Ling Jihua 令计划
Under investigation for corruption
Prior to investigation was Head of UFWD, responsible for day-to-day Tibet policy and a Vice Chair of the CPPCC.
Pronunciation: Ling Jee-Hwa soundbite
Born: October 1956, Shanxi Province
Education: Started work at the age of 17, later gained an MBA from Hunan University in the 1990s.
Career: A top aide of Hu Jintao, formerly Director of the powerful CCP’s Central Committee General Office. Appointment as Head of United Front Work Department considered a demotion, likely linked to the cover-up of his son’s fatal car crash. In March 2013 appointed a Vice Chair of CPPCC.
Prospects: Under investigation.
Relevance to Tibet: Formerly responsible for day-to-day Tibet policy and a potential interlocutor for Tibetan exiles.
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights
Ling Jihua was placed under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on 22 December 2014. Ling is the fourth member of what Communist Party cadres are terming the “New Gang of Four”, other members of which are former Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang, Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai and Xu Caihou, a former Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Ling Jihua was also named by Xinhua as founder of the “Shanxi Gang” or faction; his two brothers are also reportedly under investigation, whilst political allies, which include former Yunnan Party Secretary Qin Guangrong, has recently been demoted.
Ling Jihua had been appointed Director of the United Front Work Department in September 2012, in a surprise move from the General Office of the CCP’s Central Committee. He remained a member of the (18th) Central Committee
Whilst standard political manoeuvring ahead of the 18th Party Congress was one explanation for the change in positions, many commentators attributed the move to Ling Jihua’s attempts to cover up a family scandal; in March 2012 it is widely reported that Ling’s son was killed when the car he was driving (a Ferrari according to some media) crashed, severely injuring two women passengers – a Tibetan and a Uighur according to the South China Morning Post – were seriously injured. The more salacious rumours claimed all three were partially clothed.
Ling replaced Du Qinglin as United Front Work Department Head, and was himself succeeded by Li Zhanshu, a key ally of Xi Jinping, an appointment widely viewed as strengthening Xi’s authority at the expense of Hu Jintao’s future influence. Ling’s role in the United Front Work Department may, however, have given Hu Jintao an opening to retain at least some influence over future Tibet policy.
Ling rose through the Communist Youth League (including Deputy director of the Theoretical Studies Division of the Publicity Department of CYL, rising to Deputy director general of the General Office of the CYL Central Committee and editor-in-chief of the Youth League Journal.)
He was connected to the General Office of the CCP Central Committee from 1995, becoming Director general of its research office in 1998, and a Deputy Director of the General Office itself from 2000.
In 2007 he became a Member of the Secretariat, Director of the General Office, deputy director of the General Office of the Committee for the Reform of Central Departments and a member of the 17th Central Committee.
The Wall Street Journal said Ling was Hu’s private secretary prior to being promoted to Director of the General Office, and that he accompanied Hu on many overseas trips and wrote speeches for him. The WSJ wrote, quoting party insiders; ‘They say the directorship of the General Office is one of the most politically sensitive posts in the party because it supervises the day-to-day logistics of the top leadership, including living arrangements, travel and meetings.’
Ling Jihua’s Contact Information:
- Address: 35 Fuyou Street Xicheng District, Beijing 100800.
- Website: http://www.zytzb.cn/09/
- Phone:not available
- Fax:not available