The Chinese authorities appear to have begun a personnel struggle around regime change this fall in Beidaihe. Officials have been stricter about maintaining stability and are not allowed to reveal any information signals. However, the Ministry of Communications of China recently released a document that revealed many things about the Beidaihe conference, but authorities soon blocked it.
On July 29, the Chinese media outlet The Paper published an article titled “The Disciplinary Committee of Agencies Under the Ministry of Transport: Clarifying the Discipline of Party Members and Officers During Summer Vacation.” Notably, the article was on the offline list a day later. An investigation found that other reprints in Chinese media were also deleted.
The bulletin said: “The summer vacation is approaching; party members and officials of agencies under the Ministry note that in order to achieve political security, it is necessary to establish a firm awareness of the political agency, strictly observe political discipline and political rules, strictly implement the directives and reporting requirements system, and maintain political will when facing the right and mostly wrong issues.”
Why is this news from the Department of Transportation’s Disciplinary Committee sensitive to the CCP and needs to be hastily blocked?
According to Epoch Times, current affairs commentator Yue Shan analyzed three sensitive points:
First, the article revealed that officials of the CCP’s “central and state agencies” have a privileged “centralized summer vacation” system inherited from Mao Zedong, and cadres would be on leave rotation during the summer vacation according to different standards. Such leave may not be the same as ordinary holidays such as annual leave under labor law. Thus, it has indirectly acknowledged that Chinese leaders have more privileges than regular cadres and employees.
Second, the article accidentally revealed that by the time of July 29, the vacation of the top leadership in Beidaihe might be about to begin.
The Beidaihe Conference always attracts a lot of attention, firstly because it is the high point of the power struggle, and secondly because of its mystery. Meeting times are always kept confidential. Every year, one can only tell if this conference is held or ended from some clues about the CCP’s high-level activities. For example, in 2018, the principal of the Central Party School and the head of the central organizing committee went to Beidaihe first to “take care of” the experts who had already begun their vacation, indicating that the conference was taking place.
Before the article appeared, China’s top leaders had repeatedly appeared at public events, so the article’s time could reveal the mysterious meeting time in Beidaihe—something Beijing’s elites do not want to be made public.
Looking at the schedules of Chinese leaders before the article appeared: From July 26 to 27, the CCP held seminars for provincial and ministerial-level leaders in Beijing.
On July 28, Xi Jinping chaired the Politburo’s Economic Work Conference and re-emphasized the Zero-covid policy. However, the severe impact of this policy on the economy meant the CCP did not dare to set a GDP growth target at this meeting.
On the afternoon of July 28, the Politburo of the Communist Party of China conducted a collective study on the so-called “talent enhancement strategy,” Xi Jinping said that it is necessary to ensure that “the gun barrel is always held by those loyal and trustworthy to the party.”
On July 28, Xi Jinping spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden. He told Biden that “those who play with fire will one day get burned” about the Taiwan issue that Xi is mulling over.
On July 29, Xi had no public activities. However, Premier Li Keqiang was still presiding at the executive meeting of the State Council, and Li Zhanshu also chaired the meeting of the presidents of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Current affairs commentator Yueshan assumed that if you look at the deleted notice of the Ministry of Communications, if nothing changes, the week after July 30 will be the time for the CCP officials’ traditional holiday at Beidaihe.
According to Yue Shan, the third sensitive point is that the announcement from the Ministry of Communications shows that the CCP has entered an unusual period of government protection and a certain wartime state.
Specifically, the announcement (now offline) emphasized “political security” during the holiday and that officials must “strictly obey political discipline and political rules. They must strictly implement the directives and reporting requirements system, and maintain political will when facing the right and mostly wrong issues,” leaving observers somewhat surprised and confused. In normal societies, especially Western countries, what holiday has such strict constraints? Better to end the vacation like that!
The constraints further show that the CCP regime is in a deep crisis. CCP leaders worry about insecurity even when they are on vacation or sleeping.
Information about the tense atmosphere in Beidaihe broke out last month. A person considered a “second-generation red” (child of the CCP’s builders) living in the military area in Beijing revealed in June this year that the CCP had sent many soldiers to Hebei. Still, according to the Epoch Times, they did not know for what mission.
In addition, on June 27, a person who had been to Qinhuangdao told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that armed police had previously been stationed on Beidaihe’s outskirts. The move has added tension to this year’s Beidaihe conference. At the same time, Reuters reported in June that Tesla’s electric cars were banned from entering the Beidaihe area, as the vehicle has a lot of cameras installed around its body. The outside world interpreted this as an allusion that the CCP feared that Tesla would cause an insecurity element to the leaders’ activities, a reflection of the CCP’s espionage and overreaction addiction.