The ouster of retired People’s Liberation Army Gen. Xu Caihou from the Communist Party of China this week represents a major political blow to China’s all-powerful military.
For a decade, Gen. Xu was the most powerful man in uniform in China as the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in charge of political affairs. From that post between 2002 and 2012 he wielded enormous power, ultimately controlling all things military in China, from the PLA’s multibillion-dollar budgets to appointments and promotions of all senior leaders.
According to U.S. government China analysts, there is high confidence that the outgoing Mr. Hu warned his successor Mr. Xi that Gen. Xu, a Jiang loyalist and member of the ruling Politburo, was someone not to be trusted. And that is what officials say led Mr. Xi to the use the party investigatory system to bring criminal charges against the Chinese general, culminating his prosecution and disgrace within the party. Continue reading