21 March 2019
US Navy Adm. Timothy Keating (left), commander of the US Pacific Command, greets Chinese Gen. Guo Boxiong in this 2008 file picture. Photo: Reuters
US Navy Adm. Timothy Keating (left), commander of the US Pacific Command, greets Chinese Gen. Guo Boxiong in this 2008 file picture. Photo: Reuters

China probes second top military official for graft

A second former top military official is being investigated by Chinese authorities for corruption.

Guo Boxiong, 72, vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission until he stepped down in 2012, is the latest senior military official to be investigated in a widening campaign against graft, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Another former vice chairman, Xu Caihou, was placed under investigation last year by the Communist Party discipline and inspection watchdog.

On Monday, military prosecutors released the names of 14 generals convicted of graft or placed under investigation, according to the Associated Press.

The officials under investigation include Rear Adm. Guo Zhenggang, son of Guo Boxiong, the report said.

Guo Zhenggang was suspected of “serious legal violations and criminal offenses”, a notice posted on official military media was quoted as saying.

Others included leading officers in provincial military commands, as well as ones in the navy, missile corps and National Defense University, it said.

Before their retirement, Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou had been two of China’s top military officers who served together under Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao.

Xi was also a vice chairman with Guo and Xu from 2010-2012 before he became head of the party and military commission chief.

Serving and retired military officers have said graft in the armed forces is so pervasive it could undermine China’s ability to wage war, Reuters reported.

In one case, a senior officer has been accused of making millions of dollars from selling hundreds of military positions.

The government announced an investigation into Guo’s son, Guo Zhenggang, a deputy political commissar of the military in the eastern province of Zhejiang, on Monday.

He had just been promoted to major general in January.

“Guo Boxiong himself is in trouble and is being investigated,” a source with ties to the military told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The announcement about his son was a message” to the public about the father’s probe, the source added, without elaborating.

A second source with ties to the military confirmed that Guo was being investigated but provided no other details.

Guo sat on the Central Military Commission, in charge of the world’s largest armed force of 2.3 million personnel, for more than a decade, having risen through the ranks after joining the army in 1961, according to his official biography.

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