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Stocksak: Li Xi is given a graft-busting job on China’s Standing Committee


© Stocksak. Li Xi, a member of the new Politburo Standing Committee, walks off the podium after meeting the media at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Stocksak), Li Xi, the Communist Party chief in Guangdong province’s economic powerhouse Guangdong, was elevated to the Politburo Standing Committee, and given the charge of the party’s influential graft-busting agency.

Although Li, 66 is not known to be a direct collaborator with Xi Jinping over his career – unlike the three new members appointed on Sunday to the Standing Committee – analysts still consider him to have gained Xi’s trust to secure such a sensitive job.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is extremely powerful. It punishes and roots out corruption within the 97million-member party. This has been Xi’s signature tool since he became China’s supreme leader a decade earlier.

Analysts believe that Xi’s fight to combat corruption has won him popularity with a populace fed up of widespread graft. It has also helped him consolidate control by replacing rivals with his loyalists.

Even considering the opaque standards of Chinese elite politics and public knowledge about Li, there is very little.

Li’s ties and ties to Xi result in part from his indirect connections with Xi’s father, the Communist Party revolutionary Xi Zhongxun.

Li hails originally from Liangdang, a rural county in northwest China’s Gansu Province. This is the same county where Xi’s father led a military rebellion against the nationalists back in April 1932.

Li was Li Ziqi’s assistant from 1982-1986. He graduated with a degree of Chinese language literature.

Li spent most of his first three decades in the northwest of China. He did so in Gansu, which is a relatively poor area that party watchers claim is considered a “hardship posting”, and Shaanxi, which was next to him.

Li was transferred from Beijing to Shanghai in 2011. He served many years in various senior party roles. His career took off when he was elected party secretary for Liaoning, China’s northeast.

Cheng Li, Director at The Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center, said that Li Xi, as party secretary of Liaoning was well-known for his tough stance against corruption. He also supported Xi’s call for stricter enforcement of party discipline.

He was elected Guangdong party chief in 2017, a highly coveted position that propelled his to the Politburo’s 25-member ranks.

Li’s time in Guangdong is considered an important economic credential. The Standing Committee has been joined by all but one of Guangdong’s last five party chiefs, which borders Hong Kong.

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