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Fall of Beijing Official: Heavy Charges for Reading Publications on Political Issues

Former director of the Beijing City’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, Zhang Guilin, has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and dismissed from his public office.

According to the CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, the decision to expel Zhang Guilin was made by the Beijing Municipal Committee, with the approval of the Beijing Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Beijing Municipal Supervisory Commission.

The justification for his expulsion includes weak political consciousness, possession and reading of books and publications on serious political issues, violations of the eight-point austerity rules issued by the central government, acceptance of gifts and consumption cards that may affect the impartial execution of official duties, failure to report personal matters truthfully, involvement in illicit sexual activities and bribery, interference in and intervention with government procurement projects, and exploitation of his position to seek benefits for others and illegally accept[ng property from others.

However, the official announcement does not specify the details of Zhang Guilin’s possession and reading of books and publications on serious political issues.

Based on the definition provided in the “Disciplinary Regulations of the Chinese Communist Party,” publications with serious political issues include those that openly advocate bourgeois liberalization, oppose the four cardinal principles, oppose the party’s decisions on reform and opening up, and engage in unwarranted criticism of the central policies, damage the party’s unity, defame or slander party and state leaders, or distort party and military history. These are evidently more sensitive content, and party members who violate these regulations face severe consequences.

Cases involving books and publications related to political issues are not common, as stated by the Chinese Communist Party’s disciplinary authority. Similar charges were made against Wang Xiaoguang, former deputy governor of Guizhou Province, when he was expelled in 2018. In another case involving Sun Zhengcai, former party secretary of Chongqing, Wu Dehua, former member of the Yubei District Standing Committee, was accused of purchasing and reading books and publications that had serious political issues.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), June 28, 2023