On October 16th, the Communist Party of China announced that it stripped two former generals from their ranks and membership within their ranks.
Fang Fenghui is a former member of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and former chief of staff of the CMC Joint Staff Department, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Fang’s expulsion from the CPC has been approved by the CPC Central Committee, while the CMC has already expelled him from the People’s Liberation Army and stripped him of his rank of general, according to a CMC statement. According to investigators he had seriously violated discipline and law. The corruption case against him is for $1.4 million.
An unnamed source, cited by the South China Morning Post claimed that more than 300 military personnel were implicated in the case against Fang Fenghui.
On the same day Zhang Yang, a former head of the CMC’s political work department, had been stripped of his general’s rank and party membership.
“Zhang attempted to escape punishment through committing suicide. This has seriously damaged the party and the army,” the statement said.
The South China Morning Post, cited a second unnamed source said more than 40 people were implicated in the investigation against Zhang.
“The violations are very serious and the scale of the corruption is huge. It caused serious damage,” according to a statement released by Xinhua, the Chinese state agency.
Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a wide-scale anti-graft campaign after assuming power. At least 13,000 military officers found to be involved in corruption have been punished over the past five years as of October 2017, according to the People Liberation Army’s Daily.
Zhang Yang was also linked to disgraced former Central Military Commission vice-chairmen Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou. They were the most senior military officers investigated for buying and selling military ranks and other forms of corruption.
Mainstream media claims that Xi Jinping’s actions are a political witch hunt. Regardless, Chinese leaders understand that a strong military requires loyal leaders that are not corrupt. Thus, in addition to all the announcement of new weapons systems that are being developed and commissioned, the military is also in a way, developing its leadership brass.