A photo that conveys a political message and the final verdict in the Xiao Jianhua case could indicate a looming battle before the 20th CCP congress.

After Xi Jinping’s trip to Sichuan, the political situation of the CCP has changed.

The Chinese government website notified that, on the morning of June 9, CCP leader Xi Jinping met military officers stationed in Chengdu, Sichuan province. In a group photo, Zhong Shaojun— Lieutenant General of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Director of the Office of the Central Military Commission of the People’s Liberation Army, sat in the front row on the far left.

This broke the rumor circulating on Twitter that Zhong Shaojun had been taken away by the Military Disciplinary Committee. Earlier, Sound of Hope analyzed that Zhong Shaojun shouldered the vital task of supervising Xi Jinping’s army. If something happened to him, it would greatly affect the senior leadership of the CCP. This time, the appearance of Zhong Shaojun during Xi’s trip to Sichuan has dispelled doubts about whether Xi is still holding military power.

Xi Jinping’s trip to Sichuan has indeed come with a host of changes. In addition to the Xinhua News’s surprising addition of Xi’s directive on rescue work and care for the injured after the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan on June 1, the People’s Daily on June 8 published an article on Guangxi Party Secretary Liu Ning’s speech, titled “Doing everything possible to protect entities in the market.”

The topic was clearly focused on the economy, but Liu Ning did not mention Premier Li Keqiang at all. 

The Sound Of Hope quoted a tweet by Fang Shimin, a renowned US-based scholar and commentator whose Twitter account 方舟子 (@fangshimin) said: “Clearly Guangxi’s persuasive power is not as good as Zhejiang, and they will just talk theory like a doubtful person. Always support the leader, protect the leader, and follow the leader.”

Shimin’s tweet above includes two photos, and the first photo is titled: “Always support the leader, protect the leader, and follow the leader.”

It includes the following information: “Communication of the Third Plenary Session of the Communist Party of China Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.”

The second photo, titled “Charity and Finance Dialogue,” includes: “The Third Plenary Session of the Communist Party of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Committee on convening the Conference Guangxi Autonomous Region and the decision of the Guangxi Autonomous Region Committee on the promotion of green development.” 

Lan Tian Li, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, explained the draft before the plenary session. The session also heard a report on the selection of candidates for the 20th Party Congress. The plenary session indicated that the 20th National Party Congress was held at a critical time for the party to become a fully socialist modernized state and move toward the new goal of the century, and it emphasized that the election of the 20th National Party Congress is an important base to ensure the smooth running of the 20th National Party Congress.

However, in mid-May, Guangxi ordered the recall and destruction of the book “Xi Jinping Thought,” which was seen as a sign that the election campaign ahead of the 20th National Congress of Deputies had failed.

If so, Liu Ning’s re-appearance through the CCP media may reflect Xi regaining the upper hand.

News about Billionaire Xiao Jianhua until now can explain the power fluctuations mentioned above.

Sound of Hope and Vision Times reported that on June 10, The Wall Street Journal reported that Xiao Jianhua would go on trial in Shanghai this month and may be charged with illegal public property use. This charge is very light compared to previous rumors that Xiao Jianhua was involved in a financial coup.

According to Vision Times, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily once reported that in addition to “manipulating the stock and futures markets” and “bribery,” Xiao Jianhua was also involved in three political crimes, including acts of being “white gloves of important figures in the political world,” “politically engaged plutocrats” and “financial coups.”

Xiao’s brother said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the case was highly complicated and dramatic, and their family now hopes to “receive an acceptably positive verdict.”

NTDTV’s current affairs commentator Tang Jingyuan analyzed in a video on his media channel that Xiao Xinhua’s actions are characteristic of CCP officials and can be interpreted as Xiao believes his brother’s support will find a way to reach an agreement and hopes that eventually, the charge will result in a light trial.

Tang Jingyuan said that relating to the important background that Xiao Jianhua used to be the “white glove” of Jiang Zemin’s faction, whether it was the long processing time of this case or the comment by Xiao’s brother, all of them signaled that Xiao Jianhua could be the key player in the political confrontation between Xi Jinping and the Jiang Zemin gang. That was the most crucial card; otherwise, the case would not have been so complicated.

The case has been overturned several times and is about to close. Currently, Xiao Jianhua’s offenses have been mitigated. The first possibility is that he had denounced many significant crimes by Jiang’s faction, so Xi got what he wanted and gained the upper hand; the second one is that Xi had been overwhelmed by the Jiang faction and his opposing forces forcing him to be soft on Xiao Jianhua.

Commentator Tang Jingyuan is more inclined towards the first possibility, that Xi Jinping gets what he wants, and Xiao Jianhua is eliminated before the Beidaihe conference, which could be a warning to anti-Xi opposing forces.

Tang Jingyuan believes the internal fight among the CCP elite leaders is still a tug-of-war between attack and defense. Xi remains central at present, and the final decision on Xiao Jianhua’s case could be the first fight before the CCP’s 20th National Congress.

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