Two generals in China’s top military body planned to oust Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a military coup, according to a Hong Kong media report on Sept. 27. The two, former Chief of Joint Staff Fang Fenghui and former Political Work Department director Zhang Yang, were allegedly dissatisfied with Xi’s military reforms.
We wrote about Fang’s involvement in a possible coup on Sept. 17. See our full report here.
Background: General Fang Fenghui and General Zhang Yang were abruptly replaced by General Li Zuocheng and Admiral Miao Hua on Aug. 26 and Sept. 8 respectively. Both Fang and Zhang also failed to make the list of attendees at the upcoming 19th Party Congress. No explanations were given for their dismissal but outside media have speculated that the two are under investigation currently.
On Sept. 25, the two were also missing from a propaganda exhibition tour with Xi Jinping and an entourage of senior political and military personnel.
Our take: If Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang were indeed hatching a military coup, they would have almost certainly formed a coalition with other high-ranking political and military officials who opposed the Xi leadership. In other words, more officials could be implicated before the 19th Congress. There is even a likelihood that Xi Jinping will make personnel and structural changes to the Central Military Commission in the name of cleaning out “anti-Party coalition” elements.