Chongqing Press Again Condemns Purged Leaders

Chongqing Daily, the government-controlled press of Chongqing, criticized two of the city’s former Party secretaries in a frontpage article on “paying heed to political implementation” that ran on Nov. 20.

Bo Xilai was accused of “raising his own flag, tried to be a maverick, and established an independent kingdom,” according to the newspaper article. Meanwhile, Sun Zhengcai “practiced lazy and indolent politics, deceived superiors and bullied underlings, and passively enforced decisions from Party center.”

The Chongqing Daily article wrote that lessons should be learned from Bo and Sun’s downfall and efforts should be made to weed out their “residue poison” in Chongqing. The article also called for the safeguarding of Xi Jinping’s core status.  

The big picture: Senior Party leaders have recently been stressing the need for officials to get their politics right.

In a recent editorial for state mouthpiece People’s Daily, former anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan wrote that the focus on “economic anti-corruption” will eventually transition to “political anti-corruption.” Also, Organization Department head Chen Xi stressed in a People’s Daily article that officials must meet political standards to secure promotion.  

Our take:

  1. The charge that Bo Xilai had set up an “independent kingdom” suggests that he had created a second Party center to challenge Beijing. Sun being “lazy and indolent” in governing Chongqing and cleaning out Bo’s “residue poison” marked him as “Bo Xilai 2.0” and likely led to his being removed.
  2. The Chongqing authorities’ emphasis on “political implementation” and again broaching the arrest of Bo and Sun echoes the recent Party rhetoric on toeing the political line.
  3. The Chongqing Daily article suggests that incumbent Chongqing chief Chen Min’er is showing his loyalty to Xi by excoriating his predecessors.