With the sacking of Miao Guirong, chief engineer of Transport Command in China’s People’s Armed Police forces, three leading officers have been removed from this section of the million-man paramilitary police on suspicion of corruption.
Commander Liu Zhanqi and political commissar Wang Xin were removed earlier this summer, as reported by China Military net, the official news site of the People’s Liberation Army.
Transport Command is a large department in the Armed Police. It is responsible for controlling and maintaining transport infrastructure in times of crisis such as natural disaster, terrorist attack, or war. Since 2009 it has been a part of the national emergency response system, working with both the Armed Police headquarters and the civilian Ministry of Transport.
The Armed Police has been targeted before. In January, the Party’s anti-corruption agency announced that Cai Guangliao, a major general, had been sacked for bribery, violation of discipline, and conducting illicit business.
According to an article by the Chinese news site Xiaochoujin, the Armed Police has been plagued by severe corruption in the last decade. This is due to the force’s access to resources such as gold, lumber, and energy, as well as its role in overseeing foreign borders. Additionally, the Armed Police’s close relations with both central and local authorities facilities illicit activity among its officers.
Under the administration of general secretary Xi Jinping, the Communist Party’s discipline agency has been carrying out a nationwide anti-corruption campaign in multiple sectors, including the Chinese military.
The state-run Global Times reported that 42 high-ranking military officials had been purged since the beginning of this year.
Departments responsible for logistics such as the Armed Police’s Transport Command are particularly susceptible to graft and embezzlement, based on the nature of their funding.
Li Yongzhong, vice-chief of the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency, told a Global times reporter on Sept. 15 that in the absence of proper checks and balances, “criminal nests” were likely to form, “especially in logistical departments, where money, material, and power are concentrated.”
Officers Zhan Guoqiao, Deng Ruihua, and Zhang Wansong, who headed the Logistics Department in western China’s Lanzhou Military Region, were sacked in April, July and August for “severe violation of discipline.”
Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption in the ranks of the Chinese military and internal security forces has also brought down many officers of questionable loyalty.
Zhou Yongkang, once director of the commission that controls all of China’s police including the Armed Police, and Xu Caihou, the political officer who was second-in-command of the People’s Liberation Army, were both elevated to their positions by former leader Jiang Zemin. Despite stepping down from his official posts in the early 2000s, Jiang continued to exercise great influence over Party politics in the following decade through associates such as Xu and Zhou.
Xu, Zhou, and many other figures associated with Jiang Zemin have been investigated or disciplined in Xi Jinping’s purges.