BEIJING — The former chairman of a real estate firm that openly criticized President Xi Jinping’s managing of this coronavirus pandemic was expelled from the ruling Communist Party and will be predicated on corruption charges, the party declared Friday.
Ren Zhiqiang, who’d been famous for talking about censorship and other sensitive subjects, vanished from public opinion in March after publishing an article on the internet that accused Xi of mishandling the outbreak which started in December in the central city of Wuhan.
It gave no details of these crimes.
Dozens of journalists, human and labor rights activists, and many others are imprisoned.
In a comment that circulated social networking, Ren criticized a Feb. 23 video conference using 170,000 officials held in the pandemic where Xi declared orders for reacting to the illness.
Ren did not mention Xi’s title but stated, “standing there wasn’t an emperor displaying his new clothing but a clown who’d stripped off his garments and insisted on having an emperor.”
Ren criticized propaganda which depicted Xi along with other leaders since rescuing China in the disease without even mentioning where it started and potential mistakes including controlling data at the onset of the outbreak.
“People didn’t observe any criticism in the summit. It did not research and disclose the facts,” Ren composed, according to a copy printed by China Digital Times, a site in California. “nobody assessed or obtained responsibility. However, they’re attempting to cover up the facts with all types of great accomplishments”
Ren had an early army career and his parents were both former high officials in the Communist party, causing some to call him a princeling, an oft-used reference into the offspring of those founders of the People’s Republic — such as Xi.
That standing may have supplied him with some resistance from prosecution, even though he seems to have crossed a line by minding Xi’s direction, whether by implication or name.
Ren ran into trouble a couple of years back when state media reported that he was accused of violating party”political field” His party membership has been set on probation for a year. He had an early spell of difficulty from the mid-1980s.