Former General Expelled from Chinese Communist PartyAugust 5, 2015 in China
Guo Boxiong, a former general in the People’s Liberation Army, has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party and placed under investigation for graft, becoming the most senior military figure to be targeted in President Xi Jinping’s high profile anti-corruption campaign.
For thirteen years, Guo and Xu Caihou – another senior military figure expelled from the Party for corruption – all but controlled the People’s Liberation Army under Jiang Zemin, a former general secretary of the CCP and president and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC). With Jiang’s assistance, Guo became a Politburo member and, in 2004, first vice chairman of the CMC.
Xinhua, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) official mouthpiece said that Guo has been accused of accepting bribes in exchange for favours while serving as vice chairman of the CMC. While no mention has yet been made of specific crimes he is believed to have committed or of individuals who might have benefited from his patronage, the CCP’s Politburo has said in a statement that “[a]n investigation has found that Guo Boxiong exploited his positions to seek gain for others through postings and promotions,” and that he “directly or through family members accepted bribes, gravely violating party discipline.”
The decision to mount a criminal investigation into these allegations is, according to the Politburo, proof that no official, however exalted his position, is immune from prosecution. “No matter what power one holds or how high one’s position is, if a person violates Party rules and law, he or she should be hunted down without compromise and without mercy,” the council has said. In recent months, Xi’s ongoing interest in rooting out top level corruption – or “fighting tigers” to use his own coinage – has been the subject of intense speculation. Guo’s dismissal from the Party and inevitable prosecution for corruption will no doubt assuage some of these fears.
Guo’s eventual downfall was presaged earlier this year by a corruption probe into the activities of his son, Major-General Guo Zhenggang, the deputy political commissar of the military in the eastern province of Zhejiang, and his younger brother, Guo Boquan, head of the Shaanxi Civil Affairs Bureau.