Voice of America (VOA) interviewed Luo Yu, a former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Colonel working at the PLA General Staff Department who left China in late 1989 after the PLA’s Tiananmen Square Massacre. Luo Yu has a special status. He is a princeling who knew Xi Jinping personally. His father was Luo Ruiqing, one of the ten Grand Generals (ranking lower than ten Marshalls but higher than other Generals) that China conferred in 1955, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took over in China.
Luo Yu pointed out that there is strong political in-fighting going on within the CCP. Therefore, Xi has had to collect power under himself and use the anti-corruption campaign to cleanse disloyal officials. He suggested that Xi has taken on political reform to lead China to democracy.
"His anti-corruption [campaign] was actually against a political coup [that had formed against him]. If he were truly against corruption, then the Communist Party would be gone because the whole Party is corrupt. So his anti-corruption was [just] against the political coup."
"I feel that he has faced a lot of resistance. It has been hard to tell which things were done because he wanted to do them so his subordinates did them for him and which were done when he didn’t want them, but his subordinates did them in order to create trouble for him. So, [though wrongs things happened in China], I still have hope for him."
"I can understand why he collected power under himself. That was because, among the people around him, whether it was the Politburo Standing Committee members or Politburo members, only a few truly shared the same view with him. It was just Wang Qishan and Li Zhanshu (Chief of Staff of the General Office of the CCP Central Committee). Within the Politburo Standing Committee, only one (Wang Qishan) supported him, one (Li Keqiang) stayed neutral, and four others waited to see him fall. For that reason, he couldn’t give power to others. He had to collect the power under himself."
"I felt that he would change something. At least he will no longer follow the old practice of appointing a successor. I hope he chooses the Presidential election [to identify the next leader.]"
"If Xi Jinping chooses the Democracy path, it will be fortunate for China. Problems that can’t be solved today, from religion to morality, from finance to the economy, banking, insurance, the military, education, healthcare, and retirement funds, will all be solved."
"If [Xi] does not take this path, since the CCP is totally corrupt, it will be finished."
"Is there a third path?" (Asked the reporter.)
"There is no third path."
Source: VOA, March 9, 2016.