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Xi Furthers Anti-Corruption Purge in the Military

Media report outlets inside and outside of China suggest that the Chinese military may be going through another “anti-corruption” purge. Sources say 120 military officers are being “investigated.”

On August 1, which is the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Day, a time when a few military officers are usually promoted to the rank of full general, Xi broke the tradition and did not make any announcement. It was also the first time since Xi became the commander-in-chief of the PLA in 2012 that he did not name any generals. China’s official media kept silent on this and the military officials issued no response of confirmation or clarification.

In one of Xi Jinping’s talks on Aug 9 regarding the military, Xi emphasized “absolute loyalty” from the PLA and the importance of “centralized leadership.” He also talked about the issue of corruption in the PLA.

On Oct 16, the Beijing authority officially announced the “investigation results” of two more military “tigers,” — Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang. These two former generals have since been expelled from the Communist Party and the Chinese military and their ranks of general have been removed.

Zhang, who once served as Director of the PLA’s Political Work Department, committed suicide last Nov. Fang, former Chief of the Joint Staff and a member of the Central Military Commission, is now facing formal charges in court. The “investigation results” said they were “disloyal, dishonest and had been acting two-faced.” A number of media sources pointed out that more military officials might be involved in this current purge — many of the next targets may be those who have ties with those “big tigers” who have already been purged.

Source: Radio France International, October 24, 2018