General Fang Fenghui on trial for corruption

He had been questioned by the Disciplinary Commission last August together with General Zhang Yang, who killed himself on 23 November. The two were once protected by Guo Baixiong and Xu Caihou, both of whom were convicted of corruption. Some 13,000 army officers have been convicted so far.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Fang Fenghui, once the youngest commander of a People’s Liberation Army military region, will stand trial for corruption, Xinhua reported today without giving details.

Fang, 66 (right in the picture), served as the Chief of Joint Staff and a member of the Central Military Commission (CMC).

In late August, state media reported that Fang and his colleague Zhang Yang had been replaced. The latter committed suicide on 23 November, which delayed Fang’s arrest until today.

Both were once protegés of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, two powerful CMC generals convicted in the anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping five years ago.

Guo was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2016; Xu died in prison of cancer in 2015 whilst awaiting trial.

Fang’s arrest is a further sign that Xi’s campaign against "tigers and flies", high and low officials, is still going on. So far, at least 13,000 military officers have been convicted of corruption.

Still, many wonder if this "tiger” hunt is not part of a crackdown against Xi's adversaries.

Under President Hu Jintao, who was CMC president from 2004 to 2012, Fang was seen as a loyal member, protected by Hu.