Corruption in China
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Liu Yanping is the latest senior security official snared by anti-corruption watchdogs. Photo: Weibo

Anti-corruption chief at Chinese spy agency admits taking US$33 million in bribes

  • Liu Yanping was the latest senior figure in the security apparatus to appear in court on similar charges
  • Liu was accused by graft busters of disloyalty to Xi Jinping and belonging to a ‘political clique’ led by jailed former security vice-minister Sun Lijun

A former anti-corruption chief at China’s national spy agency has pleaded guilty to bribery.

Liu Yanping, 67, appeared before Changchun Intermediate People’s Court in the northeastern province of Jilin on Thursday, charged with accepting more than 234 million yuan (US$33 million).

The court said that Liu, the former disciplinary chief at the Ministry of State Security, had pleaded guilty and expressed repentance. The court was adjourned and he will be sentenced at a later date.

Liu had previously been accused by party graft-busters of disloyalty to Xi Jinping and being part of a “political clique” led by former public security vice-minister Sun Lijun in an official documentary aired by the state broadcaster CCTV in January.

He is the last alleged member of Sun’s political gang to face sentencing, indicating that the biggest purge in China’s security apparatus over the last five years is finally drawing to a close.

Ex-Inner Mongolia judge accused of corruption is handed to prosecutors

The court said that Liu had received the money in return for business favours, lenient sentences, job promotions and help in obtaining restricted car plates.

It also said that Liu’s corruption trail can be traced back to 2001, when he was serving as the deputy director of the security bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for protecting the country’s top leaders.

He then continued to accept bribes when he became the bureau’s chief and later the disciplinary head of the Ministry of State Security, according to the court.

Earlier this year, the country’s top anti-corruption agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, announced that Liu had been placed under investigation. In September it was announced that he had been expelled from the party and dismissed from office. He was formally charged four weeks later.

Around the same time – less than a month before the Communist Party’s national congress, where Xi secured a norm-breaking third term in power – Sun and other members of the security apparatus were given lengthy jail sentences for corruption
Sun was given a suspended death sentence by the court in Changchun – a charge usually commuted to life in prison after two years. The court also handed down the same sentence to former justice minister Fu Zhenghua, and Wang Like, the head of political and legal affairs in eastern Jiangsu province.
Three other former police chiefs were also jailed by different courts in Hebei province in September. Gong Daoan, the former Shanghai police chief, was jailed for life; Deng Huilin, who held the same role in Chongqing, was given 15 years; and Liu Xinyun, formerly Shanxi’s top policeman, was sentenced to 14 years.

University students can now major in China’s anti-corruption drive

The jailing of these senior security officials marks the latest phase in a sweeping anti-corruption campaign Xi launched after taking office in late 2012.

According to the anti-corruption watchdog, about 4.7 million officials have been placed under investigation in the past decade.

Despite declaring a major victory over graft among party elites earlier this year, Xi vowed to keep up the pressure on corrupt party officials during his speech to the party congress last month.