Professional blogger Margot King, Corsi Nation China Connection, argues that China "is not dominated by the President as perceived by many in the West. Rather, it is controlled by Jiang Zemin and his close political associates in the Shanghai Clique."
Any study on the Chinese powerhouse needs to focus on the political-economic structure within China. In fact, former president of Jiang Zemin has recently been the dominant power behind the scene.This phenomenon in Chinese politics is not well understood both in China and the West. Recognition of China's true political situation has been hampered by the active suppression of information and its replacement by official narratives.
This article examines disclosures by the dissident Chinese fugitive Guo Wengui in regard tothe Presidential transitions from Jiang Zeming to Hu Jintao and to Xi Jinping. It is concluded that China's economic and political systems are controlled by extremely wealthy elite families who support Jiang.
The Exile of Guo Wengui
Few people may be familiar with the Guo Wengui, reputedly a billionaire, who has been living in exile in New York since 2014. In 2017, using social media, he began alleging high level corruption among China's political elites in an attempt to leverage the release of his wife, daughter and two brothers from political imprisonment. His family was subsequently freed and Guo's wife and daughter were permitted to join him in New York. However, Guo's two brothers were reinterred in early 2018.
Guo says his family was imprisoned because he fled to the United States to escape the reach of Wang Qishan, then the so-called czar of China's anti-corruption campaign and currently China's Vice President. Guo alleges that his life was in danger because Wang realized that he had gathered information that could potentially damage Wang, his family and his political and financial interests.
Guo claims his information about high level corruption in China comes first hand from his role in China's national security agency of overseeing top officials, their family members and their associates' movements in China and overseas. Guo says he was appointed to this position 22 months after becoming a political prisoner for his support of the national student movement in 1989.
The Chinese government appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to prosecute both Guo and his family. In 2017 Xiao Qiang, the founder and chief editor of China Digital Times, a bilingual China news website, and adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Information, testified to the United States Congressional Executive Commission on China that the Chinese operations against Guo were very sophisticated, saying "I have never seen something like this ... Look at what the Chinese government is doing. Interpol. Chinese lawsuits against him. The diplomatic, talking to bilaterals of different countries. Domestically, massive articles, media discredit him.
Guo says that his Chinese assets have been either frozen or seized and that his Manhattan yacht was been sabotaged. Guo also claims that the Chinese Government offered Facebook and Twitter large payments to suspend his accounts last year. In response to questions by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at the November 2017 United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Facebook's General Counsel Collin Stretch said that Facebook had reviewed a report about Guo's account by representatives of the Chinese Government and as a consequence had blocked one of Guo's posts.
The Rise of Xi Jinping
The 2012 transition of the Chinese Presidency from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping was the result of dramatic political maneuvering by Hu's predecessor Jiang Zeming and Jiang's so-called Shanghai Clique In 2002 Jiang had unwilling vacated his top post because of China's constitution that limits the President's office to two 5-year terms. This policy was instituted by Jiang's predecessor Deng XiaoPing in 1982.
Guo's 2017 exposés provide some insight into the machinations of power leading-up to Xi's appointment. In 2011, a major power struggle ensued after Jiang became severely ill and was expected to die. Two of Jiang's loyal followers, Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai quickly expressed their loyalty to Hu. Ling Jihua, Hu's trusted and highly regarded political adviser, astonished previous leaders such as Jiang, Zu Rongji and members of Politburo Standing Committee byorganizing a virtual vote among senior officials that openly challenged Jiang's influence.
Jiang unexpectedly returned from his death bed to successfully counter Hu and Ling. At this time, Chinese politics came under the control of the aforementioned Shanghai Clique. Clique associates Meng Jianzhu and Wang Qishan were appointed as Politburo Standing Committee members during the 18th party congress in November 2012. As Secretary of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, Meng assumed China's most powerful position in law and order. Wang was appointed Secretary of Investigation and placed in charge of the anti-corruption campaign. Hu's supporters, Ling, Zhou and Bo quickly disappeared from the political stage.Guo alleges that Jiang's plan was hatched at a 2011 meeting in Fujian Province's Nanputo Temple, where Hu agreed with the appointment of Xi as Hu's successor. The plan allegedly involved Meng arranging for Xi and his family to be scrutinized; Wang maintaining total control over finance; arranging for confidants to be inserted into the military; and eliminating Ling's only son, who subsequently died in a car accident.
Political elites dominate China's Economy
Guo alleges that the families of the Shanghai Clique now dominate China's economy. He asserts that Jiang's family assets are US$50 billion, and those of the Wang and Meng families are US$20 billion and $US2.3 billion respectively. Among their investments, Meng's family owns Green World Australia; and Wang's family owns more than a hundred United States properties.
Guo also claims that Wang's family is the largest shareholder in one of the largest companies in the world, Hainan Airline Group (HNA), with capital of US$1trillion in 2017. Following Guo's revelation, Guo says this shareholding was transferred from Wang's biological son Guan Jun to a New York family trust, Cihang
Although China's political system is authoritarian, it is not dominated by the President as perceived by many in the West. Rather, it is controlled by Jiang Zemin and his close political associates in the Shanghai Clique.