China investigates party member critical of Xi over outbreak
Ren Zhiqiang is a former head of state-run real estate conglomerate Huayuan Group and a party member who has become known for his outspokenness on sensitive topics such as press censorship.
He dropped from sight in mid-March after publishing an online essay that criticized the leadership's handling of the virus outbreak that originated in December in central China. While government data show COVID-19 apparently subsiding in China, more than 1.4 million people have been infected worldwide.A one-sentence notice issued Tuesday by the party-government joint disciplinary watchdog body in Beijing's western district said Ren was undergoing a "review and monitoring investigation" but gave no details and did not mention Ren's article or previous statements.
Criticism has chiefly focused on allegations of early efforts to squelch news of the outbreak, the true numbers of those who have become sickened and died, and efforts by Xi and the party to portray themselves as riding to the rescue when no others could lead China out of the crisis.Chinese police also reprimanded and threatened a group of medical workers who spread word of the threat early in the outbreak, one of whom, a doctor, later died from COVID-19.Ren, 69, had an early military career and his parents were both former high officials in the Communist party, leading some to call him a princeling, an oft-used reference to the offspring of the founders of the People's Republic - including Xi.
That status might have provided him with some immunity from prosecution, although he appears to have crossed a line by criticizing Xi's personal leadership, whether by name or implication.Since taking over the helm of the party in 2012, Xi has shown himself entirely intolerant of any criticism and has cracked down heavily on free media and civil society, jailing scores of journalists, lawyers and non-governmental activists on labor and other issues. (AP) AMSAMS
(This story has not been edited by Business Insider and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)
- Delhi Budget: Law university, English speaking course on cards for higher education students
- Aurangabad tourism overlooked in Maha budget: Stakeholders
- Delhi govt allocates Rs 1,550 crore in budget for development of unauthorised colonies
- Asus TUF Dash F15 gaming laptop launched starting at ₹1,39,990
- Vedantu plans to hire 2,500 people over the next three months as it take ed-tech to smaller towns