How Long will the Linyi Leaders last in Office?

Not the rule of law, but “social management”, seems to impose this question. Local party and state authority mostly remains faceless in the news, but there are heads who are responsible for the human-rights violations – apparently gross even by Chinese standards – which turned Chen Guangcheng into an activist, and heads who are responsible for more recent scandals which haven’t only rattled some otherwise callous foreign “old China hands”, but, more crucially, Chinese people, too.

There seems to be an exorbitant flush of revenge among the local or regional authorities. But “loss of face” may not be the only reason for the latest travesties of justice that apparently surround Chen’s wider family, and especially his nephew, Chen Kegui. My impression is that there are officials who are fighting for their political survival, or who want to do as much damage as they can before they are finished.

The party cares more about itself than about the state, but the center will have to sacrify some pawn comrades. No evidence – just a gut feeling.

Afterwards, we will hear from people who are “shocked” that those things could happen at all, as if the crimes had started only a week ago, and Huanqiu Shibao and the “Global Times”, its English-language sister paper will, once again, celebrate the “rule of law” in China.

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