Chinese Professor Disciplined for Calling President Xi a ‘Mafia Boss’

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a summit at the Belt and Road Forum on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. The Belt and Road Forum focuses on the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) trade initiative. (Photo by Thomas Peter - Pool/Getty Images)
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Retired Chinese professor Cai Xia, formerly a political science teacher at the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Central Party School, was “disciplined” for insulting President Xi Jinping by calling him a “mob boss” during a recorded online meeting in July.

Reuters pointed out that Cai is the third prominent Chinese figure to be disciplined for criticizing Xi in the past month, the other two being Tsinghua University law professor Xu Zhangrun and property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang. Xu slammed Xi as a dictator, while Ren called him a “clown.”

Cai said Xi was amassing power and ruthlessly protecting his interests like a “mafia boss” and his ambitions had turned the CCP into a hollowed-out “political zombie.”

“If the Politburo Standing Committee has any sense of responsibility to the people, the country and the party, they should call for a meeting to replace Xi,” she said in the recorded conversation.

Reuters described Cai as the granddaughter of a “revolutionary fighter” and a teacher of impeccable credentials after four decades teaching at the prestigious and politically vital Central Party School. 

In her later years, she has been attempting to convince the CCP that communism is not incompatible with constitutional democracy — a Sisyphean task that grew even more difficult for her after Xi made himself dictator-for-life in 2018.

According to a statement from the school, Cai was drummed out of the Communist Party for her remarks, which purportedly caused “serious political problems and damaged the country’s reputation.”

China Digital Times clarified that Cai took pains not to call Xi out by name in the recorded address that got her in trouble, but it was clear which “individual at the top” she was lamenting, and she clearly pointed to the constitutional revision that removed term limits from the presidency as the “clearly illegal” change that zombified the CCP.

Cai said the unnamed leader was using police and the military to turn “90 million Party members into slaves, tools to be used for his personal advantage.”

“When he needs it, he uses the Party. When he doesn’t need it, Party members are no longer treated as Party members. He can easily put you somewhere and label you as a corrupt official,” she said, hitting Xi in another soft spot: the perception that his endless crusades against corruption are just thinly-disguised political purges.

“Nowadays, not supporting the real economy is a crime, being defiant against the Party is a crime, being dishonest towards the Party is a crime. Where is rule of law? What kind of political party is this? He has become a total mafia boss who can punish his underlings however he wants,” Cai complained, expressing her own forbidden thoughts that the Chinese economy is headed toward “collapse” under Xi.

“Those with money have already left, those who are capable have left,” she contended. “What are we left with? We are left with just the blood-sucking red elitists and a large number of poor working people who would never have the means to emigrate. That’s why I think these are the only two groups of people left here, everyone who can leave has already left.”

“Is there still hope for this country? There is no hope,” she judged.


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