Top Chinese military official commits suicide amid corruption probe

11:39 AM | 28 Nov, 2017
Top Chinese military official commits suicide amid corruption probe
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BEIJING - A senior Chinese military officer, who was being investigated for his involvement in corruption, killed himself last week, reported Chinese media on Tuesday.

General Zhang Yang, former head of the powerful Central Military Commission’s (CMC) political work department hanged himself in Beijing on November 23. The recent development follows an anti-corruption crackdown that has also jolted the armed forces.

The authorities had started an investigation against him over his links to sacked CMC vice-chairmen Guo Boxiong and Xu CaihouGuo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, and serious disciplinary violations. Guo was handed life imprisonment last year, while Xu died of cancer in 2015 before the start of the trial.

Xinhua news citing the commission said that deceased officer was “suspected of giving and taking bribes”. It added that the source of several assets owned by him was not clear.

Since becoming the president five years ago, Xi Jinping has put a focus on his Peoples' Liberation Army, which is undergoing ambitious modernisation, to weed out the corruption.

The former and serving officers are of the view that corruption in the armed forces could harm the ability of China to wage war.

With the start of a sweeping anti-purge campaign, scores of officers were investigated and put behind the bars.

A commentary carried on both the Defence Ministry and military’s official websites said that the officer committed suicide to “escape punishment from the party and country”.