The Chinese Communist Party’s inspection group has begun another round of field trips into various provinces, prompting observers to wonder who will become the next target in Beijing’s anti-graft campaign after the high-profile investigation into former security czar Zhou Yongkang.
In the second round of monitoring tours this year, inspectors have been sent to Guangxi, Qinghai, Hebei, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Tibet provinces and the Shanghai municipality, Beijing News reported Friday. In addition, entities such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, FAW Group and the General Administration of Sport are also being visited, it said.
On Wednesday, the second day after the announcement of the Zhou probe, the inspection group arrived in Shanghai, which is known to be former president Jiang Zemin’s “base camp”.
The Financial Times quoted analysts as saying that the investigation into Zhou, the most powerful of Jiang’s allies, has pushed President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign to a climax. The shift in focus to Shanghai reflects Xi’s goal to completely end Jiang’s lingering political influence, it noted.
Jiang, who retired in 2003, still retains influence in the party and military. Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli, four of the current seven politburo standing members, are said to be Jiang’s close allies, according to the FT report.
It became clear earlier that the anti-corruption storm would sweep into Shanghai as Wang Zongnan, one of Jiang’s cronies and the former chairman of Shanghai Bright Food Group, was put under probe.
Han Zheng, party secretary of Shanghai, who also has close ties with Jiang, has vowed to fully support Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, FT said.
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