Military probes 14 senior PLA officers for graft

By Catherine Wong Tsoi-lai Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-3 0:58:02

Former top general’s son investigated for ‘violations, offenses’

The announcement on Monday of an investigation into 14 senior military officers suspected of corruption proves that the central government is serious in pursuing the  sweeping anti-graft campaign, observers say.

The list includes Guo Zhenggang, the son of Guo Boxiong, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported on Monday.

Guo Zhenggang, deputy political commissar of the Zhejiang Military Area Command, was put under investigation by the military procuratorate in February for suspected "legal violations and criminal offenses," PLA Daily said.

Guo Boxiong served as the vice chairman of the CMC from 2003 to November 2012.

Guo Zhenggang, 45, was promoted to deputy political commissar of the Zhejiang Military Area Command with the rank of major general in mid-January, Zhejiang Television reported.

Guo Zhenggang's "unexpected" arrest, according to analysts, has broken the previous pattern in the crackdown on corrupt officials.

"Normally a senior officer would not be put under investigation such a short time after his promotion. Guo's arrest has broken the unwritten rule and other corrupt officials can no longer predict the pattern of the corruption crackdown, hence creating even greater pressure," Li Danyang, a research fellow on public administration with the Beijing-based Beihang University, told the Global Times.

Guo's wife, Wu Fangfang, reportedly owned a hardware mall on military-occupied land in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and is accused of fraud, news portal reported Monday.

Wu's company began to sell commercial space in the mall while it was still constructing a five-story building that was supposed to become Hangzhou's largest hardware center. But the building was never completed.

Shop owners allegedly protested outside the Zhejiang Military Area Command in January and demanded a refund, reported.

Yue Gang, a military commentator and retired PLA colonel, told the Global Times that Guo's investigation may be connected to his possible involvement in his wife's business.

"[The arrest of the 14 officers] proves that the authorities have focused their corruption crackdown efforts on senior level officers who had control over the army's finances, logistics, and personnel allocation, and who may use their power for corruption," said Yue.

Besides Guo, Guangzhou Military Area Command's former joint logistics deputy head, Chen Jianfeng, and air force logistics chief, Wang Sheng, were also on the list.

Lan Weijie, former deputy commander of Hubei Military Area Command, was sentenced to life in prison in January for accepting bribes and the illegal possession of firearms.

China's anti-corruption efforts "have no limit or ceiling" and "no one has impunity," said Lü Xinhua, a spokesperson of the third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, on Monday.

Li Lei, a professor with the Communication University of China, told the Global Times that the military's announcement through the Internet has proven the military's proactive approach in providing the public with information about the latest development in the corruption crackdown. It has also become a regular practice for the army to disseminate information through new media, Li said.

Guo's investigation comes a year after Xu Caihou, former CMC vice-chairman, was put under investigation for bribery in March last year.

President Xi Jinping has made the crackdown on corruption within the PLA a top priority, as he has previously vowed to target both "tigers" and "flies," or both high and low level officials.

The PLA has vowed to strengthen its efforts against corruption this year. CMC Vice Chairman General Xu Qiliang said Wednesday that commissars, regiment commanders and more senior officers within the PLA would be the key targets of its crackdown.

Guo Yuandan contributed to this story

Posted in: Politics

blog comments powered by Disqus