[The Epoch Times, November 24, 2022](Comprehensive report by Epoch Times reporter Ning Haizhong) Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China, was re-elected at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China as he wished. However, scholars pointed out that after Xi entered an unprecedented height of power dictatorship, due to the struggle among new factions within the party and the issue of successors, he may be in danger of losing control of the regime in Mao Zedong’s later years.
Scholars say Xi faces similar dangers in years before Mao’s death
Pei Minxin, a professor at Claremont McKenna College in the United States, published an article in Foreign Affairs on November 21 that Xi Jinping’s victory at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China does not guarantee his subsequent success. competitive period.
He said that the results of the 20th National Congress are reminiscent of the Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China in April 1969. At the time, Mao Zedong, the autocratic leader of the CCP, reached the pinnacle of power. As Xi Jinping did 50 years later, the Politburo and its Standing Committee are full of loyal supporters. But Mao’s rule made the party more unstable.
A brutal rivalry arose among Mao’s followers, who formed rival factions. Two factions within the party that helped Mao launch the Cultural Revolution in 1966 — the army led by Lin Biao and the “Gang of Four” led by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing — fought fiercely for power. At the Third Lushan Conference in 1970, intra-Party conflicts intensified, and although Mao had designated Lin as his successor, he decided to side with the Gang of Four and weaken Lin’s faction.
In September 1971, Lin Biao and his family’s plane crashed and burned in Mongolia, allegedly because Lin was trying to flee to the Soviet Union after his failed assassination attempt on Mao Zedong.
Pei Minxin said Mao’s health had deteriorated rapidly and he never recovered. He could neither explain to the party how he chose the man who tried to assassinate him as his successor nor identify another possible candidate. By 1974, he had to summon Deng Xiaoping, whom he derided as a “capitalist roader” and expelled from the party in 1966, to run the government. Finally, within three years of Mao’s death in 1976, Deng’s political comeback left Mao’s legacy in ruins.
Pei Minxin believes that dangers similar to Mao’s may await Xi Jinping. Xi has spent the past decade systematically promoting cronies who worked with him in top local party positions in Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai, as well as officials whose ancestral home is in Shaanxi province. There are many such officials in the Standing Committee of the Politburo, including Li Qiang, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and Li Xi.
At the same time, the outside world saw that Xi did not arrange a successor at the 20th Congress. Pei Minxin said that Xi may think this is completely reasonable, so as to avoid making him a lame duck leader. But in the long run it will cost Xi and the CCP dearly. Among these loyalists of Xi Jinping, a lack of personal trust can lead to disunity and spark competition.
Pei Minxin believes that Xi’s followers will be able to form their own factions. Except for Wang Huning, who was originally in charge of ideology, almost all Xi’s cronies in the Standing Committee were once local top leaders. They have their own network of supporters established over the years, and they will continue to expand their influence. In order to compete for the support of Xi Jinping, if there is no conflict, there will be competition with each other, and when Xi is considered by his subordinates to favor a certain faction, it may arouse the jealousy and resentment of other factions.
However, Pei Minxin believes that this kind of factional competition loyal to Xi may be beneficial to Xi Jinping, who will rely more on Xi for a sense of security because of their mutual tension. But any open conflict between factions would force Xi to choose sides, with dire consequences.
Pei Minxin said that the factional struggles in the last few years of Mao Zedong’s rule developed into a life-and-death struggle, which could only be resolved through a military coup. The key test for Mr. Xi will be whether he can hold a new coalition together and avoid a vicious succession struggle among his loyalists.
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After the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the issue of Xi’s family’s internal struggle and division continued to arouse heated discussions overseas.
Wu Guoguang, a senior researcher at the China Center for Economic and Institutional Research at Stanford University, also has a similar view to Pei Minxin.
On November 22, Wu Guoguang attended an online symposium held by the Center for Contemporary China Studies of Tsinghua University in Taiwan as the keynote speaker. He believes that the full power of the Xi family army will be the beginning of the rise of a new faction within the CCP. After Xi Jinping basically wiped out and marginalized the factions of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao from the political arena, a high degree of polarization should begin to appear within the Xi family army.
For example, he has seen the continuous expansion of Peng Liyuan’s influence, and the influence of Chen Xi, who has not yet stepped down as the head of the Central Organization Department, is also quite obvious. After Xi’s confidant Li Qiang enters the State Council, he will also form a group of people who can help him do things.
Wu Guoguang also believes that this internal division of Xi’s family army is what Xi Jinping wants to see, because Xi needs internal checks and balances to maintain him as the final judge.
He also mentioned that in order to fight for power, the new faction will actively recruit its own people in the next five years and rapidly rejuvenate the CCP cadre team.
Taiwan media “Shang Bao” published an article signed by Du Zheng on November 14, “The Relationship between Xi’s Army’s New Version of Infighting and “Destroying the Communist Party””, stating that although the CCP’s party constitution claims to firmly oppose “factional organizations and small group activities”, after Xi Jinping came to power, “Organizing gangs and forming cliques” has become one of the crimes of fallen officials, but Mao Zedong also said that “there are no factions in the party, and there are all kinds of strange things”, and he believed that gangs in the party would not disappear.
The article lists that there are at least Fujian Gang, Zhejiang Gang, New Shanghai Gang, Party School Gang, Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Gang, Tsinghua Gang, etc. within the Xi Family Army, as well as pro-Xi princelings and different factions that have been incorporated.
Voice of America reported on October 28 that Gao Wenqian, an expert on the history of the CCP, said in an interview, “Historical common sense shows that the Xi family army, which is all uniform, will soon split up, compete for favor with each other, and internally fight to replace the previous factional struggle within the party. .”
Responsible editor: Sun Yun#