China reveals major anti-graft probe within military

Chinese President Xi Jinping   | Photo Credit: Ng Han Guan

Another top Chinese military official is facing the axe under President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption drive meant to reinforce the Communist Party’s legitimacy.

Liu Zheng, deputy head of the People’s Liberation Army's General Logistics Department, is among 16 senior officers who have been placed under investigation last year, the PLA website reported on Thursday. General Liu has been under the scanner for alleged corruption since November.

Mr. Xi’s high-profile anti-graft campaign, which continues to gather momentum, has already toppled Xu Caihou, the vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, of which, Mr. Xi is the head.

The purge among the top brass of the armed forces is part of a campaign which Mr. Xi last week said was “a matter of life or death for the Party and nation”.

An editorial in Global Times, affiliated to the Communist Party of China (CPC), said on Friday that the netting of senior officers meant that the military would maintain its “vibrancy”, but will not become “arrogant”.

Analysts say that in its internal deliberations, the PLA is focusing on Japan’s 1894 victory, which is being attributed to the corruption in China’s military commission at that time. There is also a view that the overhaul of the armed forces, one of the key pillars of power, could eventually lead to Mr. Xi’s political consolidation.

General Liu is not the first deputy head of the PLA General Logistics Department to be probed. His predecessor Gu Junshan has been charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power. China Daily is reporting that General Gu has been indicted for bribery which has resulted in accumulation of goods and property worth more $98 million-an astronomical sum, which makes it the biggest corruption case to hit PLA. General Liu, who belongs to the Second Artillery Corps Engineering School, had replaced General Gu in 2012.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 4:14:28 PM |

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