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China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled an outspoken and prominent property tycoon who denounced the country’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, paving the way for his criminal prosecution and escalating its efforts to quash dissent among the elite.
為加強對精英階層異見的鎮壓,中國共產黨為刑事起訴一名直言不諱的知名房地產大亨做好了準備。此人曾對這個國家的威權主義領導人習近平發出譴責。
The party announced the expulsion of the tycoon, Ren Zhiqiang, late Thursday, and said that it had seized his assets for “serious violations of discipline and law” that included the possession of golf club memberships. Officials also took aim at Mr. Ren’s family, accusing him of “colluding with his children to accumulate wealth without restraint.”
中共週四晚間表示已經開除任志強的黨籍,並且沒收其財產,稱其「嚴重違紀違法」,包括擁有高爾夫球俱樂部會員身份。官員還將矛頭對準任志強的家人,指控他「夥同子女大肆斂財」。
The moves against Mr. Ren, 69, appeared designed to send a chill over the country’s entrepreneurs and other business leaders and demonstrate the party’s resolve to use him as an example to show that no one was above its demands of unflinching political loyalty.
針對任志強的行動似乎意在讓該國企業家及其他商業領袖感受到一股寒意,並且決心以任志強為例,展示沒有人能凌駕於對黨絕對忠誠這個要求之上。
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He was accused of “smearing the party and country’s image, distorting the party and the military’s history, being disloyal and dishonest with the party” and of resisting the party’s investigation into him — phrasing that suggests he has refused to admit any wrongdoing.
中共指控他「醜化黨和國家形象,歪曲黨史、軍史,對黨不忠誠、不老實」,並且對抗組織審查,這種措辭暗示他拒絕認錯。
Mr. Ren, a veteran party member and former chairman of Huayuan Properties, a real estate development company, was detained in March after criticizing Mr. Xi’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. He is likely to face criminal charges in China’s opaque and often- unforgiving legal system.
任志強是中共資深黨員,曾任房地產開發公司華遠地產的董事長。3月,在批評習近平對新冠病毒疫情的應對後,他遭到拘留。在中國不透明且往往毫不留情的法律體系中,他很可能會面臨刑事指控。
Mr. Ren’s friends said that the party’s harsh treatment of Mr. Ren was excessive.
任志強的友人表示,中共對任志強的嚴厲對待有些過度。
“This is blatant political persecution,” Wang Ying, a retired entrepreneur and friend of Mr. Ren’s, said in a post on WeChat, a popular messaging app. “This is a rare good man, a good citizen who is responsible and ready to take responsibility, an entrepreneur who played his role and followed the law.”
「這是明目張膽的政治迫害,」任志強的友人、退休企業家王瑛在微信上發文說。「這是個難得的好人,是個有責任感、有擔當的好公民,是一個本分守法有價值貢獻的企業家,是一個十幾年如一日躬身公益的公益人。」
“I’m proud to have a friend like you,” Ms. Wang wrote.
「為有你這樣的朋友,我很自豪,」王瑛寫道。
Under Mr. Xi, who rose to power in 2012, the Chinese authorities have investigated or detained scores of lawyers, journalists and scholars who have challenged the party line, often on spurious charges. The crackdown has intensified in recent months, as the party has come under intense criticism for its handling of the coronavirus, its imposition of new national security laws in Hong Kong and the ongoing crackdown on Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.
在2012年上台的習近平治下,當局調查或拘留了數位挑戰中共路線的律師、記者和學者,往往是基於虛假指控。近幾個月來,隨著中共因為其對新冠病毒的處理、在香港頒佈新的國家安全法,以及在西部地區新疆仍在上演的對穆斯林的打壓而面臨強烈批評,打壓行動愈演愈烈。
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“Xi has zero tolerance for political dissent, let alone any leeway for being openly mocked,” said Jude Blanchette, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a research institute based in Washington, D.C. “From Hong Kong to Xinjiang, it’s clear that Xi and the party will close the fist when they sense a security or political challenge to their core rule, international outcry be damned.”
「習近平對政治異見者零容忍,公開嘲弄就更是不會放過了,」位於華盛頓的研究機構戰略與國際研究中心(Center for Strategic and International Studies)分析師裘德·布蘭切特(Jude Blanchette)說。「從香港到新疆,很明顯習近平和中共在感覺到其核心統治會遭到安全或政治挑戰時,他們會攥緊鐵拳,國際抗議一邊去。」
As Chinese business executives have attracted devoted followings in recent years, the party has worked more aggressively to bring them under its control. China depends on entrepreneurs for innovations that drive its economy, but officials also worry their celebrity could pose a threat to the party’s dominance.
隨著中國企業高管在近年來吸引了忠實擁躉,中共更是加緊控制這群人。中國靠企業家進行驅動經濟的創新,但官員也擔憂這些人的名人身份會對中共的主導地位構成威脅
Mr. Xi told a meeting of entrepreneurs in Beijing on Tuesday that one of their most important aims should be to “enhance their patriotism.”
週二,習近平在與企業家的一場會面中說,他們最重要的目標之一就應該是「增強愛國情懷」。
“Patriotism is the glorious tradition of our country’s outstanding entrepreneurs in modern times,” he said, according to a transcript published by Xinhua, the official news agency.
官方新聞社新華社發布的一份記錄顯示,習近平說,「愛國是近代以來我國優秀企業家的光榮傳統。」
Mr. Ren, a bold commentator who earned the nickname “The Cannon,” went missing in March after writing an essay criticizing the party’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December.
人稱「任大炮」的任志強是一名大膽的評論者。3月,他在撰文批評中共的新冠病毒疫情應對後失聯。該病毒是在去年12月底出現在中部城市武漢的。
In the essay, Mr. Ren said the party’s strict limits on free speech, including the silencing of whistle blowers, had exacerbated the crisis. At one point, he referred obliquely to Mr. Xi, who has tried to craft an image as a commanding, transformative leader, as a power-hungry “clown.”
在文中,任志強說中共對言論自由的嚴格限制(包括讓吹哨人噤聲)加速了這一危機。他在文中一度暗指一直試圖將自己塑造為開天闢地的威嚴領袖的習近平是渴求權力的「小丑」。
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“I see not an emperor standing there exhibiting his ‘new clothes,’ but a clown who stripped naked and insisted on continuing to be an emperor,” Mr. Ren wrote. He said he hoped the party would “wake up from ignorance” and oust the leaders getting in its way.
「那裡站著的不是一位皇帝在展示自己的『新衣』,而是一位剝光了衣服也要堅持當皇帝的小丑,」任志強寫道。他說他希望中共能「在愚昧中清醒」,撤換那些阻礙改革的領導人。
The party discipline committee in Beijing on Thursday pointed to Mr. Ren’s writings in outlining his alleged misdeeds.
週四,中共北京紀委在描述任志強所謂的罪行時,提到了他寫過的文章。
Party officials also accused Mr. Ren of using public funds to pay for private expenses, setting the stage for corruption and embezzlement charges. Those expenses included golf club membership cards, the announcement said. The party has long used golf to conjure up images of luxury and excess; Mao once called it a “sport for millionaires.”
黨內官員還指控任志強公款報銷個人費用,涉嫌貪污受賄和挪用公款。通報稱,這些開銷包括購買高爾夫球卡。中共長期以來都用高爾夫運動來代表奢侈無度的形象;毛澤東曾稱之為「百萬富翁的運動」。
The announcement said the party was seizing Mr. Ren’s “illegal gains” and transferring his case to prosecutors. It accused him of “using public power as a tool for personal gain.”
通報稱中共將沒收任志強的「違紀違法所得」,並將其犯罪問題移送檢察機關。它指控任志強「將公權力作為謀取私利的工具」。
It is not the first time that Mr. Ren has faced punishment for criticizing Mr. Xi. In 2016, the party placed him on a year’s probation for denouncing Mr. Xi’s propaganda policies in comments online and shut down his social media accounts, where he had attracted tens of millions of followers.
這並不是任志強首次因批評習近平面臨懲處。2016年,因他在網上譴責習近平的宣傳政策,中共對他處以留黨察看一年的處分,並關閉他那個吸引了數千萬粉絲的社群媒體帳號。
Mr. Ren, the former leader of a state-run company and a friend to influential Chinese politicians, is a well-known member of the establishment who joined the Communist Party when he was 23. His expulsion highlights fears within the party that any criticism from its own members could undermine its grip on power, activists say.
任志強曾是一家國有企業的領導人,也是中國一些權勢人物的朋友,他23歲加入共產黨,是著名的權力階層人士。活動人士表示,他被開除黨籍凸顯出存在於黨內的擔憂,即來自黨員的任何批評都可能削弱黨對權力的掌控。
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“Ren Zhiqiang is not a radical dissident, but a decades-long loyal Communist Party member who advocated for political reform,” said Yaqiu Wang, a China researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Communist Party has no tolerance of any kind of criticism towards the party, even if it is made with the intention to improve the party’s governance.”
「任志強不是激進異見分子,而是一名忠於共產黨數十年、倡導政治改革的黨員,」人權觀察(Human Rights Watch)的中國研究院王亞秋表示。「中共不能容忍任何對黨的批評,哪怕批評的目的是為了改善黨的治理。」
The party has in recent months detained several other prominent figures who have criticized Mr. Xi’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
近幾個月來,中共拘留了另外幾名批評習近平的疫情應對的知名人士。
Xu Zhangrun, a law professor who had repeatedly denounced Mr. Xi’s authoritarian policies, was briefly detained this month after writing essays blaming officials for delays and obfuscation in the early days of the epidemic. The police accused Mr. Xu of consorting with prostitutes, a charge his friends said was untrue and used as a slur to discredit him. He has since been dismissed from his teaching position at Tsinghua University in Beijing, friends say.
曾多次譴責習近平獨裁的法學教授許章潤在本月曾被短暫拘留,原因是他寫了幾篇文章,指責官員在疫情初期的拖延和昏庸。警方以嫖娼罪名指控許章潤,他的朋友都說這一指控不是真的,是用污名來詆毀他。友人說,他隨後被位於北京的清華大學解聘。
Xu Zhiyong, a legal activist, was detained in February, activists say, after accusing Mr. Xi of trying to conceal the coronavirus and calling on him to step down. He was formally arrested last month.
活動人士稱,法律活動人士許志永於2月被拘留,他此前曾指責習近平試圖隱瞞冠狀病毒,並要求他下台。他在上個月被正式逮捕。
As Mr. Xi, one of China’s most powerful leaders in decades, looks to further strengthen his rule amid the coronavirus crisis, he is most likely worried about threats to his leadership within elite political and business circles, analysts say.
分析人士稱,作為中國幾十年來最強權的領導人之一,習近平希望在冠狀病毒危機中進一步加強自己的統治因此他很可能擔心自己在政界和商界精英圈子中的領導地位受到威脅。
Erin Baggott Carter, assistant professor at the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California, said Mr. Ren’s expulsion is “a warning to other C.C.P. elites to toe the line,” referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
南加州大學國際關係學院的助理教授艾琳·巴格特·卡特(Erin Baggott Carter)說,任志強被開除出黨是「對中共其他精英黨員的警告,讓他們循規蹈矩」。
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She said Mr. Xi’s popularity among elites and the broader public could be suffering amid a series of challenges, including unemployment and tensions with the United States.
她說習近平在精英階層和廣大公眾中的聲望可能會因一系列挑戰受損,包括失業和與美國的緊張關係。
“He cannot tolerate dissent, particularly from powerful elites with public support,” she said, referring to Mr. Xi. “These elites could most challenge his leadership.”
「他不能容忍異議,尤其是來自得到公眾支持的權勢精英的異議,」她這樣評價習近平。「這些精英最有可能挑戰他的領導地位。」