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Leadership: Xi Jinping Went to Shanxi Province While Sidelining the Commander of Beijing Garrison

The People’s Daily reported that Xi Jinping went to Shanxi Province on May 11 and 12. During the trip, he visited the Yungang Grottoes, which was famous for stone-carved Buddhist sculptures. (#1, People’s Daily)

Chen Pokong, a political commentator on China’s affairs who frequently appears on Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, said that Xi’s trip was linked to the soft removal of Wang Chunning, the Commander of Beijing Garrison. (#2, YouTube)

Xinhua announced on May 10, that Zhang Fandi, the Political Commissar of Beijing Garrison replaced Wang Chunning as a Beijing Communist Party Committee Member and a Standing Committee Member. (#3, Xinhua)

In the Chinese Communist Party (CCP’s) structure, the People’s Liberation Army unit has two top leaders: a commander in charge of the military actions and a political commissar for political activities. One of them, from a local garrison, also serves as a member of the locale’s (provincial or municipal) communist party standing committee, which is the highest power decision-making organ in the locale.

Wang Chunning is a Lieutenant General. He became the Commander of the Beijing Garrison in 2016. In January this year, he took over the Beijing Communist Party Standing Committee Member position from Jiang Yong, then Beijing Garrison Political Commissar. Major General Zhang Fandi took over the Political Commissar position from Jiang Yong at the same time. Wang has served the Beijing Standing Committee Member for only four months. (#4, Beijing News)

In his analysis, Chen Pokong pointed out:

  1. The head of Beijing Garrison is extremely critical to Xi as it can control Beijing.
  2. Wang Chunning has a higher military rank than Zhang Fandi. In a normal situation, Zhang would not take over Wang’s Beijing Standing Committee Member position.
  3. This indicates that Xi Jinping no longer trusts Wang.
  4. Xi might do a soft removal of Wang, like what he did to Fu Zhenghua recently. Fu was the Minister of Justice. He was removed from the position of Deputy Party Secretary of Justice Ministry’s Party Committee on April 20, then removed from the Minister of Justice post on April 29, and then removed from the position of Deputy Director of the CCP Central Committee’s Office for the Rule of Law on May 5.
  5. When Xi took down Sun Lijun and Fu Zhenghua, he went to Shaanxi Province, probably to avoid the supporters of Sun and Fu, to take actions against him in Beijing. This time, Xi probably did the same thing: going to Shanxi Province while pushing out Wang Chunning. (#2, YouTube)

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. Excerpt in Chinese:


Source: People’s Daily, May 13, 2020

2. Source: YouTube, May 12, 2020

3. Excerpt in Chinese:


Source: Xinhua, May 10, 2020

4. Excerpt in Chinese:




Source: Beijing News, May 10, 2020