68-year old outspoken retired Professor Cai Xia, a former senior faculty member of the Central Party School in Beijing for 15 years was expelled from the CCP on August 17 and lost her pension as punishment for speeches “that damaged the reputation of the country”. The expulsion notice said she had made speeches with “serious political problems” and they were of “extraordinarily vile nature” seriously violating the political discipline of the party.  The notice clarified that the decision came after a joint investigation by anti-corruption officers within the Party school and the CCP CC's Organisation Department. According to a leaked recording of a speech circulated online since June, Cai Xia called on the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee to replace a top leader without naming him. She also called for an overhaul of a wide range of domestic and foreign policies. In another article published on the internet last month, Cai Xia, who is herself a 'Red Descendant', defended real estate tycoon and 'princeling' Ren Zhiqiang, who is expected to face corruption charges after publishing comments highly critical of the party. In the article, Cai Xia appeared to criticise President Xi Jinping, identifying him by his family name. She confirmed that she had made that speech and was the author of the article. In another essay last month, she blamed the Party for having “persecuted Xu Zhangrun by ruining his reputation, humiliating his dignity, stripping him of his right to work and cutting off his livelihood.” Latest reports state that her articles are being erased from the Internet and Wechat. The CCP-owned Global Times  (August 19) sharply criticised Cai Xia and in the article captioned "Cai Xia's blatant betrayal is totally indefensible" said "although retired" she "should stick to the bottom line as a Party member and as a Chinese citizen by refusing to align with those malicious China attackers."

(Comment: Cai Xia, who normally stays in Beijing, was in the US when she was expelled and issued a statement saying she is safe and well there. Cai Xia's uncle Pan Hannian was a senior official in the CCP's Intelligence set-up from the 1930s to 1950s after which he was appointed Deputy Mayor and Deputy Party Secretary of Shanghai to work under Marshal Chen Yi. He was accused in 1955 of having colluded with the Japanese during the war and was in prison till his death in 1977. He was posthumously rehabilitated shortly thereafter. Earlier, in July, another outspoken critic of Chinese President Xi Jinping Ren Zhiqiang, who is a billionaire real estate tycoon and also a 'princeling' was expelled from the CCP and faces trial.)

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