(TibetanReview.net, Jan06, 2018) – For calling for President Xi Jinping’s resignation, a former professor at China’s sole ruling party school meant for training future and retraining current lower rung leaders is to be tried for alleged “subversion of state power”, reported the Mandarin Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Jan 4, citing his lawyer. The case was sent to court on Dec 28 and awaits a trial date.
The report said the party ideologue, Mr Zi Su, had been taken away from his home in Sichuan province’s capital Chengdu on Apr 28 after he posted an open letter online, calling on Xi to step down as the head of the party in favour, possibly, of Hu Deping, son of late ousted Premier Hu Yaobang, whose death in 1989 had sparked the Tiananmen Square democracy movement.
Initially held on allegation of “incitement to subvert state power”, the charge has now been raised to the more serious one of “subversion of state power,” paving the way for his trial at the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court, the report cited his lawyer Ran Tong as saying.
Ran is said to contend that Zi, as a member of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, had the right to voice his opinion, as laid down in the party’s constitution. And he is said to plan to cite the words of late supreme leader Deng Xiaoping, who had said a revolutionary political party should always be able to hear the voices of the people, in defence of his client.
Zi’s sister Zi Ping has said her brother, who is 62 years old, was in poor health and suffered from low blood sugar.
A friend of Zi, surnamed Luo, has said the former party school professor had only made some suggestions which were objective, in the spirit of seeking truth from facts. “All he did was make some suggestions to the President, which I don’t think amounts to a criminal act,” he was quoted as saying.
In his letter, Zi was said to have hit out at a “personality cult” around President Xi, likening his leadership to that of late supreme leader Mao Zedong. “He serves as the head of a dozen groups or committees, which goes against the democratic constitutional orientation of reforms to the political system, and he has launched an unbridled attack on human rights lawyers and democracy activists, as well as increasingly clamped down on online free speech,” the letter, posted on the Weiquanwang rights website, was quoted as saying.
Carrying out his anticorruption campaign under a one-party dictatorship, Xi has made use of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to carry out selective anticorruption work, the letter was further cited as saying.
“But his biggest mistake of all has been to institute the ‘seven taboos’, comprehensively restoring the ideology of the Mao era, which was openly opposed by Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang and other party leaders who advocated reform,” Zi was quoted as having written.
Contending that many people inside and outside the party believed that Xi was unsuitable to continue in the post of general secretary, Zi is said to have suggested that Hu Deping took over, and to have invited those who agreed with him to add their signatures to his proposal.
Zi was said to have been taken away within hours of posting that letter.
“Subversion of state power” is said to carry a minimum jail sentence of 10 years in a case where the accused is adjudged to have played a leading role.