Chinese state media suggests retired general Guo Boxiong may be next to fall, after son comes under graft probe
State media named former Central Military Commission vice-chairman Guo Boxiong as it reported that his son, a People's Liberation Army general, was under investigation for graft, suggesting that the elder Guo might also be in trouble.
The defence ministry said on Monday that Guo Zhenggang, deputy political commissar of the Zhejiang Military Area Command, was one of 14 senior officers being probed for suspected "legal violations and criminal offences".
The Global Times, affiliated to party flagship paper, the People's Daily, said Guo Zhenggang, 45, a major general, is the son of Guo Boxiong, who served as CMC vice-chairman from 2003 to 2012.
It is rare, if not unprecedented, to publish a senior leader's name in relation to their relative's criminal case if they are not personally linked to it.
A commentary posted on the People's Daily's WeChat also suggested that the senior Guo might be in trouble, saying that there would be a bigger story after the junior Guo's arrest. "Bigger dramas are coming in the military's anti-graft fight," it said.
Other state media also highlighted the junior Guo's name in the list of 14 accused. The WeChat post said this suggested the news was not just about the junior Guo.
Rumours that father and son were being investigated for corruption have been swirling in overseas media for months.
The news comes months after another CMC vice-chairman, Xu Caihou, came under investigation. Xu is the most senior military officer to be investigated so far. He and Guo senior were the CMC's only two serviced vice-chairmen when ex-president Hu Jintao was its chief.
A report by Caijing magazine said the junior Guo's case involved his wife Wu Fangfang's now-defunct land development business.
Wu ran a firm that allegedly collected over 500 million yuan (HK$628 million) from some 2,000 people to start a mall business in 2011. But the mall never opened and about 100 creditors gathered at the Zhejiang Military Area Command in Hangzhou on January 1 to demand back their investments.
Several state media outlets indicated that bigger "tigers" within the military might soon be netted. "Today's list is just those caught recently," the WeChat commentary said.