Meet Chen Yixin, Xi Jinping's likely successor

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 19, 2020, 10.01 PM(IST)

China President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )

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The successor of Xi Jinping has been a subject of intense speculation. If the Chinese president ever decides to step aside, Chen Yixin could be in the running.

Chen Yixin is the secretary-general of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission in China and a protégé of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

His name has appeared far too frequently within the Chinese press this year. Chen Yixin was sent to Wuhan to control the virus. Now, he is shifting his attention to China’s security apparatus and initiating a new round of evictions.

The successor of Xi Jinping has been a subject of intense speculation, if the Chinese president ever decides to step aside, Chen Yixin could be in the running. It is because for many years now Chen has been a loyal deputy to Xi Jinping even before he became president of China.

The association began in the Zhenjiang province in the east. Xi was in charge of the region from 2002 to 2007 and Chen was his loyal deputy.

He handled the secretariat of the province. When Xi Jinping came to Beijing, Chen Yixin received a promotion too. Now, Chen is seen as the right-hand man of Xi. He handles issues that Xi Jinping doesn’t want to get his hands dirty with like the Wuhan virus. When the outbreak began and China's chaos became international news, Xi Jinping stayed away from the limelight.

The man chosen to visit Wuhan was Chen Yixin. He was appointed as the deputy head of the central government group and was tasked with controlling the pandemic.

Chen knew the city well. He had served as the party chief of Wuhan and his hands are full under Xi's leadership.

He serves as the secretary-general of the central political and legal affairs commission which is the top law enforcement body of China. It oversees police officers, prosecutors, courts and prisons and Chen is best poised to lead the purge in the state security apparatus.

In July, China’s state-owned wire service had sent out a dispatch saying “China to rectify problems in political, legal organs”. It was a cryptic announcement of a new round of clean-up.

In Chen Yixin’s own words, he is “thoroughly removing tumors” from China’s justice system and going after the so-called corrupt officials like a surgeon would “scrap poison off one’s bones”. Xi is projecting it as part of his anti-corruption drive - the tool he's used to eliminate dissenters and political rivals from the Communist Party.

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