On Nov. 24, 2021, Duowei newspaper published an article: “Jiang Zemin: ‘Taiwan issue of my greatest concern,'” referring to Jiang Zemin’s desire to unify Taiwan.

The Liberation Army Newspaper published an article on the same day: “The command of the war must be handed over to those who can see the enemy.” The primary intention is for Xi Jinping to hand over power to the army. 

Professor Zhang Tianliang, a historian with a deep understanding of Chinese politics and culture, analyzed the article in Duowei in the world’s political commentary published on Nov. 27, 2021.

Duowei article puts pressure on Xi Jinping.

Many people say that the Duowei website belongs to Zeng Qinghong; for his part, Professor Zhang has not precisely verified the above information but has given some analysis.

Duowei is a foreign media company but is headquartered in Beijing. It is extraordinary because an overseas media channel usually only sets up one reporter station or has a few reporters residing in the local area.

Professor Zhang acknowledged that Duowei must support some high-ranking faction within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

On Nov. 24, 2021, Duowei newspaper published an article titled: “Jiang Zemin: ‘Taiwan issue of my greatest concern.'” It gives some of Jiang Zemin’s views on the Taiwan issue, repeatedly mentioning that the former CCP leader wants to “reunify Taiwan by force.”

As a person with a deep understanding of Chinese politics, Professor Zhang acknowledged that Duowei borrowed Jiang Zemin’s story to push Xi Jinping to unify Taiwan as soon as possible. Behind it was a pitfall trap. 

In June 1995, President Clinton allowed the President of the Republic of China Li Dang Huy to visit the United States, breaking the ban on high-ranking Taiwanese figures.

Jiang Zemin later suggested military action against Taiwan in conversation with a People’s Liberation Army senior general. Then Deng Xiaoping gave instructions that “the Sino-American issue and the Taiwan Strait should be handled rationally.” 

Under the circumstances of public opinion and social sentiment in China, the incident painted a strong image for Jiang Zemin, describing him as a leader who was always “heartbroken about national unification.” 

But under the eyes of a historian, Professor Zhang said, “Jiang Zemin is like a speculator. He really doesn’t have the courage to use force to unify Taiwan.”

Professor Zhang says, “In 1995, did Jiang Zemin want to unify Taiwan? Impossible. Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping couldn’t do it; what did Jiang Zemin rely on to do it?” 

Professor Zhang acknowledged that Jiang Zemin also thought that: if he won, he would still be the supreme leader or General Secretary; and if you lose, the CCP will lose the country. 

Therefore, Jiang Zemin would not dare to do such a risky thing. He expressed his uncompromising attitude only to create the image of a leader who was always “heartbroken about national unification” but did not have the guts to unify Taiwan. 

The problem Jiang Zemin faced back then is the same as Xi Jinping’s problem now. Currently, Xi Jinping is being watched by political opponents.

In the historic resolution passed at the 6th Plenary Session of the Central Committee, Xi Jinping did not downplay Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, or Hu Jintao. Xi also did not equate himself with Mao Zedong; Xi can only continue the policy of his predecessors.

Xi Jinping does not achieve the “supreme authority” like Mao Zedong. He does not have all the power in his hands; how dare Xi risk attacking Taiwan. If Xi wins, he remains General Secretary; re-election will not be affected. If he loses, the CCP will destroy the country, and Xi will not avoid disaster. 

Professor Zhang acknowledged that whether Xi would hit Taiwan or not hit Taiwan was unknown. But it’s clear that Zeng Qinghong wants to cause trouble for Xi Jinping and is looking for opportunities.

Xi Jinping does not hold real power in the military.

On Oct. 11, 2021, the mouthpiece of China’s military—the Liberation Army Newspaper—published an article titled: “Always keep his identity unfalsified. The military will stand neutral if Cai Shang Huang (referring to Jiang Zemin or the Jiang–Tang faction) is reinstated.”

The 3rd historic resolution was passed at the 6th Plenary Session held from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11, but the army has not yet “learned, mastered, understood, and expressed its attitudes.” 

On Nov. 24, 2021, the Liberation Army Newspaper published an article with the title: “The right to command the war must be given to those who can see the enemy.” It refers to the right of command in the army, which also means that in specific wars, it is advisable to allow the near–command officer to handle situations on the battlefield with flexibility.

The problem here is, from the articles in the Liberation Army Newspaper and the army’s attitude, it can be seen that although Xi Jinping is the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, he does not hold the real power. He is not like Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping. Mao and Deng could give some military authority to the commander. For example, Mao Zedong could delegate power to four field commanders to go to war, while Deng Xiaoping dared to hand over the army to Hua Shiyou. 

Xi Jinping does not hold absolute power, nor is he as strong as Mao or Deng. Xi did not dare to hand over military power to the army commander. If China fights against Taiwan, as long as the U.S. military participates, China has no chance of winning. In the hypothetical situation that China wins, then the general who commands the army will “overwhelm the master,” then he can overthrow Xi Jinping. 

Therefore, Xi Jinping will not dare to attack Taiwan. And the shouting on Duowei could be Zeng Qinghong’s counterattack for Xi Jinping.

Currently, both Xi Jinping and Zeng Qinghong have no way to retreat. 

Xi Jinping still has in mind the coup incident that year was behind Jiang–Tang, but because at the 19th National Congress in 2017, Xi did not have time to clean up Zeng Qinghong, so he compromised. 

Zeng Qinghong also had similar thoughts. It would be too late if he did not act before the 20th Congress because the people he promoted by that time had reached retirement age. So the upcoming battle could be a decisive battle between Xi Jinping and Zeng Qinghong.

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