Three more political holdovers—officials who had built up their wealth and connections by being loyal to previous Chinese regime head Jiang Zemin—have bitten the dust under the current anti-corruption campaign, spearheaded by the current Party head Xi Jinping.
The announcements of the purges of the “tigers”—jargon for high-ranking Chinese Communist Party officials—came just days before the beginning of the Lunar New Year celebration on Feb. 19.
On Feb. 16, an announcement on the official website of the anti-graft watchdog Central Committee for Discipline Inspection said that Su Rong, the former vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was “revoked of his Party membership and his civil service position.”
The case against Su has been referred to the judicial system for prosecution.
The announcement against Su includes some of the strongest words ever used by the CCDI, including “violation of Party principles and deviation from the consensus of the Party,” while “turning a blind eye to allow relatives to meddle with policymaking.” According to the Hong Kong-based newspaper Wenweipo on Feb. 17, the tone was much milder in the announcement against Zhou Yongkang, the now fallen security czar.
According to Sina News in Hong Kong on Feb. 17, the relative mentioned by the CCDI was actually Su’s wife, Yu Lifang, who sold lands in Jiangxi Province in southeast China, resulting in the loss of 1 billion yuan (about US$160 million) to the national coffers.
Su was unlikely to get a lesser sentence compared to what Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party chief in Chongqing received, according to Sina. Bo was sentenced to life in prison in September 2013.
In October 2004, Su infamously had to cut his trip to Zambia short and then fled the African nation, after a local civil lawsuit accused him of murder, torture, and defamation of Falun Gong practitioners. Under the order of Zambia’s High Court, Su would have been obliged to attend a hearing the following month.
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that includes meditative exercises and moral precepts, and its followers in China have been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
Zhu Minguo, the former chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Guangdong Province in southern China, also made the list of announcements on the CCDI’s website on Feb. 17.
Like Su, Zhu was also stripped of his Party membership and his post, and now the case against him has been referred to the judicial system for prosecution.
According to the CCDI, Zhu had continued to act with brazen imprudence and immorality, even after the 18th National Party Congress in November 2012. At that Congress, Xi Jinping assumed power in the CCP, and shortly thereafter he launched the sweeping anti-corruption campaign that just claimed Zhu as one of its latest trophies.
Perhaps what got Zhu in trouble was his less conspicuous title—the Party secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) in Guangzhou. The PLAC is the umbrella organization that formerly had authority over nearly all aspects of the legal system.
In July 2012, Zhu was visited by Zhou Yongkang, the former head of the PLAC, who acknowledged what the provisional PLAC had done under the leadership of Zhu, reported Nanfang Daily on July 4, 2012. Zhou was purged in December 2014, in a move that would have been unthinkable two years before, given his former power and authority in the Party.
Also on Feb. 17, Wang Min, a former Standing Committee member of the Shandong Province CCP and the former party secretary for Jinan, the capital of Shandong, was stripped of both his Party membership and his position in public office.
The case against Wang has also been referred to judicial authorities for prosecution.
According to the CCDI, Wang had accepted bribes and helped families and friends to amass enormous wealth, and he had continued to do so even after the 18th National Party Congress.
“Wang was the principal secretary for Zhang Gaoli when Zhang was the Party secretary of Shandong,” said Mr. Chang, a Chinese legal scholar in an interview with the overseas Chinese website Wenxuecity.com in January, a month after the CCDI released a statement saying that Wang was under investigation. “This is surely a case against Zhang Gaoli.”
According to the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, Zhang oversaw the persecution of Falun Gong during his tenure in Shandong in an especially brutal manner, putting the province near the top in the number of deaths recorded of Falun Gong practitioners.