A new political purge campaign has just been launched in China. Faced with the deadly coronavirus epidemic in Hubei province (1,600 dead and more than 60,000 cases), the leader Xi Jinping uses the strong way.
He already got rid of the general secretary of the Communist Party of Hubei Province and that of the capital Wuhan earlier this week, to replace them with relatives from Shandong Province and Shanghai.
At the same time, faced with the political rebellion in Hong Kong that has been going on since last June, he has just dismissed the director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office to replace him with a hard-core, Xia Baolong, 67 years old.
A vast purge campaign has just been launched
This post is crucial because it is the equivalent of a ministry, responsible for all questions relating to these two territories returned to China (Hong Kong in 1997, Macao in 1999). This is clearly a takeover of Hong Kong’s political management, which is plagued by its most serious political crisis since the handover. Very dissatisfied with the management of the crisis by its representative on the spot, Xi Jinping already replaced him in January by an apparatchik, Luo Huining. When he was appointed director of the “Liaison Office”, he said he hoped Hong Kong would return “ In the right way “.
“I am fortunate to belong to the Zhejiang Iron Army”
The arrival of Xia Baolong confirms the tightening of the policy towards Hong Kong. He was the very strategic post of Deputy Secretary General of the Communist Party of Zhejiang Province, one of the richest in China, from 2003 to 2017. He owes his entire political career to Xi Jinping who was then Secretary General of the provincial party.
During his speech from Zhejiang he said: ” I am lucky to be part of the Zhejiang “iron army” An expression referring to all the officials working for Xi Jinping. ” From the bottom of my heart, I can say that this is the greatest chance for the nation, the party and the people to have Xi Jinping at the center of the Chinese Communist Party. He added.
He led the campaign to destroy hundreds of churches in Zhejiang
In 2014, he launched the vast campaign to destroy the crosses (more than 1,000) at the top of church, Protestant and Catholic steeples. These attacks on religious freedom had provoked many reactions in the world where the images of destroyed chapels, unbolted crosses, destroyed steeples were disseminated…
This campaign was launched after the visit of Xi Jinping, who became the leader of all of China, in 2013, in the big city of Wenzhou where a very large Christian minority lives. He had been very surprised by the height of the church steeples and had questioned this overly showy presence. Xia Baolong, who personally ordered the destruction campaign, was concerned about the expansion of religions in Wenzhou, known as “The Jerusalem of the East”.
Already in Hong Kong, many observers have analyzed his appointment as Xi Jinping’s desire to crush the protests by all means. Catholics and Protestants from Hong Kong regard his arrival as a very bad omen.