China jails ruling party member for life over graft

China jails ruling party member for life over graft

A court in the northern port city of Tianjin that has become the go-to choice for handling official corruption cases handed down the verdict today (May 8), after the 54-year-old Sun last month pleaded guilty to accepting more than 170 million yuan in bribes from 2002-2017. It was a sign that Xi "doesn't feel bound by the order of promotion set by the previous generation of leaders", a Beijing-based party watcher told the New York Times (paywall) at the time.

The court heard that between 2002 and past year, Sun had taken advantage of his position to seek profits for others and illegally accepted money, according to previous court statements.

During the trial, Sun said he would not appeal against the sentence.

A Chinese court sentenced former political high-flyer Sun Zhengcai to life in prison Tuesday for taking more than $26 million in bribes, making him one of the biggest names to fall in President Xi Jinping's campaign against corruption and disloyalty.

"I sincerely confess to and regret the crimes I committed".

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Between 2012 and 2017, 35 full and alternate members of the Communist Party's powerful Central Committee have been disciplined, which is as many as in the period between the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and 2012.

In July, Sun was abruptly removed from his post as the ruling Communist Party's chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing and was replaced by Chen Miner, a protege of current President Xi Jinping. He was also deprived of his political rights for life. Sun was sent to Chongqing to fill the void left by Bo, but he failed to wipe out his predecessor's "lingering pernicious influence", Communist Party of China investigators determined.

Previously big-name corrupt officials would have been retired or eased out of office, but Mr Xi has taken a more aggressive approach.

However, critics have claimed Xi has used the crusade as a way to sideline political opponents and consolidate his power over the country.

The Chinese president said in April, though, that he is opposed to life-long rule, arguing that the move to amend the constitution was definitely misinterpreted by foreign observers.