Two PLA Major Generals Being Investigated for Graft, SCMP Says

Two Chinese major generals with connections to Sichuan province, one of the power bases of the Communist Party’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang, are being investigated for graft, the South China Morning Post reported today, citing two unidentified people.

Ye Wanyong, a former commissar of the Sichuan military region had served there since 2006, and Wei Jin is a 55-year-old vice-commissar of the Tibet military region, the newspaper said.

Ye left the military in January after reaching the retirement age of 60. Wei was promoted to his position three years ago after holding senior military posts in the southwest province of Sichuan, including as senior army propaganda officer in Chengdu, the provincial capital city, the newspaper said.

Both People’s Liberation Army officers were taken into custody in May, the Hong Kong-based newspaper cited people close to the military as saying. Ye’s house was also searched, it said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to target both “tigers and flies,” officials at the top and bottom of the power ladder, in an anti-corruption campaign he started after taking over as Communist Party chief in November 2012. Corruption was listed second among the public’s top 10 concerns in 2014, up from third in 2013 and seventh in 2012, according to a People’s Daily survey.

Stronger Military

The newspaper said the latest investigation into Ye and Wei is also part of the wider anti-corruption campaign in the PLA. Xi, who also leads the military as chairman of the Central Military Commission, has repeatedly vowed to weed out corruption in the army as he seeks to build a stronger military capable of fighting wars.

Ye was removed yesterday from his position as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today. No reason was given for his removal.

Sichuan is one of the former power bases of Zhou, who was party chief of the province from 1999 to 2002. A string of allies and associates of Zhou in government, the military and the oil industry have been targeted in an anti-corruption campaign.

Guo Yongxiang, the former Sichuan vice governor was put under investigation for graft in June, 2013. Li Chuncheng, the former Sichuan deputy party secretary, was formally charged in April for taking bribes.

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