Everything indicates that the biggest purge in the Chinese security apparatus in recent years is coming to an end. This Friday, Sun Lijun, China’s former deputy minister of public security, who is accused of leading a “political bloc” towards President Xi Jinping, was sentenced to two years’ suspended death for accepting bribes, among other crimes. The sentence was handed down. His reign ends a week in which several former police chiefs or even former justice ministers from the same group have been sentenced for corruption.
According to state channel CCTV, Sun, 53, was convicted of accepting bribes of around 92.5 million euros in return for business favors or job promotions, stock market manipulation or illegal possession of firearms. All his personal property and illegal earnings have also been confiscated.
Sun was found guilty of receiving a bribe of about 92.5 million euros in return for favors
The suspended death penalty is a punishment that is invoked relatively frequently among Asian giants in corruption cases. In practice, this means that if the prisoner does not commit new offenses and behaves appropriately during the period in which the suspension is in force – two years in this case – he can commute his sentence to life imprisonment.
The officer had an outstanding career in the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and was one of the leaders of the first task force sent by the government to Wuhan in February 2020 to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
But a year earlier, he was expelled from the CCP after an investigation by the Central Disciplinary Commission, the body in charge of fighting corruption, concluded he had “exaggerated political ambitions” and “lack of integrity.” In January, Sun appeared on public television with high-ranking police chiefs, admitting to cultivating a “political clan” and accepting bribes.
His sentence ends in a week in which the courts beheaded the Sun-led group on the basis of the sentence. On Thursday, former justice minister Fu Zhenghua (67) and East Jiangsu province’s legal and political affairs official Wang Laik (57) were sentenced to two years of suspended death for accepting bribes and abuse of power.
A day earlier, former Shanghai police chiefs (Gong Daoan, life in prison), Chongqing (15 years in prison) and Shanxi (14 years), all were charged with taking bribes.
When Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, he assured that corruption was so widespread that it threatened the very existence of the system, which is why he sponsored an anti-corruption campaign against the “tigers and flies” that plague the population. was very popular among
Since then, disciplinary bodies have punished more than four million party members and some 500 high-ranking officials over these ten years, including names such as the former head of the security services, Zhou Yongkang – one of the nine most powerful men. Were. Countries and are considered untouchables – or the former head of the energy sector, Liu Tiannan. The campaign is also seen as a tool used by Xi to end the political careers of some of his rivals.
In a decade, disciplinary bodies have punished over 40 lakh members of the CPP
The trend appears to have accelerated in recent months ahead of the 20th CCP Congress to be held in Beijing next month. It is believed that Xi will renew his position for a third term unprecedented in modern history and fill the high command with like-minded people.
Sun’s sentencing sends “a clear political signal” to the Chinese security apparatus before Congress, amid a major review of the command of the security system seeking loyalty to Xi, a professor at the prestigious Renmin University explained to the South China newspaper. . Morning Post. “Xi is telling the law enforcement team that he has zero tolerance for betrayal and corruption, and the consequences can be very serious,” he said.