In July, Xi Jinping loyalist Chen Yixin announced a campaign to “root out ‘two-faced people’ who are disloyal and dishonest to the party.”
The move comes amid fears that Xi Jinping’s regime may be called into question by internal factions unhappy with its increasingly militant approach to domestic and foreign affairs.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Andreas Fulda of the University of Nottingham said: “With his militant approach to governing China, Secretary General Xi Jinping has alienated many of the party’s base.
“Former Central Party School teacher Cai Xia now regards the CCP as a ‘political zombie.’
“Influential property mogul Ren Zhiqiang called Xi a ‘clown’.
Fulda, a senior researcher at the Asian Research Institute, also spoke about threats to Xi Jinping coming from outside of China.
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“All of these developments should be seen as a downward spiral and point to a phase of political instability in mainland China. ”
In 2018, Xi Jinping removed the presidential term limit, making him the leader of China until he dies or decides to abdicate.
The move has been interpreted as a manifestation of the Chinese premier’s fear of factions within the ruling party that could orchestrate a coup attempt.
The Chinese leader has targeted influential members of an opposing faction in his ruthless crackdown on corruption.
There are two main factions within the Chinese Communist Party.
For two decades before Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the most influential ruling faction was called the Jiang Coalition.
This faction is named after former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and is made up of the elite members, or “princelings,” of the CCP.
They are opposed to the populist coalition that supports the current leader for life, Xi Jinping.
Speaking to Business Insider, Larry Ong, a senior analyst on China, described the strained relations between the two factions, saying: “Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has engaged in a fight to the death with the Jiang Zemin’s influential political faction ”.
Meanwhile, on Monday, September 14, European Union leaders will meet with Xi Jinping to discuss business practices and the security threat posed by Chinese tech companies such as Huawei.
But new data suggests a growing disconnect between European leaders and their constituents.
Many European leaders, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have been accused of failing to take a strong enough stance on Beijing and of compromising democratic principles in order to protect trade with China.