On July 8, Tan Li, deputy governor of Hainan Province was reportedly under investigation. Following former Hainan governor, Ji Wenlin, Tan was the second ministerial level officials being purged this year. Tan was another removed official with a Sichuan background. Analysts say that the regime has tightened the investigation into Zhou Yongkang, former Politburo Standing Committee. The ultimate target is aimed at Jiang Zemin, former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader.
Tan Li is age 59, a Chongqing native. He was a former Minister of Municipal Committee and Propaganda Department in Chengdu City, Sichuan. He also served as Party Secretary in Guang’an City and Mianyang City, Sichuan. He had worked in Sichuan for more than 30 years. During his term in Mianyang, Tan accompanied central leaders to visit Wenchuan earthquake disaster areas. Because on one photo, his face was in full smile, he was called “Tan Xiaoxiao” (Smiling Tan).
In March 2009, Tan Li served as Minister of Hainan Provincial Municipal Committee and Propaganda Department. In January 2010, he was promoted as vice governor in Hainan.
The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong reported that: during Tan’s term in Guang’an and Mianyan, many Falun Dafa practitioners were illegally detained and sent to labor camps, some had been persecuted to death.
Xing Tianxing, current affairs commentator: “During Zhou Yongkang’s tenure in Sichuan, Tan Li was propaganda minister. That was the first few years of Jiang Zeming’s persecution of Falun Gong. Zhou was promoted for his evil achievements of persecution. As a local propaganda minister, Tan also put lots of efforts into helping Zhou’s persecution.Tan threw his life into doing so, thus he saw the chance to be promoted and played an important role.”
The state-run media reported that Tan Li has close ties with Li Chuncheng, former vice secretary and Li Chongxi, former chairman of Sichuan Committee of Political Consultative Conference. Three of them are close to Zhou Yongkang.
In early February, when Zhou Yongkang’s former secretary Ji Wenlin was placed under investigation, Radio France Internationale cited a source that Tan has been forbidden to leave the country due to his involvement in the Ji Wenlin and the Zhou Yongkang cases.
Sources say that Tan was one of Sichuan tycoon Liu Han’s friend. In 2005, not long after Tan took his post in Mianyang, Liu’s groups started bribing Tan.
Hua Po, Beijing’s current affairs observer: “Main media have revealed clearly that Tan has linkes with Liu Han and Li Chuncheng. He was just a minion of Zhou’s faction. Thus the state-run media didn’t care to expose him, in order to continue to “dig out” Zhou Yongkang. Media has said that after Tan took his post in Hainan, someone praised him a lot. Who was someone, what was the interest connection? To dig out Tan aim at the ‘big Tiger’ behind.”
In April, overseas Chinese media said that Tan not only sold himself to Zhou, he also used Mianyang Science Technology funds invested in current member of Politburo Standing Committee Liu Yunshan’s son, Liu Lefei. Then Liu Lefei transferred the funds to Jiang Zemin’s grandson, Jiang Zhicheng.
Xing Tianxing: “Jiang Zemin’s grandson and Tan have interest links including Liu Yunshan. Tan’s dismissal actually aims at conducting Zhou Yongkang. Now the CCP is tightening Zhou’s case.In order to keep his own life, Zhou would confess all the details of the coup plotters. Many of his moves in the past were actually ordered by Jiang Zemin.”
Ye Du, China-based independent writer told Radio Free Asia that if provincial and ministerial level officials were purged, there would be a power struggle left behind.
Xing Tianxing: “They felt that directly removing Zhou Yongkang would be difficult. So, the purpose of removing his allies and the corrupt officials around him including officials who have been involved in the coup, is to collect enough evidence. Only then, can the current leaders, who are fighting corruption, feel safe. In the future, Jiang’s faction won’t come back to pose a threat to the current leaders.”
So far, several Jiang faction senior officials including Xu Caihou have been expelled from CCP. On July 2, CCP-run media published an article about charges against former president of France. It said that the regime should have the solid courage, to investigate the “big Tiger” like former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Xia Xiaoqiang, current affairs commentator says in his blog, that the current leader Xi Jinping has already aimed his target at Jiang Zemin.