Yesterday the Chinese Communist Party expelled a former teacher over her comments critical of President Xi Jinping. Cai Xia was a professor at the elite Central Party School that trains many of the country’s top leaders in communist theory.
The school said in a notice that Cai, a professor at the party school since 1992, had made comments that “damaged the country’s reputation” and were full of “serious political problems”.
The cause for her expulsion from the party was a 20-minute segment of audio which leaked this summer. In the audio clip, Cai described the CCP as a “political zombie” and suggested China needed to get rid of President Xi and his control of everything via the police and surveillance. Here’s a transcription of a portion of what she said in the leaked audio:
So, the Party itself is already a political zombie. And this one person, a central leader who has grasped the knife handle [police apparatus], the gun barrel [military], and faults within the system itself—that is: one, corruption among the officials; and two, the lack of human rights and legal protection for Party members and cadres. With these two grasped in his hands, he has turned 90 million Party members into slaves, tools to be used for his personal advantage. When he needs it, he uses the Party. When he doesn’t need it, Party members are no longer treated as Party members. He can easily put you somewhere and label you as a corrupt official…
Nowadays, not supporting the real economy is a crime, being defiant against the Party is a crime, being dishonest towards the Party is a crime. Where is rule of law? What kind of political party is this? He has become a total mafia boss who can punish his underlings however he wants. That’s why I say that this Party is already a political zombie…
I think the best solution is of course to replace the person. As a matter of urgency, I think that is the first step. But you can see what he is doing now: holding military power in his hand, holding the entire Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission and the police in his hands. Putting everyone under surveillance using high-tech tools. Who can come out and say “let’s solve this problem”? It’s impossible. Even at the Central Standing Committee meetings, we say majority rule, but does the majority actually rule? No…
Because right now society can’t be counted on, he’s already atomized the entire Chinese society into scattered sand. All of civil society and the capacity for self-organization have been shattered. Running the country with the police, violently monitoring the people. Society itself is at the point of death.
So you can probably see why Cai was kicked out of the party. She’s directly calling for Xi Jinping to step down and be replaced and she’s implicitly saying the entire party has become a cult of personality where everyone is afraid to speak up for fear of being labeled an enemy of the state.
Cai has left China and is now free to speak her mind. In an interview with the Guardian she talked about China’s failure to alert the world about the coronavirus:
Beijing has blamed the suppression of information about the outbreak in Wuhan on local officials. Chinese health officials said on 20 January that the virus was contagious, weeks after it had emerged in December. But a speech published by the party magazine Qiushi showed that Xi met the politburo and gave instructions on the needed virus response on 7 January, almost two weeks before the public was warned.
“If he knew on 7 January, why did it take until 20 January to announce the outbreak? In other words, the fact that people were concealing the news from him is the result of the system,” said Cai. “But when he knew the situation on 7 January, he did not make it public or mobilise resources. So shouldn’t he bear responsibility?”
This is an example of the dynamic she described in the leaked audio, i.e. Xi is responsible for everything and no one is willing to say that Xi was wrong about anything so no one can admit the country ever made a mistake even when the result is a global pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Now that she’s been expelled, Cai said she’s happy about it. “Many of my good friends who saw the news of me being expelled are cheering. They think this is a good thing,” she told the Guardian.