China Com­mu­nist party ex­pels former spy­mas­ter

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -


China’s rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party has ex­pelled the former deputy chief of the coun­try’s top in­tel­li­gence agency, it said yes­ter­day, the lat­est high-rank­ing fig­ure to face pros­e­cu­tion in a much-pub­li­cised cor­rup­tion crack­down. Ma Jian, former deputy head of China’s min­istry of state se­cu­rity, was sus­pected of tak­ing bribes and abus­ing power, the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion (CCDI) — the party’s in­ter­nal watch­dog-said in a state­ment on its web­site.

He “se­ri­ously vi­o­lated po­lit­i­cal dis­ci­pline and the code of con­duct, con­fronted an or­gan­i­sa­tional probe, as well as trans­ferred and hid money and prop­erty re­lated to his case”, it said. Ma was first put un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for “se­ri­ous dis­ci­plinary vi­o­la­tions” stan­dard code for graft-in Jan­uary 2015.

His case is be­ing trans­ferred to the ju­di­ciary, the CCDI state­ment said, where he will almost cer­tainly be pros­e­cuted, con­victed and sen­tenced to prison. The an­nounce­ment is part of the on­go­ing cor­rup­tion crack­down an­nounced by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping af­ter com­ing to power in 2012. Since that time, the drive has punished more than one mil­lion mem­bers of the rul­ing party, from lowly “flies” to pow­er­ful “tigers” like Ma and his former boss do­mes­tic se­cu­rity czar Zhou Yongkang, al­though crit­ics liken it to a fac­tional purge.

The cam­paign has gained “crush­ing mo­men­tum”, the CCDI said Wed­nes­day in a state­ment on its web­site that looked back at the of­fice’s an­nual achieve­ments. Mov­ing for­ward, it will seek to “purge the Party’s po­lit­i­cal ecosys­tem”, it added, sug­gest­ing it could in­ten­sify its ef­forts. It has al­ready swept through the ranks of the party, which has 88 mil­lion mem­bers.

This week alone, Chi­nese of­fi­cial me­dia have re­ported the con­vic­tions of a vice-chair of the na­tional leg­is­la­ture and a pro­vin­cial vice-gov­er­nor, the trial of a se­nior pro­vin­cial of­fi­cial, the in­dict­ment of a deputy head of the Tai­wan af­fairs of­fice and a sec­ond vice-gov­er­nor, and a probe into a se­nior gen­eral. Ma’s case is linked to other top of­fi­cials who were thought to pose a threat to Xi, who last month lashed out at what he de­scribed as “po­lit­i­cal con­spir­a­cies” against him.

Ear­lier this month, Ling Ji­hua, the brother of a se­nior aide to former Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao, was sen­tenced to more than a decade in prison and fined 1.5 mil­lion yuan ($215,000) for ac­cept­ing bribes. Ma is “closely linked” to Ling, ac­cord­ing to Hong Kong’s South China Morn­ing Post. An­other brother, Ling Wancheng, has fled to the US, where he is re­ported to have shared Chi­nese state se­crets with Wash­ing­ton. — AFP

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