Hong Kong media reported and, on January 16, Beijing confirmed investigators had detained Chinese Ministry of State Security Vice Minister Ma Jian as part of China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign. While Ma’s detention gives Xi Jinping and political analysts the opportunity to boast, his dismissal from the Ministry of State Security (MSS) opens a void at the top of China’s civilian intelligence service.
Ma is the third vice minister to be shown the door in recent years, and
each could have succeeded Geng Huichang, the current Minister of State
Security, who is due to retire in the next two to three years. With an
open playing field, the choices made by Xi Jinping and his colleagues
will go a long way toward deciding the future of Chinese intelligence.
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