Since Xi Jinping took over as leader of China in 2012, he has launched an extensive campaign to root out corruption within the Chinese Communist Party. Since the anti-corruption sweep began about 750,000 party members have been punished. Recently, in order to sure up his support among party members who may be disgruntled or uncomfortable with the recent purges, Xi has called on party members to fight against internal dissent, described using the softer words “political deviance”. As the yearly meeting of the Chinese rubber-stamp legislature nears, Xi ramped up the crackdown on internal dissent by adopting a new party rule against the “improper discussion” of national policies.
These stricter policies show a Xi Jinping that is nervous about his own personal power. Most people familiar with Chinese politics are quick to admit that the party is rife with corruption. What is likely is that over the last few years, President Xi has been less concerned with corruption, and more interested in replacing leadership still loyal to the previous President, Hu Jintao, with his own cronies to ensure support and stability for his own reign. As corruption is rampant, he was able to select the members he wished to replace, do a little research, and insert those loyal to himself. Though this campaign has had a large effect (even in the population center of the world, 750,000 is still a lot of people), it appears that it has not completely rooted out dissent within the party, hence the stricter dissent rules. As free expression is limited more and more in China, even among the political leaders, eventually the pressure will be too much and there will be conflict.