Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign

Two major generals detained as Sichuan graft probes widen

The two detentions focused on Sichuan province thought to be part of a wider investigation into corruption in the PLA

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 3:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2014, 7:22pm

Two major generals in the PLA with connections to Sichuan province have been detained as part of a corruption investigation, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The detention of the senior officers is thought to be part of a wider inquiry into alleged graft in the military. Both men were taken into custody last month, the sources said.

One of those detained, Ye Wanyong, is retired, having formerly served as a commissar in the Sichuan military region.

Ye, who is in his 60s, was removed this week from membership of the nation's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, although no reason was given for the move.

His house had been searched by the authorities, the sources said.

The other officer, Wei Jin, 55, is a vice-commissar in the Tibet military region. He was promoted to the role in 2011. He previously held senior military posts in Sichuan, including as senior army propaganda officer in Chengdu .

President Xi Jinping, who also heads the PLA as chairman of the Central Military Commission, has repeatedly vowed to stamp out entrenched corruption in the military.

The latest round of scrutiny of the PLA started after the detention in March of Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the military commission, on suspicion of corruption.

His wife, daughter and personal secretary were also taken into custody, the South China Morning Post reported at the time.

The authorities briefed senior military officials on the initial findings against Xu earlier this month.

Xu is alleged to have pocketed more than 35 million yuan (HK$44 million) in bribes from PLA deputy logistics chief Gu Junshan, sources earlier told the Post.

Gu was charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power by the country's military procurator in March.

The military's own newspaper, the PLA Daily, has backed Xi's crackdown on corruption, saying that tolerating graft within the army is tantamount to allowing the army's defeat in war.

Sichuan has been the focus of another corruption investigation into the former national security tsar Zhou Yongkang. The province is one his former power bases.

The sources did not connect the probes involving the military officers with the investigation into Zhou, but said the focus was in Sichuan.

Ye left the military in January after reaching the retirement age of 60. He has served in the Sichuan military region since 2006.

His early military career started in Tibet, Sichuan's neighbour to the west.

The government has yet to publicly confirm that Zhou is under investigation and it is still not clear if he will face charges.

His 41-year-old son, Zhou Bin, was detained in December for suspected bribery.

Several senior officials with connections to the former security chief are also under investigation for alleged graft.