In Ling’s expulsion, China sends out veiled warning to others

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) The phrase “violation of political rules” in the announcement on former top political advisor Ling Jihua’s expulsion is rare and experts interpreted it as a warning to all Party members not to cross the line.

The rare phrase signals Chinese authorities’ intent to enhance the unity and conformity of the Communist Party of China (CPC), experts told state-run Global Times.

Ling, former vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, was expelled from the Party and removed from the post, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The Xinhua story said that investigations found Ling seriously violated the Party’s political discipline and political rules, as well as the Party’s organizational and confidentiality discipline.

Global Times said it is believed to be the first time when “violations of political rules” has been mentioned in the official announcement of a top official’s punishment.

“Political rules had been overlooked in the past years, which led to violations. It is a warning to all Party members not to cross the line and respect the authority of the system and the organisation,” Cai Zhiqiang, another expert, told the Global Times.

Ling’s announcement following the probe into former security chief Zhou Yongkang said Zhou had seriously violated political discipline, the Party’s organizational and confidentiality discipline, while Bo Xilai, former Chongqing Party chief, was said to have seriously violated Party discipline, with no mention of “political rules”, the media report said.

“The wording of the announcement on Ling may signal the Party’s stress on unity. It also indicates that the CPC is on guard against violations, which will jeopardize the organisation,” Wang Yukai, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times.

Zhang Xixian, an expert from the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said that political rules refer to political principles, stances and activities of especially senior officials, and any violations could easily jeopardize Party unity.

Analysts said the unwritten rules include being consistent with and supporting the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and opposing formation of cliques within the Party.

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