Chinese Army General Hangs Himself After Being Investigated For Corruption
A top Chinese general has committed suicide by hanging himself after coming under investigation for corruption charges, China’s Xinhua reported.
General Zhang Yang was found dead at his home on November 23, the news agency reported.
Military investigators had launched an investigation into Zhang’s ties to two former Central Military Commission vice chairmen — Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou — who fell prey to President Xi Jinping’s massive anti-corruption campaign.
Zhang, the former head of the Chinese military’s political work department, had seriously violated party discipline and broke the law by allegedly giving and accepting bribes as well as possessing a huge amount of unaccountable money, investigators discovered.
Zhang was a member of the Central Military Commission, which runs the two-million strong People’s Liberation Army. He was allowed to stay at home during the early stages of the investigation.
More than 1.4 million people have been punished under Xi’s anti-corruption campaign since 2012, according to state media, including around 300 senior officials.
In a scathing commentary published by the People’s Liberation Army Daily Tuesday, the paper said he “wanted to evade punishment by party discipline and state law by committing suicide — such behavior was extremely despicable.”
Party officials have warned for years of corrupt officials “escaping” justice through suicide. Anti-grawft scholar Lin Zhe wrote in the state-run China Daily in 2014 that many top officials kill themselves to terminate the investigation before it implicates family members or stashed-away wealth.
“By escaping from judicial and possibly disciplinary penalties once and for all, the officials suspected of corruption can not only preserve their titles and honor, but also preserve the material gains they have made for their families, since their illegal income will no longer be confiscated,” Lin wrote.
“Considering the astonishing sums of money an official can obtain through corruption, that’s a good deal for them and their families.”
While Xi has been praised for going after “tigers” as wells as “flies” — high and low-ranking officials — some critics have accused him of using the campaign to shore up his complete control over the Communist Party and purge his opponents.