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CCP Military Probes Procurement Fraud Over 6 Years, Possibly Targeting Dissidents

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) military has been investigating arms procurement cases discovered during the past six years. The investigation is focused on irregularities such as lack of integrity and leaked secrets. Some people have questioned whether this anti-corruption campaign is being used as a tool for purging dissidents.

The Equipment Development Department (EDD) of the Central Military Commission (CMC) has issued a notice calling on the public to provide clues regarding irregularities and disciplinary violations in the Chinese military’s arms procurement process. The scope of the investigation includes conduct failures, formation of gangs or cliques, use of individual circumstances for personal gain, leakage of secrets, and supervisory failures.

As of 2019, the EDD has emphasized “strict regulation of the order of bidding and procurement management.” It also set up a supervision team for each equipment procurement project to oversee the bidding process, implemented audio and video recordings of the negotiation and inquiry sessions, and  opened channels for the military’s bidders to report problems.

Some people have questioned whether the current anti-corruption campaign is a tool for purging dissidents. Commentators have pointed to the death of Wu Guohua, a former deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force, who died in Beijing on July 4 at the age of 66. His obituary was dated July 25, 21 days after his death.

There has been some speculation that Wu’s death may have been related to corruption and leakage of secrets involving several senior members of the PLA’s Rocket Force. Some have even speculated that Wu committed suicide. However, there have been no confirmed reports regarding Wu’s cause of death.

In addition, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Li Yuchao, commander of the Rocket Force, Liu Guangbin, deputy commander of the Rocket Force, and Zhang Zhenzhong, a former deputy commander of the Rocket Force and current deputy chief of the CMC’s Joint Staff Department, were removed from their posts in March and under investigation for corruption.

The CCP’s new anti-corruption drive has led to the ouster of several former and current senior commanders of the Rocket Force. The Rocket Force is the fourth-largest branch of China’s army, and is in charge of nuclear missiles and other highly-destructive weapons.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), July 30, 2023