Communist Party leaders have reportedly begun circulating a letter demanding an emergency Politburo to address dictator Xi Jinping’s poor performance leading the country, Radio Free Asia (RFA) revealed on Monday.
The author of the letter, which does not identify him or herself, urges three senior Communist Party officials – Premier Li Keqiang, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Wang Yang, and Vice President Wang Qishan – to convene a special Politburo meeting to discuss “Xi’s issues.” A copy of the letter highlighted by Asia Times notes that Xi’s failure to contain the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak adds renewed urgency to a discussion on his exacerbating tensions with the United States, failing to run basic government operations like functional schools and hospitals, and pouring money into “backward nations” in Africa.
“Given the current severe situation of the new coronavirus epidemic, the domestic economy, and the severe situation of international relations, we are strongly calling for the urgent convening of an enlarged Politburo meeting to discuss Xi Jinping’s issues,” the letter reads.
The letter poses several questions for the Politburo, among them:
Have China’s international relations … improved or worsened since Xi Jinping came to power? Is making enemies on all sides and deteriorating U.S. relations good or bad for China’s development? Regardless of the current situation of the country, is it true that large expenditures in backward countries in places like Africa is proper for China’s own development and international relations?
According to RFA, Hong Kong journalist Chen Ping reposted the letter on the Chinese social media outlet WeChat, calling it “moderate and national” and insisting that he did not have any information on who wrote it.
“A lot of other people reposted this anonymous letter online,” Chen reportedly said.
Both RFA and Asia Times linked the letter to increasingly loud discontent among Communist Party leaders over the disappearance of Ren Zhiqiang, a real estate tycoon and formerly one of China’s richest and most powerful people. Ren disappeared last week after publishing an article titled “The Lives of the People Are Ruined By the Virus and a Seriously Sick System” in which he insulted Xi as a clown – without naming him – and described him using the well-known story of the emperor who has no clothes, but all are too afraid to tell him so.
“The covert propaganda around the decisions made during the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic will only deceive those who are willing to be deceived,” Ren wrote.
The letter was the latest in many criticisms Ren had made of the Communist Party, able to afford to do so because of his prominent standing in the Chinese economy.
Asia Times noted that Ren went to the same high school as Wang Qishan, the vice president the anonymous letter named as necessary to the emergency meeting on removing Xi, and the two are presumably friends. Some experts believe that Wang and Ren agree on Xi’s incompetence.
Xi Jinping demoted Wang from leading the nation’s “anti-corruption” change – a purge of Communist Party agents disloyal to Xi – but reportedly empowered him late last year to work on silencing the widespread protests against communism in Hong Kong.
Ren’s letter shared a dismissive tone with one written by prominent dissident Xu Zhiyong, arrested for “inciting state subversion” this month as a result of his text. Xu demanded Xi’s resignation in a letter calling the dictator stupid and blaming him for the extent of the destruction caused by Wuhan’s coronavirus outbreak.
“You’re not Putin, or Modi, and you’re certainly not Trump,” Xu wrote of the Communist Party leader. “You flirt with Cultural Revolution fanaticism, but you are no true-believing Leftist; you lurch towards bellicose nationalism, but you’re no hawk, either. You’re a big nothing.”
Xi Jinping has faced repeated waves of protests within China for years in response to his regime’s inability to maintain quality government services. Plans to build polluting incinerators in densely populated areas, factories violating the human rights of workers, and a nationwide scandal in which multiple vaccine developers watered down their products – leaving over a million children immunocompromised – have all triggered anti-Xi public sentiment.
Among the most recent waves of protests occurred in Hubei province, where Wuhan serves as regional capital, over plans to build a dangerous waste incineration plant in a densely populated area, likely causing respiratory issues for local residents. The Communist Party had promised local residents it would build a public park in the plot of land that it began secretly building the waste incineration plant on. Images posted online of the protests and ensuing police activity showed elderly protesters beaten and bloodied by Chinese police. The protests reportedly attracted as many as 10,000 people.
Xi’s regime currently claims the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has largely subsided in the country, particularly in the central city of Wuhan where it originated. Yet reports continue to surface of people enduring coronavirus symptoms in Wuhan and greater Hubei province, but now facing hospitals refusing to test them to confirm them as coronavirus cases. The Chinese Communist Party stopped counting confirmed coronavirus cases deemed “mild” in its national coronavirus tally in February, significantly deflating the real number of cases.