China has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in 2020. Beginning with the Coronavirus outbreak, China has been targeted by the world for its treatment of Uighur Muslims, South China Sea disputes, border clash with India and alleged cyberattacks.
Now, a former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member, Cai Xia has lashed out at the country's president Xi Jinping, describing him as a "mafia boss" and claiming that China hasn't reported the actual Coronavirus deaths.
Who is Cai Xia?
Xia, a former professor at Beijing's Central Party School (CPS) for 15 years, was expelled from the party on Monday, August 17, following her remarks on Jinping in a leaked audio recording that allegedly damaged the country's reputation and violated the "political discipline of the Party." She said in an interview that CCP under Jinping's leadership isn't a force for progress in China, rather an obstacle.
The 68-year-old, a long-time critic of the CCP, was a member of the CCP under Mao Zedong, Hu Jintao and even Jinping. One of the most well-known scholars at the CPS, Xia even promoted former President Jiang Zemin's economic reforms that brought China to the World Trade Organization (WTO). She even advocated for the party and claimed it could be the medium of steady political and economic liberalization, the New York Times reported.
However, she grew frustrated when party leaders and Zemin's successor Jintao were unwilling to make political reforms aligning with economic progress. Her outspoken attitude had made her a target like other political dissidents in China. Now in the U.S., Xia has denounced CCP and Jinping for making China "an enemy" of the world.
The CPS committee expelled Xia from the party and canceled her retirement benefits "in accordance with the regulations on CCP disciplinary actions following a joint investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CCP and the Party School's discipline committee," a statement said.
On Coronavirus Pandemic
Now that she is out of China, she has hit back equally. In a scathing attack against Jinping and CCP, she has criticized the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, removing Jinping's term limit and allowing political power grab. Xia said that China never reported the actual deaths from COVID-19.
"Because people cannot speak the truth, Wuhan's epidemic spread across the country and the whole world and everyone have been harmed. We have so many people dead. About the number of deaths, up to now, China has not even said a real death number. Actually, the disaster for Chinese people has already begun," she told The Guardian.
Xia said that officials in Wuhan and inside the party informed Jinping late out of fear of retaliation. It was only in the first week of January, weeks after cases started emerging in Wuhan that the President was informed. She added that officials at all levels hid the truth and reported only when it was impossible to cover up anymore.
Shouldn't Jinping Take Responsibility?
"In the beginning, he did not get the real news, but he said in a meeting on January 7 that the situation was under his personal command. If he knew on January 7, why did it take until January 20 to announce the outbreak? So, shouldn't he bear responsibility?" she questioned, adding that even if Jinping took a stock of the situation, he mobilized resources late.
Her remarks about China hiding death toll comes after it was reported that Beijing authorities disconnected over 21 million cell phone accounts and more than 840,000 landlines. Some analysts point out that the number could be related to the actual number of Coronavirus deaths that China intentionally under-reported.
In Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic originated, the country so far has reported only 84,871 a total number of cases and 4,634 deaths, though experts have always challenged these figures.
China, World's Enemy
Apart from the Coronavirus pandemic, Xia also spoke out against XI making constitutional amendment that removed his presidential term limit. She believes through unchecked power Jinping has made China the world's enemy.
"When no one can oppose him, that means that his power is unchecked. You can see the confrontation between China and the U.S. He has made the world an enemy," she said, adding that Xi had encouraged anti-America sentiment and provoked conflicts with other countries including the recent border clash with India.
She believes that Jinping wants to consolidate his own position and authority amid domestic economic and social tensions. "He will think of ways to divert the attention of the Chinese public, provoking conflict with other countries, for example, encouraging anti-American sentiment and the recent clash between China and India," she added.