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Leadership: Ren Zhiqiang Disappeared

Ren Zhiqiang, a princeling and a real estate tycoon who is known for having the guts to challenge the regime, wrote a lengthy article to criticize Xi Jinping for his mistakes in handling the coronavirus at the beginning and for his later actions, with a focus on ensuring his own authority, calling Xi “A clown who stripped naked and insisted on continuing to be an emperor.” (see Chinascope posting: Public Opinion: Ren Zhiqiang’s Article: “A Clown Who Stripped Naked and Insisted on Continuing to Be an Emperor”)

His article was opposite of the main theme of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) propaganda machine. The communist regime is working to portray Mr. Xi as a hero who is leading the country to victory in a “people’s war” against the virus.

It has been reported that Ren has disappeared.

The CCP disciplined Ren before. In 2016, Ren came under scrutiny after writing on his microblog that China’s news media should serve the people, not the party, contradicting one of Mr. Xi’s high-profile pronouncements. The party moved quickly to censure him, saying he had “lost his party spirit.” But he continued to speak out on other topics, such as China’s strict policies to limit the population in big cities.

Ren was a close friend to Wang Qishan and could have been protected by Wang in 2016.

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. South China Morning Post, March 15, 2020
2. New York Times, March 14, 2020