China’s ex-Politburo member charged with bribery
The state prosecutor in China has charged a former Communist Party of China Politburo member with bribery, making him the most senior former official to be indicted amid President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.
According to Press TV, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Tuesday declared the indictment of Sun Zhengcai, the former Communist Party Leader for the western city of Chongqing, who was once a rising star in Chinese politics.
According to the announcement, the 53-year-old Sun “illegally accepted huge amounts of money and goods” from various entities in exchange for providing them with favors and benefits.
Despite the indictment’s focus on bribery offenses, Chinese authorities have said the alleged crimes committed by the former leading official were mostly political in nature. The chairman of China’s securities regulator declared during a major party meeting last year that Sun and other high-ranking politicians prosecuted in the crackdown were “conspiring openly to usurp party leadership.”
Sun was expelled from the Communist Party and ousted from public office last September because he was suspected of what Chinese authorities described as “serious discipline violations,” a phrase often used to refer to bribery and other graft offenses.
He was swiftly removed from his party leadership position in Chongqing and replaced by disciple Chen Min’er, who is set to be promoted to the Politburo.
Sun sat on China’s Politburo and had even been considered as a candidate to rise to the decision-making body’s Standing Committee, the select group of leaders that make up the country’s elite political leadership.
He had also reportedly been identified most directly with the faction of China Youth League that was linked to President Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao.