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Online letter urges Xi to resign, taken down

An open online letter urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to resign is the latest criticism of the Communist Party government that triggered ripples before being quickly taken down

world Updated: Mar 17, 2016 21:08 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Signed by anonymous “loyal Communist Party members”, the letter asked China's President Xi Jinping   to step down because the concept of collective leadership has suffered under him.
Signed by anonymous “loyal Communist Party members”, the letter asked China's President Xi Jinping to step down because the concept of collective leadership has suffered under him.(REUTERS FILE)

An open online letter urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to resign is the latest criticism of the Communist Party government that triggered ripples before being quickly taken down.

Signed by anonymous “loyal Communist Party members”, the letter asked Xi to step down because the concept of collective leadership has suffered under him, the economy has become unstable, foreign policy has become weak and media has come to represent the Communist Party of China (CPC) and not the people.

The letter was briefly posted on the website Watching.cn, apparently owned jointly by the Xinjiang government and the Alibaba group, on the morning of March 4, a day before the Chinese Parliament’s annual session was to begin.

Though the letter was deleted, a cached version is still being circulated online.

According to the China Digital Times website, which translated the letter, it “…blames Xi for an atmosphere of political, economic, ideological, and cultural anxiety currently sweeping China, and mentions that the ‘personal safety’ of the president and his family could be in jeopardy if he does not comply”.

The letter did say Xi’s anti-corruption drive and work towards economic development received some public support and did not go “unnoticed”.

“However, Comrade Xi Jinping, we have no choice but to point out that, precisely due to your gathering of all power into your own hands and making decisions directly, we are now facing unprecedented problems and crises in all political, economic, ideological, and cultural spheres,” it added.

What added to the mystery about the letter is the disappearance of prominent journalist Jia Jia before he was to board a flight to Hong Kong.

Jia, according to Hong Kong Free Press, told friends he learned of the letter on WeChat and contacted his friend Ouyang Hongliang, executive director of Watching.cn.

“Ouyang told investigators that Jia had told him to take the post down. Soon after, Jia’s family members in Shaanxi province were questioned by authorities,” the Shanghaiist website reported.

The letter is the latest criticism of the government. High-profile businessman Ren Zhiqiang had questioned Xi’s directive to the media to follow the CPC, asking how the people’s government can become the party’s government.