04/02/2014, 00.00
CHINA
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Gen. Gu Junshan "corrupt", Xi Jinping’s battle takes on the Army

by Chen Weijun
For the first time in a decade, two top military leaders - the former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and the deputy chief of army logistics - under indictment for corruption and embezzlement. General Gu Junshan had built a fake Imperial Palace in Henan and filled it with statues of Mao (in gold ) and " crates of mao-tai", one of the most expensive liquors in the world.

Beijing ( AsiaNews) - After hitting the party cadres loyal to the old executive and having ordered a series of arrests in among leading public figures linked to the national economy, President Xi Jinping now has his sights trained on the Army People's Liberation Army ( PLA) , a real stronghold of power and national stability. The arrest of General Gu Junshan (deputy head of the military logistics) , and the indictment of Xu Caihou (former vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission) and an investigation lasting three months in 2 of the largest military districts of the country, reveal that the war against corruption launched by Xi since his election has begun in earnest.

The arrest and trial of the General Gu, removed from office in 2012 and under investigation since, represents biggest blow to top Chinese military since 2006. A Xinhua dispatch confirmed that "Gu Junshan will face charges of corruption, bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power". The guilty verdict is taken as a given by public opinion, shocked by the details of the private life of the military.

According to rumors, reported by magazine Caixin, to empty Gu's Henan villa - built on a model of the Imperial Palace in Beijing - it took 20 paramilitary officials and battalion of soldiers, who filled 4 military trucks to the brim. The various items seized include a statue of Mao Zedong in gold, a bath and a model boat in gold, and some jars of Maotai, a very expensive liquor.

Gu, responsible for managing the real estate assets of the army and the infrastructure sector, was also the owner of dozens of luxury villas and apartments - all huge - inside the second ring of Beijing , an area of the highest quality real estate . According to some officials who questioned him, the officer sought to use these premises as "gifts". In addition, the investigation revealed that "it was usual for him to "levy 6% on each Army real estate sale he managed. The latest being a property sold for 2 billion yuan (234 million euro) . His brother and his brother Gu Xianjun and brother-in-law Zhang Tao were also arrest, being implicated in the scandal .

In his grab for power the former general even faked official document and rewrote the story of his family in such a way as to show his father as a "hero of the Revolution". In this way, Gu has created a false "red genealogy" to allow him scale the military leadership of contemporary China. To make his story more credible, he even built a "revolutionary communist tomb" for his father in the zone of Puyang , home to his "Imperial Palace".

This storm was unleashed on the PLA following an investigation lasting three months (from December 10, 2013 to March 13, 2014) launched by the Central Military Commission headed by Xi Jinping in the military districts of Beijing and Jinan (capital of Shandong) . The inspectors found dozens of cases related to corruption, unfair promotions, transfers and requisitions of agricultural land, construction and sale of real estate. The investigation results have also resulted in the indictment of Xu Caihou , first military commander of Jinan and then Vice President of the Commission (at the time of former President Hu Jintao ). Xu was arrested on March 15, 2014 while he was recovering in a military hospital bed 301: according to doctors he is dying of cancer.

It should be remembered that in the early years of economic modernization launched by Deng Xiaoping, the army played an important role in the Chinese economy, becoming one of the pillars of national industrialization. Of course, this situation has also allowed it to become a repository of corruption.

 

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