A Chinese military official, in a scathing commentary, has blamed “Western ideology and the market economy” for ensnaring officials and corrupting their values amid a ramped-up anti-graft drive in the nation’s military. The opinion article penned by commentator and military cadre Peng Guangqian was published today in the Global Times , a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily , which is widely known for its nationalist tones. “In the face of the tide of market economy and Western ideology’s delusions, some of our military officials have failed to stand the test,” said Peng, a civilian military cadre of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who holds the rank equivalent to major general. “[These influences] distorted their concept of moral evaluation and value orientation,” wrote Peng, a former official at the Academy of Military Sciences and now a deputy secretary-general of China National Security Forum. The errant officials “turned their power into means for personal gains, resulting in the commercialisation and privatisation of power, and become the erosion of [Chinese] military”, he wrote. The article was published a day after the PLA announced an investigation into 14 senior officials – the second wave of officers facing a corruption investigation this year. The number of investigations into the top brass underscored the party’s escalating anti-corruption drive in the armed forces. Among the investigated officials was Guo Zhenggang, the newly promoted deputy political commissar of the Zhejiang Provincial Military Command, who is the son of Guo Boxiong, a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), the de facto highest military decision-making body in China. This has sparked mounting speculation over the fate of the elder Guo. Rumours have been swirling that he has been placed under investigation. The US-based Chinese news portal Boxun News last month reported that both Guos had been taken away by the authorities. Xu Caihou, another former CMC vice-chairman, who served at the same time with Guo Boxiong, last year became the most senior military official investigated for corruption in the party’s history. The official Xinhua news agency cited military prosecutors accusing Xu for “taking advantage of his position to assist the promotion of others, accepting huge bribes personally and through his family, and having sought profits for others in exchange for bribes”.