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Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign

‘Vast sums linked’ to corruption case of fallen Chinese high-flyer Sun Zhengcai

Officials in Jilin province, where Sun once presided, told purge the administration of their former boss’s influence, state-run outlet says

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 February, 2018, 4:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 February, 2018, 4:01pm

The corruption case against former senior Chinese official Sun Zhengcai involves massive sums rarely seen in the country’s modern history, the government of one of the provinces he used to run said in comments published on Wednesday.

Chinese prosecutors this week charged Sun with bribery during various posts going back 15 years in Chongqing, Beijing, Jilin province, and as minister of agriculture, the latest development in a corruption investigation into a man once considered a contender for top leadership.

Sun was abruptly removed from his post as the ruling Communist Party’s chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing – one of China’s most important cities – in July, and replaced by Chen Miner, who is close to President Xi Jinping.

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The government has not given exact details the crimes Sun is suspected of, but senior officials have been giving closed-doors briefings about his case, including in the northeastern province of Jilin, where Sun was party chief from 2009 until late 2012.

In a meeting overseen by Jilin’s present party boss, Bayin Chaolu, officials were told they had to learn the lessons from and deeply reflect on Sun’s crimes, the official Jilin Daily reported.

“The enormity of the sums involved in Sun Zhengcai’s case and the seriousness of the crimes have rarely been seen since the founding of new China,” the report said, referring to the 1949 revolution which brought the Communist Party to power.

It provided no details.

Government officials in Jilin must continue to “fully and thoroughly purge the pernicious influence” of Sun Zhengcai, the report said.

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It has not been possible to reach Sun or a representative for comment since he was put under investigation last year.

The next likely step against Sun will be to put him on trial, where he is certain to be found guilty as the courts are controlled by the party and will not challenge the accusations against him.

Xi has presided over a sweeping corruption crackdown since coming to power in 2012 and has vowed to target both “tigers” and “flies”, a reference to elite officials and ordinary bureaucrats.

Thousands of officials have been jailed and punished in a campaign that has also brought down dozens of senior party and military officials.