Ex­pelled Chi­nese gen­eral ‘dis­hon­est’ since youth: media

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Chi­nese media Fri­day poured scorn on fallen mil­i­tary leader Guo Box­iong, ac­cus­ing the “de­mon” for­mer top gen­eral of dis­hon­esty since his youth and his fam­ily of selling mil­i­tary posts for cash.

Guo was for a decade one of the two vice chair­men of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion (CMC), sec­ond only to the Chi­nese pres­i­dent in the top body of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA).

But the 73-year-old, who stepped down in 2012, was ex­pelled from the rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party on Thurs­day and handed to mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tors over ac­cu­sa­tions of cor­rup­tion, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news agency re­ported.

He is one of the most se­nior mil­i­tary fig­ures to be top­pled in the anti-graft drive over­seen by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

The move — widely ex­pected af­ter he was put un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in April — means he will al­most cer­tainly face trial, with a guilty sen­tence and jail term ef­fec­tively guar­an­teed to fol­low in a court sys­tem con­trolled by the Com­mu­nist Party.

Another for­mer CMC vice chair­man, Xu Cai­hou, died of can­cer ear­lier this year while un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“No mat­ter what power one holds or how high one’s po­si­tion is, if a per­son vi­o­lates party rules and law, he or she should be hunted down with­out com­pro­mise and with­out mercy,” Xin­hua quoted the rul­ing party’s Polit­buro as say­ing in a state­ment on Guo’s case.

“One de­mon killed, all de­mons de­terred,” de­clared a com­men­tary in the Peo­ple’s Daily, the party’s of­fi­cial mouth­piece.

“We must raise high and wield the sharp anti-cor­rup­tion sword, so that the idea of go­ing cor­rupt will be nipped in the bud and the cor­rupt will pay a price.”

Ra­tion Coupon

Print and online media in China launched a broad­side against Guo and his rel­a­tives on Fri­day, ac­cus­ing the fam­ily of amass­ing im­mense wealth by ex­ploit­ing his po­si­tion.

Guo was re­garded as of “poor moral qual­ity” by his col­leagues at a fac­tory dur­ing China’s Great Famine be­cause he changed the num­ber on his grain ra­tion coupons — re­quired to buy food — to ob­tain one ex­tra piece of steamed bread, news por­tal Netease.com re­ported.

Scholars es­ti­mate the famine of the late 1950s and early 1960s, trig­gered by rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader Mao Ze­dong’s dis­as­trous poli­cies, killed as many as 45 mil­lion peo­ple.

More re­cently, Guo’s fam­ily built up an enor­mous for­tune af­ter he as­cended to the high­est ech­e­lons of power, the online re­port said.

His wife He Xi­u­lian acted as a bro­ker be­tween him and se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cers, tak­ing bribes for pro­mo­tions and re­fund­ing the money if the post did not ma­te­ri­al­ize, it added.

Their son Guo Zheng­gang, once one of China’s youngest gen­er­als, was put un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in March, Chi­nese media out­let thepaper.cn said.

The younger Guo’s wife made more than 1.5 bil­lion yuan (US$242 mil­lion) over lit­tle more than five years by leas­ing mil­i­tary land for shop­ping fa­cil­i­ties and other ac­tiv­i­ties, it added.

As well as be­ing the world’s largest ac­tive mil­i­tary, a vast net­work of busi­nesses are linked to China’s armed forces — so ex­ten­sive that aca­demics have dubbed it “PLA Inc.”

Since com­ing to power more than two years ago Xi has sought to im­pose him­self on the mil­i­tary, one of the tar­gets of his wide-rang­ing anti-cor­rup­tion drive.

AP

In this photo taken March 9, 2012, Guo Box­iong rubs his face dur­ing a ses­sion of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress in Bei­jing.

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