Not even internal democracy in Communist Party of China?

Xi Jinping at China congress. (Photo courtesy: Washington Post)

(, Aug20’20) – Cai Xia, a former professor at China’s elite Central Party School, has expressed happiness at being expelled from the Communist Party of China, noting that it had no place for people like her to express themselves, that she had wanted to leave it since 2016, according to Aug 18. She has accused the Party General Secretary and state President Xi Jinping of “killing a country,” adding that more wanted to be out of the party.

She was earlier reported to have called Xi a “mafia boss” who had turned the party into his personal tool and the party a “political zombie” in an internet talk.

The school, which trains rising officials destined for promotion, announced Aug 17 that it had rescinded Cai’s Communist Party membership and retirement benefits for making remarks that “had serious political problems and damaged the country’s reputation.”

Cai Xia, retired professor. (Photo courtesy: Taiwan News)

In her first interview with English-language media since her expulsion, Cai, who now lives in the USA, has told the Guardian, “Under the regime of Xi, the Chinese Communist party is not a force for progress for China. In fact, it is an obstacle to China’s progress.”

“I believe I am not the only one who wants to leave this party. More people would like to withdraw or quit this party,” she has said.

“I had intended to quit the party years ago when there was no more room to speak and my voice was completely blocked.”

She has also accused Xi of making China “an enemy” of the world.

Referring to her current situation, Cai has said, “I have much more freedom now. My speech is free from any constraints. I am responsible only for my own conscience and principles.”

She has said there was widespread opposition within the party but few dared to speak out, afraid of political retaliation in the form of internal party discipline and corruption charges. In this environment, Xi’s “unchecked power” and hold on all major decision-making had led to inevitable mistakes such as in the handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, she has pointed out.

Cai believes that discontent within the party was widespread, especially among her generation as well as among middle and higher-level officials who came up through the party during China’s reform era under Deng Xiaoping, and later as China fully integrated into the global economy following its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

China’s party mouthpiece the issued a sharp rebuke against her in an editorial piece Aug 19. It said: “No matter how Cai defines freedom of speech, as a retired professor from the Party school, she was supposed to support the CPC’s leadership of the country instead of opposing the constitutional clause. Now that the US has launched various attacks on the CPC, Cai, although retired, should stick to the bottom line as a Party member and as a Chinese citizen by refusing to align with those malicious China attackers.”

The editorial noted that Cai had enjoyed a certain level of fame in China’s intellectual circles; that she was widely seen as a liberal intellectual, and had published some harsh anti-system opinions which stepped on China’s bottom line from time to time.

Condemning her for having accepted interview requests from Western media such as the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and The Guardian, the editorial accused her of acting as an “extreme dissident”, and of having “helped the anti-China and anti-CPC forces in the US,” and “betrayed not only the oath of the Party, but also the interests of China and the Chinese people.”

Cai is said to be the grand-daughter of a revolutionary fighter and to have taught at the party school as a professor since 1992, giving her a solid “red background”.


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