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.
Blast kills One Outside Chinese Communist Party HQ in ShanxiNovember 7, 2013 in China
This morning, Wednesday November 6th, a homemade bomb detonated outside the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Shanxi province, northern China, killing one person. The attack comes amidst tight security across China, with sensitive official meetings due later this week that may see radical overhauls to China’s economy, and in the wake of last week’s suicide attack in Tiananmen Square by Uighur Muslims.
At around 7:40 am, reports indicate seven homemade explosive devices detonated outside the provincial headquarters of the CCP in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province. One person was killed and 8 were injured, one critically. The devices were apparently planted in flower beds outside the building, and detonated as government workers began to arrive for the day. Images widely distributed on Chinese social media show metal pellets and ball bearings that were reportedly scattered across the area after the explosions. No individual or group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The incident comes at a politically sensitive time for China. Top CCP leaders are due to meet on November 9th for a three day session (the ‘Third Plenum’ of the new leadership) to outline China’s economic and political direction for the next decade. This is widely expected to include a raft of major social and economic reforms, aimed at promoting economic liberalisation, tackling corruption and providing social security with the goal of moving China towards more stable economic growth. Previous Third Plenums in 1978 and 1993 were the source of the most sweeping economic reforms in recent Chinese history.
Security across the country has also been stepped up following last week’s suicide attack in Tiananmen Square. In that incident, a car was driven into crowds of tourists before bursting into flames. The 3 occupants were killed along with a Japanese and Filipino tourist, while nearly 40 tourists and security personnel were injured. The attackers have been identified as Uighur Muslims, with the Chinese authorities calling it a terrorist attack and blaming the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a Uighur terrorist group apparently with some loose connections to the Al Qaeda organisation. Uighurs are a large Muslim minority in China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang, and often complain of discrimination and repression. Terrorist attacks, riots and ethnic violence are not uncommon in the region, with Uighur extremists sometimes attacking targets outside Xinjiang as well.
However, homemade bombs and domestic terror attacks unrelated to the Uighur issue are a not entirely uncommon phenomenon in China. In 2009 two separate attacks on public transport systems by disgruntled citizens killed 26 and 24 people, while a man killed 47 people by setting alight a bus in Xiamen earlier this year. In September, a bomb exploded outside a school in Guilin, killing two and injuring more than 40. A disabled man was jailed last month for setting off a homemade bomb in Beijing airport in July. These incidents are often the result of disgruntled individuals who feel mistreated by the state bureaucracy, in issues ranging from criminal cases to land confiscations.