3 ‘tigers’ caught in graft spotlight in one day
China has accelerated its anti-corruption pace ahead of a key meeting next week by announcing developments on three major cases on Thursday.
The Defense Ministry confirmed a bribery investigation against Wang Jianping, the deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, the top leading body of the People’s Liberation Army.
Wang, a 63-year-old general, is the highest active duty military official to fall from grace since President Xi Jinping began a sweeping antigraft campaign in late 2012, according to public records.
“Military prosecutors have been looking into his case,” said ministry spokesman Yang Yujun. “The army continues to advance in antigraft efforts, and in recent years it has caught many major suspects.”
The last three generals arrested on corruption charges were two former vicechairmen of the Central Military Commission, Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, and the former political commissar of the PLA Air Force, Tian Xiusi. They were all retired at the time of their arrest.
Wang joined the service in 1969 and spent nearly 20 years in the Army, according to his resume. He transferred to the Chinese Armed Police Force in 1996 and was promoted to general rank in 2014.
In another development, Su Rong, a former deputy State level official, stood trial on Thursday at a local court in Shandong province on charges of taking bribes and abusing power.
Prosecutors alleged that Su, former vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body, took advantage of official positions to offer business favors and promotions to groups and individuals, accepting bribes worth about 110 million yuan ($15.8 million) from 2002 to 2014.
Su could not explain how he obtained additional assets worth over 80 million yuan, according to prosecutors. He pleaded guilty and expressed remorse during the trial. A verdict will be announced at a later date, the court said.
Also on Thursday, Xu Gang, former vice-governor of Fujian province, was sentenced to 13 years in prison by an Anhui province court
for taking bribes of about 20 million yuan.
From 2002 to 2014, Xu abused his official positions to grant favors to enterprises and individuals in business operations and job promo- tions, the verdict said.
The announcements about the three cases came ahead of next week’s plenary session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s top discipline watchdog.
Members of the commission will meet in Beijing from Jan 6 to 8 to report on their work in 2016 and discuss tasks for the coming year.
Yang Weidong, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said: “The news on the three cases on Thursday shows that pressure against graft has not been weakened and will remain high next year.”