Chinese ex-Politburo member Sun Zhengcai sentenced to life for graft
A court in China has sentenced former top Communist Party official Sun Zhengcai to life in prison. Sun, once considered a future candidate for president, was found guilty of accepting millions in bribes.
Sun Zhengcai (picture-alliance/Imaginechina/W. Yao)
Sun Zhengcai, former Communist Party boss of the southwestern city of Chongqing, was handed a life sentence Tuesday for corruption.
The ex-Politburo member is one of the most high-profile politicians to be targeted by President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-graft campaign.
The intermediate court in Tianjin said Sun was found to have taken bribes worth 170 million yuan ($26.7 million; €22 million). It said his personal property had been confiscated and that he would be deprived of his political rights for life.
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“After the judgment was announced, Sun Zhengcai told the court he admitted his guilt, expressed repentance, accepted the decision, and said he would not appeal,” the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the Tianjin court.
Last month, the 54-year-old pleaded guilty to accepting bribes during the 15 years he held top positions in Beijing, Jilin province and Chongqing, as well as during his term as minister of agriculture.
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Xi Jinping, the son of communist revolutionary and political leader Xi Zhongxun, started his political career when he was finally accepted as a member of China’s Communist Party in 1974. Xi had applied to join the party several times, but was rejected due to his father’s political history — Xi Zhongxun had been purged in 1962 and was then persecuted and jailed during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Rise to the top
Rise to the top
Xi studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University, but after acceptance to the Communist Party he worked hard to reach the top ranks. In 1982, he started out as a party secretary in Herbei province before advancing to more senior roles in the country, such as numerous provincial governor positions and then party chief in China’s second biggest city and financial hub Shanghai.
Shattered political career
As one of the youngest of the 25 members in the powerful Politburo ruling body, Sun had been seen in some circles as a potential successor to President Xi before he was suddenly removed from his post in Chongqing last July.
He was replaced by Xi protege Chen Min’er, who was later promoted to the Politburo.
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Thousands of officials, including senior party members, have faced prosecution since Xi launched his war on corruption in 2012. Critics, however, have described it as a political purge rather than a campaign solely targeting criminal behavior.
nm/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)
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Keywords China Sun Zhengcai anti-corruption campaign Xi Jinping Chinese Community Party
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