I would read that article with a healthy dose of scepticism because Xi Jinping uses corruption as the reason to purge political rivals and cleanse the party of his enemies. Undoubtedly corruption does exist within China and is a part of the national pysche having been present since the founding of the first dynasty.
However when reading anything that concerns the CCP, it must be remembered all is not as what it seems and it's a highly secretive organization. This is a very good description of the CCP by a Catholic priest who was a foremost expert on Maoist China.
"The Communist party is in essence a secret society. In its methods and mentality it presents a striking resemblance to an underworld mob.1 It fears daylight, feeds on deception and conspiracy, and rules by intimidation and terror. “Communist legality” is a contradiction in terms, since the Party is above the law—for example, Party members are immune from legal prosecution; they must be divested of their Party membership before they can be indicted by a criminal court (that a judge may acquit an accused person is inconceivable: since the accused was sent to court, it means that he is guilty). Whereas even Mussolini and Hitler orginally reached power through elections, no Communist party ever received an electorate’s mandate to govern."
1.In any debate, you really know that you have won when you find your opponents beginning to appropriate your ideas, in the sincere belief that they themselves just invented them. This situation can afford a subtle satisfaction; I think the feeling must be quite familiar to Father Ladany, the...
All that has changed from when Father Ladany wrote that and now, is that the actors have changed, China is much stronger economically, militarily and diplomatically and that more China watchers can actually speak the language, some even fluently. Therefore I would take anything that concerns the CCP especially, and China in general, that uses official Chinese sources with some scepticism, especially if it favours the CCP or China in any way, or attempts to spin the story to disadvantage their opponents.
Regarding the crux of the story, if the premise is true, xi Jinpinghas changed how he does things and that would be unusual for him because it would create political problems and shipbuilding problems. He can't afford to show a weak hand. Xi Jinping's normal modus operandi is to replace disgraced people with his own people, so he will have one of his own people already in the position who is technically capable (Xi is a technocrat), ideologically pure to Maoist Leninist Marxism and Xi Jinping thought, and personally loyal to Xi. Contrary to the story, it shouldn't markedly impact upon the naval shipbuilding plan. If anything it may hasten it because it will show the workforce that the Supreme Leader's eye is on it and any faltering or failure is not an option.