Xi Jinping’s Deal With Li Keqiang and Xi’s Major Crises: China Expert

Chinese regime leader Xi Jinping mysteriously vanished from the front pages of China’s official media on May 17 and 18, while Prime Minister Li Keqiang appeared in the official headlines on May 17.It is noteworthy that three days earlier, on May 14, two CCP major mouthpieces published the full text of a speech delivered by Li. Li delivered the speech three weeks prior—usually, only his annual government report is printed in full. These moves are regarded as sensitive and subtle, as it is only months away from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 20th National Congress, at which Xi plans to secure his third term as head of the CCP. The changes have triggered  speculation about Xi’s health and the possibility that Li will replace Xi as the top leader at the coming congress, in recent Chinese and overseas media reports. Several news portals outside China reported in May the rumors that Xi has suffered a brain aneurysm and will step down, while Li will likely replace him. In China, Hu Xijin, the retired chief editor of the CCP mouthpiece Global Times, wrote a very daring message on his Chinese social media account on May 17, inviting his followers to “embrace new opportunities.” He highlighted the May 17 official report on Li with a red square, claiming that “this is a very important signal” and that “[people] who follow the signal will prove to be … heroes of the times.” However, Yuan Hongbing, a former Chinese law professor at Beijing University and China current affairs expert, indicated a different scenario to The Epoch Times. Li Will Support Xi in Exchange for Chairman of CCP’s Rubber-stamp Legislature “These are fake messages released by those reformists who want to maintain the CCP’s rule of China,” Yuan told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times in a recent exclusive interview, “Some people intentionally pose Li as a hope to fight against Xi.” Yuan, formerly a law professor  at Beijing University, where he chaired the Department of Criminal Law, was imprisoned in China for promoting democracy. He fled to Australia in 2004 and is now based in Sydney. Yuan said the intel he had was that Xi and Li had made a deal. Li would support Xi in securing lifelong rule at the CCP’s 20th National Congress. In return, Xi would let Li remain a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the CCP’s top decision-making body, and be the chairman of China’s rubber-stamp legislature after Li’s tenure as prime minister expired. “This is a preliminary agreement reached in the CCP’s internal fighting at the current stage,” said Yuan. “Li is not regarded as a force of justice to replace Xi. The current situation is that Xi has been purging his political opponents during the past 10 years and has set up his centralized dictatorship.” Yuan added that Xi nonetheless faces three major crises—economic, political, and social. Economically, Xi wants to break Deng Xiaoping’s crony capitalism, which has dominated for the past 30 years, and establish a new economic system. “But his so-called new system is actually backtracking to the planned economy of Mao’s era, which proved to be a total failure,” said Yuan. Politically, the majority of CCP officialdom harbors a deep resentment toward Xi, Yuan noted, although Xi’s confidants have control over China’s military, propaganda, judicial, and police systems. Socially, Xi’s zero-COVID approach since the breakout of the pandemic has triggered a grudge among people in China, especially in dozens of recently locked down cities, including Shanghai. Hu Xijin is not a threat to Xi. “Hu is called ‘a Frisbee catcher,’ or an obedient propagandist, like a pet, trying his best to carry out orders. What he says or does is of little political significance after he retires from the position of the chief editor of the Global Times,” Yuan said. Two Ways of Saving China According to Yuan, relying on Li to replace Xi and save China individually is a pipe dream, as Li himself relies on the CCP to maintain his status and power. However, there are two ways that China’s future can be saved. “One way is that the conscientious people within the establishment carry out a coup. The other is that a nationwide revolt breaks out, again at an appropriate time like the one in June 1989. These are the only paths that can destroy the tyranny of the CCP,” Yuan said. Follow Haizhong Ning was a state employee and worked for a real estate company in China, before moving abroad and working as a reporter with a focus on Chinese affairs and politics for more than seven years. Follow Luo Ya is a freelance contributor to The Epoch Times.

Xi Jinping’s Deal With Li Keqiang and Xi’s Major Crises: China Expert

Chinese regime leader Xi Jinping mysteriously vanished from the front pages of China’s official media on May 17 and 18, while Prime Minister Li Keqiang appeared in the official headlines on May 17.

It is noteworthy that three days earlier, on May 14, two CCP major mouthpieces published the full text of a speech delivered by Li. Li delivered the speech three weeks prior—usually, only his annual government report is printed in full.

These moves are regarded as sensitive and subtle, as it is only months away from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 20th National Congress, at which Xi plans to secure his third term as head of the CCP. The changes have triggered  speculation about Xi’s health and the possibility that Li will replace Xi as the top leader at the coming congress, in recent Chinese and overseas media reports.

Several news portals outside China reported in May the rumors that Xi has suffered a brain aneurysm and will step down, while Li will likely replace him.

In China, Hu Xijin, the retired chief editor of the CCP mouthpiece Global Times, wrote a very daring message on his Chinese social media account on May 17, inviting his followers to “embrace new opportunities.” He highlighted the May 17 official report on Li with a red square, claiming that “this is a very important signal” and that “[people] who follow the signal will prove to be … heroes of the times.”

However, Yuan Hongbing, a former Chinese law professor at Beijing University and China current affairs expert, indicated a different scenario to The Epoch Times.

Li Will Support Xi in Exchange for Chairman of CCP’s Rubber-stamp Legislature

“These are fake messages released by those reformists who want to maintain the CCP’s rule of China,” Yuan told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times in a recent exclusive interview, “Some people intentionally pose Li as a hope to fight against Xi.”

Yuan, formerly a law professor  at Beijing University, where he chaired the Department of Criminal Law, was imprisoned in China for promoting democracy. He fled to Australia in 2004 and is now based in Sydney.

Yuan said the intel he had was that Xi and Li had made a deal.

Li would support Xi in securing lifelong rule at the CCP’s 20th National Congress. In return, Xi would let Li remain a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the CCP’s top decision-making body, and be the chairman of China’s rubber-stamp legislature after Li’s tenure as prime minister expired.

“This is a preliminary agreement reached in the CCP’s internal fighting at the current stage,” said Yuan.

“Li is not regarded as a force of justice to replace Xi. The current situation is that Xi has been purging his political opponents during the past 10 years and has set up his centralized dictatorship.”

Yuan added that Xi nonetheless faces three major crises—economic, political, and social.

Economically, Xi wants to break Deng Xiaoping’s crony capitalism, which has dominated for the past 30 years, and establish a new economic system. “But his so-called new system is actually backtracking to the planned economy of Mao’s era, which proved to be a total failure,” said Yuan.

Politically, the majority of CCP officialdom harbors a deep resentment toward Xi, Yuan noted, although Xi’s confidants have control over China’s military, propaganda, judicial, and police systems.

Socially, Xi’s zero-COVID approach since the breakout of the pandemic has triggered a grudge among people in China, especially in dozens of recently locked down cities, including Shanghai.

Hu Xijin is not a threat to Xi.

“Hu is called ‘a Frisbee catcher,’ or an obedient propagandist, like a pet, trying his best to carry out orders. What he says or does is of little political significance after he retires from the position of the chief editor of the Global Times,” Yuan said.

Two Ways of Saving China

According to Yuan, relying on Li to replace Xi and save China individually is a pipe dream, as Li himself relies on the CCP to maintain his status and power. However, there are two ways that China’s future can be saved.

“One way is that the conscientious people within the establishment carry out a coup. The other is that a nationwide revolt breaks out, again at an appropriate time like the one in June 1989. These are the only paths that can destroy the tyranny of the CCP,” Yuan said.

Haizhong Ning

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Haizhong Ning was a state employee and worked for a real estate company in China, before moving abroad and working as a reporter with a focus on Chinese affairs and politics for more than seven years.


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Luo Ya is a freelance contributor to The Epoch Times.