Ex-PLA chief Guo Boxiong to be prosecuted for allegedly accepting bribes for promotions
The former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission is the most senior military official to be investigated for corruption in the ongoing anti-graft campaign
Guo Boxiong, a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, has been expelled from the Communist Party for alleged corruption and handed over to military prosecutors, state media reported late Thursday night.
Investigations found Guo allegedly accepted bribes “personally and through his family members” in exchange for granting promotions in the military, Xinhua reported, citing the Politburo. The announcement came ahead of the People’s Liberation Army’s anniversary tomorrow.
The report said that in line with party disciplinary rules, the Central Committee decided on April 9 to put Guo under investigation. “His acts seriously violated party discipline and left a vile impact,” the Politburo said.
Guo is the most senior military official to be investigated for corruption in the ongoing anti-graft campaign. His expulsion comes more than a year after the downfall of former top general Xu Caihou, who was also a vice-chairman of the commission under former president Hu Jintao.
Xu died of bladder cancer in March, but military prosecutors had said they would continue to go after other allegedly corrupt officers linked to Xu. During Hu’s administration, Xu and Guo were in charge of the PLA even though the president was nominally the head of the CMC.
The South China Morning Post reported in April that top authorities decided to launch an investigation into Guo and briefed serving top brass on Guo’s alleged wrongdoings.
Xinhua said the probe into Guo showed President Xi Jinping’s “political resolution” to rule the party and army with strict discipline, and determination to root out corruption within the party and army.
A commentary on a military-affiliated website said Guo’s behaviour had tarnished the reputation of the army and the party, and the announcement against him showed that authorities were determined to crack down on corruption.
State media reported in March that Guo’s son, Major General Guo Zhenggang, 45, was detained in a graft probe, amid Xi’s high-profile crackdown on corruption in the PLA.
Guo’s younger brother was also in the spotlight in May after graft-busters in Shaanxi province uncovered misuse of disaster relief funds at the civil affairs bureau headed by the brother. The bureau, led by Guo Boquan, misappropriated more than 89 million yuan (HK$113 million) in funds originally allocated for a disaster recovery centre. Some of the money was used to build cheap flats to sell to staff and public servants in other departments, provincial graft-busters said.
A retired officer from the Guangzhou Military Command told the South China Morning Post that the timing of the announcement on the eve of the PLA’s anniversary would help Xi raise morale in the military.
Hong Kong-based military observer Liang Guoliang said the Politburo’s strong condemnation of Guo stressed that no one was exempt from punishment. “Xi wants to use Guo’s case to further consolidate his personal prestige in the army, which will pave the way for him to carry out political reform in the army.”