08/24/2020, 14.57
CHINA
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Cai Xia: Xi wants ‘political zombies’ in the Chinese Communist Party

The former party school teacher was expelled and lost her pension for criticising the president. With Xi at the helm, the CCP is no longer able to reflect on its mistakes. The debate about democracy within the Party has ended. The demand for new leaders is growing. Hong Kong’s security law is harmful.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Xi Jinping wants to turn 90 million members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) into "political zombies,” said Cai Xia on Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), Hong Kong’s public broadcasting service.

A week ago, the retired CCP school teacher was kicked out of the party and deprived of her pension for publicly attacking the Chinese president.

She explained that she was pleased with her expulsion since the party is incapable of examining its own mistakes since Xi took over.

In a harsh attack against President Xi, who is also party secretary, Cai notes that diversity of thought is no longer tolerated in the CCP.

One “can criticize the Chinese Communist Party, but you must not criticize Xi Jinping.” If the latter happens, people are accused of serving foreign powers.

For Cai, despite the authoritarian nature of China’s regime, before Xi’s rise to power it was normal to discuss introducing democratic elements into the party.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia on 18 August, the former teacher notes that until 2013 the debate on democracy within the CCP was quite robust, and was considered a first step towards achieving a broader reform of the political system.

Since he came to power, Xi's hold is very strong, she adds. His grip has grown since the 2018 constitutional change. But in her view, scrapping term limitations for the presidency was a crime, and has set the country back a century.

Still, she believes that many in the Party want a change in leadership, even if this has not yet turned into an organised movement.

Cai, who now lives in the United States, does not plan to go home for fear of arrest. She believes that tensions between China and other countries will not ease if Xi remains in power.

For her, the security law imposed on Hong Kong has negative effects for the future of China as well as for its relations with the rest of the world.

For this reason, she said she had great respect for the people of the former British colony, who have been fighting for their rights and freedoms over the past year.

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