General in corruption probe hanged himself

Xinhua
A Chinese general has killed himself in his Beijing home after authorities launched an investigation into his links to two corrupt former senior military figures.
Xinhua

A Chinese general has killed himself in his Beijing home after authorities launched an investigation into his links to two corrupt former senior military figures.

Zhang Yang, a former member of the Communist Party of China Central Military Commission and former head of the CMC Political Work Department, hanged himself on November 23, the commission said yesterday.

It had decided to hold “talks” with Zhang on August 28 to investigate his involvement in the cases of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, two former CMC vice chairmen who were expelled from the Communist Party.

Investigators said Zhang, 66, had seriously violated discipline and law. 

He was also suspected of offering and accepting bribes and holding a huge amount of property from unidentified sources.

“Evading the punishment of Party discipline and law by committing suicide was disgusting conduct,” said a commentary on the official website of the People’s Liberation Army.

“This former general of high position and great power used this shameful way to end his own life,” the commentary said.

The commentary said that “the case of Zhang Yang shows that a lot still needs to be done in eliminating the pernicious influence of Guo and Xu, and in the construction of Party conduct and honest, clean government, as well as in the fight against corruption.”

“The army should thus nourish toughness and perseverance as if they are always ‘on the road’ to eradicate any virus that corrodes the health of the PLA,” the commentary said. 

President Xi Jinping promised during last month’s National Party Congress to intensify graft crackdowns which have already brought down 1.5 million Party officials at various levels — including top military officers — since 2012.

A posting on a social media account managed by the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the military’s official newspaper, accused Zhang of “escaping responsibility” via suicide.

“The once high-and-mighty general has ended his life in this disgraceful way,” the post said yesterday, calling Zhang a “two-faced” person who “shouted loyalty from his mouth while committing corruption behind his back.”

“The army holds the barrel of a gun — we cannot allow any corrupt elements to hide behind it.”

Guo became the most senior PLA official to be convicted of corruption in half a century when he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2016.

Xu died of cancer in 2015 while under investigation for corruption.


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