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Xi’s Agents of Fear Keep Party on Edge in Anti-Graft Fight

  • Graftbusters’ sweeps keep officials guessing about who’s next
  • Xi seeks to extend four-year-old campaign in key party meeting
Huang Xingguo.

Huang Xingguo.

Photographer: Imaginechina
Updated on

The Sept. 10 front page of the Tianjin Daily portrayed Huang Xingguo, then leader of one of China’s biggest ports, as the quintessential city official: Two stories extolled him receiving delegates from Taiwan’s opposition party and telling a group of teachers about plans to improve their livelihoods. 

The state-run newspaper told a different story on Sept. 11. A banner headline announced the Communist Party’s decision to investigate the acting Tianjin party secretary for “serious disciplinary violations,” a euphemism for graft. The probe effectively ended Huang’s four-decade political career, leaving a key space on the country’s political chessboard vacant.