Ling Jihua (Chinese: 令计划; born 22 October 1956) is a former Chinese politician as one of the principal political advisers of former leader Hu Jintao.[1] Ling was best known for his tenure as chief of the General Office of the Communist Party of China between 2007 and 2012. Ling was charged with corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment as part of a larger campaign carried out by Xi Jinping.
In the latter half of 2014, members of the Ling family were successively detained by the authorities (see "Family" section below). Moreover, an unprecedented number of high-ranking officials in Ling's native Shanxi province were investigated for corruption and removed from office. Rumours circulated about Ling's own fate. Ling was officially placed under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (party's anti-graft agency) on December 22, 2014, and dismissed from his position as United Front Work Department head about a week later.[2] The CPPCC then removed him from the office of Vice-Chairman in February 2015, in addition to stripping him of his ordinary CPPCC delegate status.[15]

Ling was one of the highest-profile targets (next to Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou) of the anti-corruption campaign following the 18th Party Congress spearheaded by Party General secretary Xi Jinping and central discipline chief Wang Qishan. He was the second sitting "national leader"-level figure to be investigated by the party's anti-graft agency, after CPPCC Vice-Chairman Su Rong. Chinese-language media have linked Ling to a mysterious political network composed of prominent politicians and businesspeople with origins in Shanxi called the Xishan Society.[16]
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