Ling Jihua (simplified Chinese: 令计划; traditional Chinese: 令計劃; pinyin: Lìng Jìhuà; born October 1956) is a politician of the People's Republic of China. He serves as a secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China, and the head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee. He was reportedly former party general secretary Hu Jintao's "most trusted and notorious political fixer".
Ling was born Linghu Jihua (令狐计划) to a CPC official's family in Pinglu County, Shanxi Province. He and all his three brothers received names related to the Communist Party's policies. His own name, Jihua, means "planning". In December 1973, as many other young Chinese, he was sent to work in the countryside, and used to serve in a printing factory. In June 1975, Ling was admitted into the Communist Youth League committee in Pinglu County, and was soon elevated to vice secretary of the committee. He joined the Communist Party of China in June 1976. In December 1978, Ling was transferred to CPC Yuncheng committee in Shanxi. In 1979, Communist Youth League elected young cadres nationwide, and Ling, at the age of 23, was elevated to the propaganda department of CYL Central Committee. He obtained an "on-job master's degree" in commercial management at Hunan University.
From August 1983, Ling studied at China Youth Political Academy, affiliated to CYL, majoring in political education. In July 1985, Ling was promoted to the deputy chief of theory section of propaganda department of CYL. At that time, Hu Jintao was the head of CYL. From June 1988, Ling served in various posts in CYL, including office chief of central secretariat, vice chief of general office of CYL Central Committee, editor-in-chief of Chinese Communist Youth League, and the chief of propaganda department of CYL.
In December 1995, after serving in CYL for over ten years, Ling was transferred to general office of CPC Central Committee, and became the head of 3rd group of research office. In June 1998, he was promoted to head of research office, under the general office. In December 1999, Ling was appointed as vice chief of general office of CPC. Later, he also served as vice minister of general office of the State Commission for Public Sector Reform of the State Council, and chief of Hu Jintao's office.
From September 19, 2007 to August 31, 2012 Ling served as the chief of General Office of CPC Central Committee, when he was demoted to the United Front Work Department. Ling was succeeded by Li Zhanshu.
Ling was an alternate member of 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and a full member of 17th Central Committee of CPC.
Ling is married to Gu Liping, Director General of Youth Business China a non-profit program that aims to promote youth entrepreneurship that is headquartered in Beijing. In 2010 she was deputy director of the Ying public interest foundation, a charity sponsored by the Communist Youth League. In that role she reportedly solicited money for the foundation.
Ling Jihua had a son Ling Gu, who died in March 2012 at the age of 23. Ling Gu was involved in a car crash while driving a black Ferrari 458 Spider accompanied by two women (reportedly of minority ethnicity) who survived. Gu was found naked, as was one of the women, while the other was semi-naked. These circumstances have led to speculation that Gu was involved in a sex game, while they were driving.
News of the crash was reported in mainland Chinese media shortly after it happened, but the story was then rapidly suppressed. Reportedly, Ling Jihua, after viewing the body of the driver at the morgue, denied it was his son. It was not until September 2012 that the driver's identity was revealed by a Hong Kong newspaper. In China, Internet search terms such as "Ferrari", "Little Ling" and "Prince Ling" were blocked.
Many commentators have questioned how Ling Gu could afford a car worth £500,000 when his parents have government jobs. The crash is thought to be connected with Ling Jihua's demotion in August 2012, and Gu Liping's removal from her job in January 2013.
- Mosettig, Michael D. (November 7, 2012). "Red Ferraris in Red China". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- John Garnaut. "''Sydney Morning Herald'', September 4, 2012, John Garnaut, "Death of Chinese playboy leaves fresh scratches in party paintwork"". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
- "PREMIER LEAGUE: After fatal Ferrari crash, careers are stalled, group loses power". The Asahi Shimbun. March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- Hall, John (September 5, 2012). "Son of Chinese politician died after engaging in 'sex games' with two women while driving at high speed in his Ferrari". London: Independent. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- "Online restrictions after China Ferrari crash - media". BBC News. March 20, 2012.
- Nicholas D. Kristof (January 5, 2013). "Looking for a Jump-Start in China" (opinion). The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013. "Ling feared a scandal and reportedly began a cover-up. He went to the morgue, according to the account I got from one Chinese official, and looked at the body — and then coldly denied that it was his son. He continued to work in the following weeks as if nothing had happened."
- "Beijing car crash opens door to another scandal in China". Los Angeles Times. September 3, 2012.