Chinese graft-busters take aim at another PLA general

Major General Qu Rui, who took the lead in organising last year’s parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war, will face a military corruption probe

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 July, 2016, 5:24pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 July, 2016, 11:24pm

A senior People’s Liberation Army officer who played a lead role in organising a massive military parade in Beijing last year was put under investigation for suspected corruption last week, according to two military sources.

Major General Qu Rui, a deputy chief of the Combat Operations Department under the People’s Liberation Army’s newly established Joint Staff Department, was taken away by military graft-busters during a meeting on Wednesday, the sources said.

Qu was a key organiser of September’s parade in the capital to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war.

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He will face an internal corruption probe launched by the recently upgraded military disciplinary commission within the powerful Central Military Commission.

If confirmed, Qu’s downfall would be the latest in a string of graft probes launched into the activities of senior officers in recent weeks ahead of the PLA’s anniversary on Monday.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier this month that General Tian Xiusi, 66, a former PLA Air Force political commissar and an ally of disgraced former military chiefs Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, was put under investigation for alleged corruption. The report was later confirmed by Xinhua.

Guo and Xu were snared in President Xi Jinping’s three-year-old anti-corruption campaign after it was extended to the military.

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Guo, 74, the top general under former president Hu Jintao, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption by a military court last Monday.

Xu, Hu’s No 2 general, died of cancer last year aged 72 and never stood trial for graft.

Qu, a former deputy chief of the Combat Operation Department of the PLA’s General Staff Headquarters, was appointed to his present job in January following a massive organisational overhaul.

He was a protégé of retired general Ge Zhenfeng, a former deputy chief of general staff and a key member of the “northeast army” led by Xu.

It was not clear what prompted the investigation into Qu but sources said it was probably linked to his previous stint as head of a unit in charge of military equipment under the General Staff Headquarters No 5 department, which oversees information technology.

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In addition to the anti-graft campaign, Xi has also spearheaded a major overhaul of the PLA and established 15 new units under the CMC, including the Joint Staff Department, in the last year.

In a move widely seen as consolidating his control over the military, Xi also launched a major reshuffle of the military’s top brass and promoted dozens of officers to full general and major general over the past few years.

Yi Xiaoguang, a deputy chief of staff of the Joint Staff Department, and Zhu Fuxi, the Western Theatre Command’s political commissar, were promoted to full general on Friday.