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Xi Jinping cracks down, taking a page from Chairman Mao’s radical playbook

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By Willy Lam,

While China’s new supremo has made rhetorical pledges about following in the reformist footsteps of Deng Xiaoping, General Secretary Xi Jinping has adopted measures that smack a lot more of the philosophy of Mao Zedong.

Chinese troops show respect under a portrait of Mao Zedong.  /Reuters

Chinese troops show respect under a portrait of Mao Zedong. /Reuters

Mao launched in 1951 the so-called “Three Antis movement” against corruption, a wasteful lifestyle, and “bureaucratism” among officials. This was two years after he pronounced at the Tiananmen Square rostrum that “Chinese have stood up.”

Since becoming party chief and commander-in-chief in mid-November, the 59-year-old Xi has launched what could be the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) biggest purge in years.

Apart from former Politburo member Bo Xilai and former Railways Minister Liu Zhijun, several ministerial and vice-ministerial -level officials – as well as their spouses and children – are said to be under investigation by the Central Commission on Disciplinary Inspection, the country’s highest graft-buster.

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