China to put decorated general on trial over corruption
Former military commander Xu Caihou was stipped of his honours after admitting receiving bribes to promote officers
Reuters in Beijing
The Guardian, Tuesday 28 October 2014 12.15 GMT
Xu Caihou in 2011, the former powerful general will face graft charges in a public trial. Xu Caihou in 2011, the former powerful general will face graft charges in a public trial. Photograph: China Daily/Reuters
A once-powerful retired Chinese military officer has confessed to taking vast amounts in bribes and will be prosecuted in court, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.
General Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the powerful central military commission, was court martialled in June. He has been stripped of his title and expelled from the military, Xinhua said, citing army lawyers.
Military prosecutors had finished investigating his case and had started a procedure to file the case with judicial authorities, Xinhua said. The agency also said that Xu took advantage of his position in awarding promotions, accepted “huge amounts of bribes” personally and through family members, and sought profits for others in exchange for bribes.
The statement also noted that Xu’s expulsion from the Communist party had been formalised. Earlier this year authorities charged one of Xu’s proteges, Lieutenant-General Gu Junshan, with graft.
The buying and selling of senior jobs in the military, an open secret, has worried reformers who say it leads to those with talent being cast aside and damages morale.
President Xi Jinping has vowed to target high-ranking “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” in a sprawling campaign against corruption.
China stepped up a crackdown on corruption in the military in the late 1990s, banning the army from engaging in business. But the military has been involved in commercial dealings in recent years due to a lack of checks and balances, military analysts have said.
Anti-graft advocates have said corruption in the military is so pervasive that it could undermine China’s ability to wage war.
Xinhua “Military official admits accepting bribes for help with promotions” Shanghai Daily 29 October 2014