Qiao Shi is among the old guard of Chinese leaders who continue to exert influence in retirement. (Internet photo)
Nathan Gardels, editor of current affairs journal New Perspectives Quarterly, says that Qiao Shi, the chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress in the 1990s, played an important role in the dismissal from office last month of Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, according to our sister Chinese-language newspaper Want Daily.
Though Qiao is now retired, his former subordinates are all senior officials within the Chinese government or the Communist Party and Qiao continues to exert his influence through them. While most foreign media reports have focused their attention on the nine members of Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body, Gardels said that Qiao was the decisive factor in Bo's ouster.
According to Gardels, Qiao was among those who worked hard to make China a country ruled by law rather than subject to the personal dictatorship as seen during the Mao era, and was therefore opposed to a flamboyant and populist figure like Bo, who sought to revive the red culture of old in Chongqing while promoting his personality cult. Two of Qiao's former subordinates in particular were reportedly instrumental in stripping Bo of his positions, according to Gardels. These were Chen Jiping, deputy secretary general of the Communist Party's Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and Wang Huaichen, secretary of the provincial party committee of Sichuan. The former served in the past as Qiao Shi's secretary while the latter was his in charge of his security.
Qiao Shi 喬石
Chen Jiping 陳冀平
Wang Huaichen 王懷臣