China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), world’s largest armed forces, is under watch and it’s none other president Xi Jinping who’s targeting the PLA.
Xi, the head of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), it is learnt, is personally overseeing a massive anti-corruption combing operation in the PLA.
The president’s anti-corruption campaign within the powerful PLA is being seen as an effort on his part to consolidate his power and hold over the armed forces. He is learnt to have told the commanders of the seven military regions in a meeting that military discipline and supremacy of law were the prerequisites for a strong army.
From Lieutenant General (retd) Gu Junshan, the former deputy head of the PLA’s general logistics department to retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, serious graft charges were brought against a former top Chinese generals. And it is just the tip of the iceberg amid a sea of corruption.
Large-scale corruption cases have been reported in Beijing and Jinan, two of China’s seven military regions.
On Monday, the government brought charges of embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power against Lieutenant General Gu Junshan, the former deputy head of the PLA’s general logistics department — a position that gave him power over procurement and contracts, which he allegedly misused to amass a vast fortune running into millions of dollars. He has been under investigation for two years.
Earlier, authorities seized assets worth $14.5bn from family members and associates of retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.
What’s more, cases of corruption have been unearthed in military units in the Beijing military region, right at home in Communist China’s political nerve centre.
State media reports, quoting the mostly-opaque defence ministry said Wednesday that large-scale irregularities and suspected corruption among military units in Beijing and Jinan were uncovered in investigations carried out in the last three months.
The defence ministry said it had multiple leads “concerning problems with the handling of promotions, discipline among officers, land transfers, the construction and allocation of buildings and military medical services.”
Promotions and plum assignments were “sometimes secured by providing payments or favors to higher ranking officers and military assets, especially land, used for private economic benefit,” the ministry said.
“Focusing on anti-corruption work, inspectors found issues concerning self-discipline, construction projects, land transfers, low-income housing projects, among other areas,” it said.