A group of Communist Party veterans have written a daring open letter calling for the removal of China’s top security official, in the latest sign of disunity ahead of Beijing’s leadership transition.
Security chief Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s top nine rulers, is viewed as a hardliner and is linked to Bo Xilai , the charismatic party leader whose downfall earlier this year triggered the nation’s biggest political scandal in decades.
In an open letter to President Hu Jintao, published on a number of overseas websites, the veterans suggest that Zhou is part of a movement to revive the China of Mao Zedong.
Zhao Zhengrong, a retired anti-corruption official from the southwestern province of Yunnan, told the AFP news agency that he, and 15 other party members from the same province, had sent the proposal advocating Zhou’s removal to higher authorities.
Speculation has been growing about the future of Zhou since the downfall of another top politician, Bo Xilai.
Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan said that the letter was significant because it was rare to see this type of dissent in China.
“For the first time in 20 years, we really are seeing a debate and a split in the political leadership,” she said.
Despite this divide, she said the letter was unlikely to have any impact on the national government.
“What’s lost in this entire narrative is that the next president and premier of China are not going to change,” she explained.
Source: Al Jazeera. Video at link.