On March 2, Chinese military prosecutors released a list of 14 generals recently put under investigation for corruption, according to the Chinese Communist Party military media Liberation Army Daily.
Among the 14, the one that has attracted the most attention is Guo Zhenggang, son of former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong, referred to as a “military tiger” by overseas Chinese media. Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping, in kicking off the campaign, said that he would fight the “tigers and flies” in the anti-graft campaign—a metaphor referring to both high- and low-level officials.
The report states Guo Zhenggang, deputy political commissar of the Zhejiang Province Military Region, was investigated by Chinese military prosecutors in February suspected of “committing crimes.” The report didn’t specify what crimes he was suspected of.
The anti-corruption campaign in the communist military has strengthened this year. On Jan. 15, China released a list of 16 generals who were sacked in 2014.
Chinese political commentator Xia Xiaoqiang, based in Washington D.C., indicated that Xi’s anti-corruption campaign in the military is to clear out the power of former communist leader Jiang Zemin and his faction, in order to secure Xi’s power in the military. Among the 16 generals, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Caihou, a close ally of Jiang, was one. Guo Boxiong was also a major ally of both Jiang Zemin and Xu.
Xia indicated that Guo Zhenggang downfall is a hint that his father is very likely to be in further trouble as well, and that the announcement of Guo Boxiong’s punishment won’t be too long.
Since Xu Caihou was put under investigation for taking bribes in March 2014, scandalous news items about his activities, and those of his client Guo Boxiong, have spread on the Internet. They’re accused of colluding to sell military positions for millions of dollars, among other lucrative corrupt activities, according to Hong Kong and overseas Chinese language media.
Speculation of Guo Boxiong being investigated has spread for some time already. Hong Kong magazine Chengming reported in its latest edition that Guo has been under house arrest for a year, and the news of Guo Zhenggang’s downfall indirectly supported those reports.
The 45-year-old Guo Zhenggang’s last public appearance was when he attended a Communist Party conference in the Zhejiang Province Military Region in Hangzhou City from Jan. 13 to 14. Guo was even promoted to be a major general at the end of 2014. His downfall was thus swifter and more sudden than that which befell even his father.
Gu Qinger contributed to this article.