Top Chinese Official Hedges Bets, Switches Allegiance

By Lin Feng

On June 11, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

Jia Qinglin in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2009. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

Jia Qinglin in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2009. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the officials who had a hand in the largest smuggling case in modern-day China is maneuvering himself within the Party in an apparent attempt to survive the current purge.

Politburo Standing Committee member Jia Qinglin has taken steps to distance himself from former Party leader Jiang Zemin and his cronies, seemingly with the intent of sticking by the next leader, Xi Jinping.

Jia played an unusually active role in the recent removal of Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai—a show of allegiance to the new generation of leaders, headed by Xi.

Inside sources told The Epoch Times that during the time they both worked together in Fujian Province, Jia paid special attention to Xi and supported him. Now, as Xi prepares to accede to the position of Party leader, Jia hopes Xi will support him in return.

According to insiders, Jia has prepared himself an escape route out of the Jiang faction in the form of Sun Zhengcai. In 2002, Sun was promoted to the position of Communist Party Secretary of Beijing, a move that Jia was purportedly involved in. Sun’s alignment to current Party leader Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao became clear after he assumed the role of the Minister of Agriculture in 2006. This displeased those aligned with Jiang, to the point they began to quietly release articles attacking Sun, Hu, and Wen.

 

Jia helped plant his ally, Sun, into the current leadership to mitigate his own survival should evidence of his corruption surface. Lai Changxing, the alleged head of a massive Chinese smuggling ring, was recently extradited to China after escaping to Canada years earlier. Lai is suspected of bribing many officials over the course of his smuggling operations, including Jia.

Jia probably anticipated his extradition, and fearing that Hu and Wen would obtain evidence of his corruption from Lai, began to make plans to switch sides and join them. This included placing Sun in their faction, as well as his active participation in aiding Bo Xilai’s downfall, said the sources.

Washington-based China expert Shi Zangshan said an article from a magazine run by the Jiang faction called the “External Reference,” was evidence of Jia’s escape tactic.

The article wrote about Qiang Wei, the current Communist Party Secretary of Qinghai Province, and listed all connections that Jia and Qiang had shared throughout their careers. It wrote, “During the years when they both worked in Beijing, Qiang Wei became Jia Qinglin’s right-hand man.”

Qiang Wei had been deeply involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. He helped to establish the Beijing Law Enforcement Training Center, where Falun Gong practitioners are detained and brainwashed in isolation. The center is used to secretly detain those they consider to be “key practitioners,” and is notorious for its cruelty. As a result, Qiang has been under investigation by various international human rights organizations since 2004.

“The Jiang faction obviously is trying to scare [Jia] by publishing this article at this point of time,” Shi Zangshan said. “After the 18th National Congress, the position of Secretary of the Political and Judiciary Commission may fall out of the grasp of the Jiang faction, [which is important to them because] appointing someone with a history of the persecution of Falun Gong is a means of continuing the persecution.

 

“At the same time, the article serves as a reminder to Jia Qinglin that he was also involved in the persecution of Falun Gong and won’t be able to escape so easily.”

When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

Read the original Chinese article.

chinareports@epochtimes.com

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