A Chinese top cop, who has been sentenced to death, could have been wiretapping President Xi Jinping, according to reports. Sun Lijun, who is a former vice minister of public security and was an ally of Xi, was sentenced to death for corruption.
Lijun, who held significant power, had overseen the crackdown on Hong Kong protests. He was also sent to Wuhan at the start of the pandemic, which suggests that he was powerful figure in the country.
Sun Lijun Was Wiretapping Xi Jinping
But he now stands accused of leading a "political clique" that has "seriously damaged the unity of the party", with allegations reported on in a Spectator podcast that he may even have been involved in wiretapping, according to Daily Star.
"One of the things that seems to be going around is that one of the vice-ministers sentenced was also wiretapping senior leaders, including Xi, which is one of the big taboos in government," claimed veteran China watcher Bill Bishop on The Spectator's podcast Chinese Whispers.
China expert Ming Xia, from New York City University, underlined that Sun could have wiretapped Xi as he had the motivation and means to do this.
Sun Had motivation and means To Wiretap
"The Ministry of Public Security has the technology to do this thing easily and Sun had the strong motive to do it for power competition and self-preservation. Chinese leaders are unprincipled opportunists with political high ambition and a deep sense of insecurity so would apply any means possible to know everything about their leaders," Professor Ming told The Sun.
Sun's Death Sentence Was Politically Motivated Decision
Sun's death sentence is also being seen as a politically motivated decision to give a clear signal to opponents that Xi positions himself as the leader for life.
Reports have suggested that Xi could get another five-year tenure after the completion of the 20th congress of the Chinese Communist Party meeting in Beijing. The sentencing of corrupt high-profile officials in the lead-up to congress is seen as a tradition in China to warn party members to toe the line.