The actual question is asked (in so many words) by Gordon Chang, who has noticed that the CCP boss is hewing very, very closely to Rule 1 for Interpreting Corruption Charges in Communist China (the charges are politically driven by factionalism):

Zhou (Yongkang), Jiang (Jieman), and virtually all other recent high-level targets either have or had some connection with China National Petroleum Corporation, China’s largest oil company, raising speculation that Xi is conducting a purge of the “Petroleum Faction.” Zhou, for instance, once was head of CNPC, as the oil giant is known.

In November, Zhou stepped down from the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of political power in China. The investigation of this intensely disliked figure breaks an unwritten rule, honored since the end of the Cultural Revolution and the trial of the Gang of Four, that no Standing Committee member can be held accountable for misdeeds.

Most analysts believe these developments show Xi is boldly consolidating power. He became China’s top leader in November when the party named him general secretary. Since then, he has been eliminating rivals through prosecution and marginalizing dissenting views with increasingly repressive tactics and various Maoist and Marxist campaigns.

Even if this view is correct, it also appears that the unprecedented prosecution of Zhou is upending the political system and perhaps ending the period of stability that permitted China to recover after Mao Zedong’s disastrous Cultural Revolution.

Chang goes on to explain how the prosecution of Bo Xilai also broke intra-party taboos, which could mean “that China’s new supremo is willing to break conventions in his quest to bolster his personal political position—and possibly trigger a long descent into turmoil.”

As it happens, the other parts of Mao’s tenure are also coming back into vogue: attacks on dissidents speaking their mind (Epoch Times), anti-American espionage (Epoch Times), and a business climate that is scaring investors and businesses rather than welcoming them (Washington Post). That said, the Chinese Communist Party remains a corrupt cesspool (Epoch Times), and unlike in Mao’s time, the regime also has Hong Kong under its thumb (Taipei Times).

Of course, Mao spent the first few years of his reign propping up his Korean colony (to the point of sending a million of his own people to thwart the American liberation force in the 1950s). Now, the colony is being called out on its ties to Syria (One Free Korea) and its murder of 20,000 dissidents (Epoch Times), while the Viceroy parties hard (One Free Korea).

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