 hand in that city will get busted for something or another, and I bet this person will even be surnamed Chen!

Chinese News Net blogger Li Youqi:

江泽民当初搞掉北京帮,现在被他人用相同的手法干掉自己的小兄弟。 报应轮回。
各路诸侯的反应也将会很有趣。估计现在还 in shock。

Kill someone to establish authority, kill the chicken to scare the monkey [and set an example]. Hu Jintao has finally made his move. Early on I had underestimated him.
Jiang Zemin got rid of the Beijing gang early on, now his own little brother has been gotten rid of by others using similar tactics. What goes around comes around.
I imagine Little Chen [Liangyu] was cast away by Old Jiang, who cut his losses to save the mission. Presumably, Little Hu [Jintao] will stop with Chen Liangyu, let Huang Ju off easy, let him back out. But if Old Jiang gives up just like that, won't the Shanghai Gang be done in? Once he's gone, what will be left for his children? That's why Old Jiang won't just give up so easily, for sure there will be a counterattack. Reactions from feudal lords of all stripes will be interesting. I imagine they're all still in shock.

Sohu blogger Vagabond:


With regards to Chen Liangyu, the investigation into secretary Qin Yu was a key moment. If Chen Liangyu had just cooperated with the central government, he would have been able to avoid this disaster and wouldn't have had to leave office, and eventually would have end up on the political standing committee, in a seat similar to Huang Ju's. “The way I see it, until now Chen Liangyu has only advanced as half as high as he could, but now his power has fallen away, and even the probability of being retained in an empty post on the political standing committee isn't half of what it was, but the likelihood that he will be completely taken out is very low.”
Huang Ju and Cheng Liangyu have a very complicated relationship. They rely on each other. If Huang Ju's wife Yu Huiwen really has gotten deeply involved in Shanghai's welfare industry, with Chen Liangyu as Shanghai's #1 hand, it just goes to show what great economic benefits the wife of central government political standing committee members have. “Huang Ju's wife Yu Huiwen has countless sorts of contacts within Shanghai's social welfare. We can make two assumptions: one is that she deeply wrapped up in this case in an economic sense, and the second is to assume that those are all just rumors. But be it in politics or in human affairs, they are acting in collusion.”

Rookie on the Road from the Gansu Daily bbs:


That Chen Liangyu was on bad terms with central government top leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao was never a secret, but he probably never put too much thought into this problem. First off, due to is special economic status, Shanghai has had many kinds of long-existing conflicts with the central government, and always will. But then, third generation leader *** [Jiang Zemin] has had a post-retirement plan for some time now. The municipal party committee secretary for the hometown of the Shanghai gang is guaranteed to go to someone who can be trusted, that's why Chen Liangyu dared to keep out of line with the central government over the long-term. That's also why Old Jiang [Zemin]'s backing him up from behind the scenes.
Before all this there was a rumor that because State Department first Vice-Premier (former Shanghai Party Secretary) Huang Ju is suffering from cancer, Hu and Wen hoped he would give the post to someone more qualified. Jiang Zemin's attitude to this was that to let Huang Ju retire was fine, and current Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu would take over. Apparently, this kind of personnel readjustment was one the new central government administration had a hard time accepting. That's why they preferred a sick Huang Ju over a healthy [Chen] Liangyu.

MSN Spaces blogger Kujes:


The city party committee secretary is out of office! And it's a senior official at that.
Most commentary says that it was politics that led to him stepping down, leading to the downfall of the so-called ‘Shanghai Gang‘. It seems a little too early for a last word, but I hope it's not so, rather that it's the new generation of leaders doing their jobs. Managing the state of a country has never been a question of relying on ideology, theory, documents or consciousness, but in fact relies on the law and a system. In facing down challenges in the new century, old methods are cleary not suited to remain in use, and their abuse becomes more and more apparent. People have been grumbling about this for a long while. It's easy to kill a single corrupt official, but to stop a thousand of them is not. If the new generation of leaders are in fact wake up to the situation, free their arms and legs and start getting at it, if this incident foretells change, a turning point, then it truly would be the good fortune of the nation and the people.
Some people say I'm too positive, but one can't always only see shortcomings and the gloomy side, right? I hope my optimism doesn't amount to nothing.
I hope this is not just a passing wind.


  • onlooker

    All the Chinese people is watching this political affair trend, who can guess what’s the next step from Beijing Authority? Will there be a drastical violence dispute betwwen the two rival sides ? Who will win finally ? Wish some high rank corrupted officals would be defeated at last. Most Chinese prefer to this result if possible.

  • 瓶中沙


  • Translation of comment #2 supplied by GV Chinese language editor John Kennedy:

    Always such a big ruckus.

    The common people are the ones who get hurt the most. China’s political system definitely needs to change.’

  • […] Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu was removed from his post last September (post blocked in China) following a corruption probe into misuse of Shanghai social security funds, […]

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