China expels from party, to try for corruption, prominent Xi Jinping critic

(Illustration: Craig Stephens/SCMP)

(, Jul26’20) – The Communist Party of China today is the party of the Xi Jinping regime and anyone who criticizes Xi, even if for the good of the party and the country, has no place in it. This message has just been driven home to the property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of the state-owned real estate company Huayuan Group, who has been expelled from the party and is now to be tried for alleged corruption.

For calling Xi Jinping a clown for his less than stellar response to the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Mar 2020, the party’s internal watchdog, the Discipline Inspection Commission, in Beijing announced Jul 23 that the 69-year-old would be prosecuted for embezzlement, taking bribes and abusing his position.

Ren disappeared from public view on Mar 12 after calling Xi a “clown”.

property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of the state-owned real estate company Huayuan Group. (Photo courtesy: SCMP)

Known as “Cannon Ren” for his outspoken views about the government, he was, in 2016, placed on probation by the party after being accused of violating “political discipline”.

After Mr Xi held a video conference with 170,000 officials on Feb 23 to announce his response to the pandemic, Mr Ren published an essay in which he accused the government of trying to cover up the early stages of the outbreak.

“People did not see any criticism at the conference. It didn’t investigate and disclose the truth,” Mr Ren wrote, according to a copy published by the online China Digital Times publication “No one reviewed or took responsibility. But they are trying to cover up the truth with all kinds of great achievements.”

Without mentioning Xi buy name, Ren said: “Standing there was not an emperor showing off his new clothes but a clown who had stripped off his clothes and insisted on being an emperor.”

He also criticized the government propaganda that portrayed Xi and other leaders as rescuing China from coronavirus without mentioning where it began.

In its statement, the Discipline Inspection Commission in Beijing said Ren had “publicly published articles opposing the four basic principles” of the Communist Party.

And it added that he also “vilified the image of the party and the country, distorted party and military history, and was not loyal to the party.”

“Ren Zhiqiang seriously violated the party’s political discipline, organisational discipline, integrity discipline, work discipline, and life discipline, constituted a serious job violation and was suspected of corruption, bribery, embezzlement of public funds, and state-owned company personnel abuse of power,” The Independent Jul 24 quoted the Commission as saying in its statement.


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