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Former Top Bodyguard To China’s Leaders Dies From Illness

Communist Party mouthpiece Xinhua reported on July 24 that Lieutenant General Wang Shaojun had died of an illness, three months ago.
Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: July 26, 2023
Wang Shaojun died of an illness 3 months ago, Xinhua said.
A band for the Chinese military rehearses before the Party Congress in October of 2022 in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda machine announced on July 24 that Lieutenant General Wang Shaojun, former head of the Central Security Bureau responsible for security at Zhongnanhai, died of an undisclosed illness three months ago. (Image: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A man who formerly served as chief bodyguard to President Xi Jinping and other high ranking members of China’s leadership died three months ago from an illness.

South China Morning Post reported July 25 that Lieutenant General Wang Shaojun, 67, had passed away, based on information published by Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Xinhua.

Wang was the former head of China’s Central Security Bureau (CSB) and accompanied Xi when he visited Hong Kong before the Heaven Will Eliminate the CCP (天滅中共) protests in 2019.

SCMP described the CSB as “a mysterious body in charge of the safety of the country’s top leaders and the Zhongnanhai compound where they live in central Beijing.”

The news does not appear to have made the English-language version of Xinhua.

“The report did not specify a reason for the three-month delay in announcing his death,” SCMP stated.

Wang was moved into his position during Xi’s second year in power in 2015.

SCMP notes the appointment was part of Xi’s Anti-corruption Campaign that has sacked multiple high ranking officials, often connected to former Chairman Jiang Zemin’s persecution of Falun Gong, which began on July 20, 1999.

“Wang’s appointment as the head of the security bureau in 2015 came after the former head of the party’s General Office Ling Jihua was placed under investigation for corruption in late 2014,” they stated.

A 2015 article on Wang’s appointment to the position by SCMP stated, “The security bureau wields considerable power and in the past has moved to stop possible coup attempts.”

Wang replaced Lieutenant General Cao Qing, who was moved to Deputy Commander of the Beijing Military Area Command.

A 2021 write up on the factional struggle between the Jiang faction and Xi’s administration by The Jamestown Foundation noted that Major General Zhou Hongxu had replaced Wang as head of the CSB.

“A protégé of Xi’s, Zhou made history by being the first CSB chief who was brought in from the provinces instead of rising up through the ranks of the quasi-secret service apparatus,” the article stated.