Rampant corruption in Chinese army hits Beijing military region
The serious graft charges brought against a former top Chinese general could prove to be the tip of the iceberg amid a sea of corruption in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest armed forces in the world.world Updated: Apr 02, 2014 21:09 IST
The serious graft charges brought against a former top Chinese general on Monday could prove to be the tip of the iceberg amid a sea of corruption in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest armed forces in the world.
Large-scale corruption cases have been unearthed 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.
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.
On Tuesday, the PLA Daily said Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the military commission, heard reports from teams involved in the first round of inspections by the CMC.
President Xi Jinping, the head of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), it is learnt, is personally overseeing a massive anti-corruption combing operation in the PLA.
Xi’s anti-corruption campaign within the powerful PLA is also 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.
Besides Beijing and Jinan, the five other military regions are: Lanzhou, Shenyang, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.