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Xi Jinping’s critic expelled after accusing him of “killing the country”

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Cai Xia, former professor and Chinese academic (SCMP)
Cai Xia, former professor and Chinese academic (SCMP)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 20: Cai Xia, a former professor at China’s Central Party School was expelled on Monday from the school for her scathing criticism against Chinese President Xi Jinping’s leadership. Cai accused the Chinese President of “killing a country” in a leaked audio recording in June. 

After being expelled from the alma mater of Mao Zedong, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping, she told The Guardian that under Xi, CCP is not a force of progress for China. “I believe I am not the only one who wants to leave this party. More people would like to withdraw or quit this party. . . I had intended to quit the party years ago when there was no more room to speak and my voice was completely blocked,” she clarified.

The school rebuked her comments and said her remarks have damaged China’s reputation. Cai, 67, who was a professor at the school since 1992 has left China after the expulsion. She also blamed the president for making China “an enemy” of the world and faced backlash as such open criticism from within the party has been extremely rare. She is the latest public intellectual to be penalized for criticising the leadership.  

The retired scholar said that Xi’s “unchecked power” has led to mistakes such as the handling of COVID-19 outbreak and has amplified the widespread opposition within his own party. Critics within the party are afraid of retaliation in the form of party discipline and corruption charges. She accused Xi of withholding information about the pandemic, citing his foreknowledge of the risks involved.

She said that she had wanted to leave the party since 2016 when the space for dialogue shrank drastically under Xi’s leadership, “Those below are too afraid to tell him and wrong decisions continue to be made until the situation is out of control. In this vicious cycle, there is no way to stop the country from sliding towards disaster.”  She claimed that many middle and higher-level officials who were part of the reform era under Deng Xiaoping are discontent with the ruling leader. 

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