On 24 July China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection officially announced that former Chongqing Party Chief Sun Zhengcai has been placed under investigation for ‘serious discipline violation’.
My comments to the Agence-France Presse (AFP) appeared in the Daily Mail.
Sun, who had kept a low profile, had even been touted as Xi’s potential successor, said Simone van Nieuwenhuizen, a Sydney-based researcher and co-author of “China and the New Maoists”.
“His downfall signals a growing sense of insecurity among Xi and his followers,” van Nieuwenhuizen told AFP.
While the exact reasons for his fall are unknown, “we do know however that Sun had been promoted as a protege of Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao,” she said.
“Xi could therefore consider Sun a threat to his own agenda and political ambitions; other proteges of Hu have also previously been held back from seeking higher positions under Xi.”