Minitrue: Do Not Hype Ling Jihua Probe

Minitrue: Do Not Hype Ling Jihua Probe

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Content related to Ling Jihua must strictly abide by propaganda discipline. Do not act on your own to hype the issue. Strictly control online commentary. (December 22, 2014)

令计划相关内容需严格遵守宣传纪律,不自行炒作,严格控制网上评论。 [Chinese]

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s anti-graft watchdog, has announced an official investigation into Ling Jihua. Ling, once the top aide of former president Hu Jintao, was at the center of a 2012 scandal after it was revealed that top Party officials had helped cover up the Ferrari accident that killed his son. In recent months, members of Ling Jihua’s family have been subject to detention and investigation—a clear signal that Ling himself was at the center of a major probe. The South China Morning Post reports:

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a brief statement yesterday that 58-year-old Ling was under investigation for “suspected serious disciplinary violations”, a term that usually refers to corruption. It gave no further details.

[…] Ling was the chief of the General Office of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and Hu’s personal secretary before 2011 – a post that is thought to have put him at the centre of the country’s highest reaches of political decision making.

He was also thought to be a political rising star, with the chance of elevation to the supreme Politburo Standing Committee in a party leadership reshuffle in November 2012.

But he was given less high-profile positions after the crash. He is a vice-chairman of the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and head of the United Front Work Department.

[…] Ling surprised many last week with an article he penned for party magazine Qiushi, in which he quoted Xi at least 16 times, a move seen as a last-ditch gesture by Ling to pledge loyalty. [Source]

Ling’s 12/15 essay has been removed from the Qiushi archives, but can be seen via Google Cache [Chinese].  In the essay, Ling repeatedly voices support for Xi’s “Chinese Dream” and ethnic policies.

Ling becomes the next high-level official to be investigated in Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown, after former security chief Zhou Yongkang, officially arrested and expelled from the Party early this month; and former Central Military Commission General Xu Caihou, who confessed to bribery in November.

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.


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