Military graft-busters home in on Beijing and Jinan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 2:33am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 10:20am

Military discipline inspectors say they have obtained important leads into suspected corruption in two major military regions after a three-month mission.

The taskforces, dispatched by the Central Military Commission, whose chairman is President Xi Jinping, carried out inspections of senior officers in the Beijing Military Command and Jinan Military Command between December 10 and March 13, Xinhua reported yesterday.

They have uncovered multiple leads that could lead to the uncovering of major corruption cases in the areas of cadre promotion, land transfer, and construction and selling of affordable houses and military medical services, Xinhua said.

These cases would be further investigated "for their deterrent effect", it added, a clear sign that the Xi-led leadership has intensified its anti-graft campaign in the military.

Military experts say the findings may pave the way for processing the corruption case of former CMC vice-chairman Xu Caihou , who was political commissar of the Jinan Military Command from 1996 to 1999.

Xu was recently put under shuanggui, a Communist Party disciplinary measure used on those suspected of corruption, the Post reported last month.

"Jinan would be an important place to gather evidence on Xu's involvement in corruption as it was his springboard before moving up to Beijing to become a CMC member [in 1999]," said a Beijing-based retired senior colonel, who requested anonymity.

Jinan was also a powerbase of Gu Junshan , the disgraced former PLA deputy logistics head who was a close ally of Xu, he added. Gu was formally charged with corruption on Monday.

"Gu and Xu got to know each other in the Jinan military region in 1996," he said, adding that a personal secretary to Xu who has been put under a graft probe also came from Jinan. During Xu's tenure in the CMC between 2004 and 2013, he promoted a number of officers originally from the Jinan military region.

Targeting this region also aims at getting to the bottom of widespread corrupt practices of buying and selling ranks, the retired senior colonel said.

Xu Guangyu , a retired PLA major general, said the Beijing and Jinan military regions were picked due to their strategic importance.

"The Beijing Military Command was inspected because it safeguards the security of the capital," Xu said, adding that Jinan also has important military value as it hosts one of the country's key naval bases near the East China Sea.