The letter demanding Chinese President and Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping to resign, and the aftermath of arrests and detentions, indicate a struggle within the Beijing leadership to homogenize the party around a No. 1 who has proven himself more centralizing than most of his predecessors.
It signals that the public infighting of the Bo Xilai scandal is still there, dormant and ready to flare at any show of weakness. Xi is just as willing to reward loyalists as he is to eliminate rivals, and the impression is that he will try to further consolidate his position.
The letter’s anonymous signatories added to their message some macabre warnings related to the physical safety of Xi and his family, which raises doubts about the veracity of the text. But, to take it at face value, as a letter from angry party factions, the letter blames Xi for three problems: the economic disaster caused by a stock market crash; an overly aggressive foreign policy that provokes the United States into a more dangerous stance (thus abandoning the foreign policy of Deng Xiaoping, which aimed to hide China’s power in the form of a more subtle and accommodating diplomacy); and Xi’s personality cult that could eradicate the “collegial leadership” of the party.