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Xi: Tiger slayer or paper tiger?

Published on May 2, 2014 7:11 PM

CHINESE President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive seems to have entered a make-or-break phase as he fights several big "tigers" at the same time. If he wins this war, he would be a modern-day Wu Song - the legendary tiger slayer of Chinese folklore. But if he loses, he will expose himself as a "paper tiger", weak and ineffective.

It is therefore no surprise that he is resorting to military support to ensure his victory.

In an unusual move recently, a total of 53 senior military leaders collectively pledged their obedience to Mr Xi, who is chairman of the all-powerful Central Military Commission (CMC).

These included commanders, political commissars and their deputies from the seven Greater Military Regions; the air, naval and missile services; four departments (staff, political, logistics and armament) and military academies.

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Background story

Mr Xi's anti-graft drive appears to have encouraged whistle-blowers to expose alleged corruption by senior cadres. This has opened up new battlefronts for Mr Xi, leading to the risk of the anti- graft drive getting out of control and putting him in a vulnerable position.