A senior PLA official said to be at the centre of a massive corruption investigation had mediocre military skills, but was brilliant at pleasing his superiors, according to a mainland media report.
Colleagues of Gu Junshan said he was criticised for never paying attention to learning military discipline early in his career, but his emotional intelligence and personality made him popular with his bosses, who used him to solve their domestic problems, according to the news portal Caixin. A military researcher said in the state media in August that Gu, who was the PLA's deputy logistics chief, was under investigation, but there has been no official word about the case.
Gu joined the army at 17 and was later taken under the wing of Zhang Longhai, then a commissar of the air force's 16th division, according to Caixin.
Gu dated Zhang's daughter and despite initial objections about his lowly rank the senior officer allowed them to marry.
His connections later helped Gu avoid being laid off during massive cutbacks in the military in 1985, Caixin said. Gu was later assigned to his hometown in Puyang in Henan to take care of a joint business venture between a subsidiary of the oil company Sinopec and the local garrison.
He was further promoted in 2001 and moved to Beijing to take charge of the army's infrastructure and barracks buildings department in the PLA's logistics department headquarters, the report said.
After Gu took charge of his logistics brief in 2001, his brother Gu Xianjun was promoted as party chief in Puyang.
The younger brother set up two factories in their hometown to produce military supplies and resold at least 200 hectares of land to property developers without the approval of county officials and local villagers during his 10-year-term, the report said.