Willy Lam on the China Corruption Crackdown

A spreading anti-corruption crackdown launched by President Xi Jinping snared its most senior figure when a former top Chinese general was expelled from the ruling Communist Party to face bribery charges. China expert Willy Lam shared his insights in this recent CBS News interview:

Willy Lam

The latest people expelled from the party were close to Zhou, suggesting Xi is on the verge of trying to have him expelled from the party, said Willy Lam, a politics specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Zhou is rumored to have been detained but there has been no official confirmation.

“Zhou Yongkang was a bitter enemy of Xi Jinping. He was opposed to Xi Jinping becoming general secretary. This is also a personal vendetta. A power struggle,” said Lam. “Xi Jinping has very shortly used the anti-corruption campaign to bring down his political enemies.”

Xu’s case marks the first time since the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution that such a senior Chinese general has been detained, according to Lam. Xu was the most senior uniformed officer and ranked behind only then-President Hu Jintao, who was the commission chairman, in the military hierarchy.

China’s military is a wing of the Communist Party and its leaders are politically influential, making any move to detain a general a risky act.

Xi, the president, had to win support from Hu and former leader Jiang Zemin to pursue Xu, said Lam. He said Jiang initially resisted but agreed “for the sake of a healthy party they had to get rid of this cancerous cell.”

“Xu went overboard in terms of his greed and the vast amount of money he has collected,” Lam said.

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Willy Lam

With more than 30 years of experience in writing and researching about China, Willy Wo-Lap LAM is a recognized authority on areas including the Chinese Communist Party, public administration, foreign policy, the People’s Liberation Army, as well as the country’s economic and political reform. Dr Lam has worked in senior editorial positions in international media including Asiaweek newsmagazine, South China Morning Post, and the Asia-Pacific Headquarters of CNN.

Since early 2005, Dr Lam has been a Professor of China Studies at Akita International University, Japan (www.aiu.ac.jp). He is also an Adjunct Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong (History Department & Master of Global Political Economy Program); and a Senior Fellow at Jamestown Foundation (www.jamestown.org), a leading foreign-policy think tank in Washington D.C.

Willy’s views on China are frequently sought by global media including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC, Bloomberg, Voice of America, and other major publications and electronic media. He has been awarded visiting fellowships by institutions including Columbia University, Washington University at St. Louis (U.S.), Nottingham University (Britain), and Murdoch University (Australia.)

Contact us today to engage Dr Willy Lam to share his insights on China politics.