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Top serving Chinese military general faces graft probe

world Updated: Dec 30, 2016 01:28 IST
China corruption

Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a massive anti-corruption campaign in the country.(AFP Photo)

A top Chinese military general is being probed for corruption, becoming the highest ranking serving army official to face graft probe in a massive anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping, defence ministry said on Thursday.

General Wang Jianping, deputy chief of staff with the joint staff department of the central military commission headed by Xi has been put under investigation for being suspected of taking bribes, Chinese defense spokesman, Yang Yujun told reporters here confirming that Wang has been picked for interrogation.

While he is the top serving general working directly under Xi to face corruption probe, over 40 retired and some serving officers have already faced such probes in the sweeping anti-graft campaign launched by the President three years ago.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post had reported in August this year Wang, 62, was taken away in Chengdu, Sichuan provinc

Wang’s wife, secretary and former secretary Su Haihui and now deputy director of the armed police’s training department, were also held.

Read| 2 lakh Communist Party members punished for corruption in China

“Wang was arrested by military prosecutors in Chengdu while on an inspection trip. His wife and secretary were taken away in Beijing,” the Post report said.

The ministry of defence formally confirmed it on Thursday.

Wang, the first general still in active military service to be brought down, was an ally of China’s former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who is currently serving life sentence, the report said.

In his last speech at a key party meet, Xi cited disgraced leaders like Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou and Ling Jihua who were convicted in corruption and abuse of power as examples of bad behaviour.

Guo Boxiong, then a top general and former vice chairman of the military commission was reported to have accepted bribes worth about $ 2.3 million mainly selling military ranks to highest bidders.

Guo, 74, was also stripped of his rank and forced to hand over all his assets to the Chinese government.

Two days ago, CPC removed military officials from its powerful provincial committees in a bid to reduce military’s influence on party further consolidating the powers of President Xi.

Fourteen provinces have removed the position of military members in the shuffle of new standing committees, official media reported.