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Gertz: U.S. intel locked in tense debate over China succession

By Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington on Monday as his future as China’s next supreme leader is the subject of a fierce debate within the U.S. government over whether he is under attack by a hardline nationalist faction within the ruling Communist Party.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping

According to U.S. national security officials, new indications of potentially destabilizing factionalism surfaced last week during the attempted defection to the United States of a senior Chinese police official.

Wang Lijun, a deputy mayor in Chongqing, provided explosive details about senior Chinese leaders during an overnight stay and debriefing at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, in southern China.

Wang’s intelligence supports the claims of U.S. officials who believe a faction of hardline nationalists within the party are seeking power. They oppose the more moderate, but still communist, faction headed by Hu Jintao that currently holds power in the Politburo, which runs China’s government.

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