China anti-corruption: Second group of PLA officers probed

China anti-corruption: Second group of PLA officers probed

China's anti-corruption campaign took another step forward in the People's Liberation Army on Monday, as a second group of 14 formerly high and well-connected officers were placed under investigation, according to an announcement by the military.

The most prominent of the officers is Guo Zhenggang, former deputy political commissar of the Military Command of Zhejiang province, who was promoted to major general in January.

Investigations of the first group of military officers, in 2014, was announced in January and involved 16 individuals.

The latest move follows the call of President Xi Jinping, who also heads the Central Military Commission, to "cleanse the influence" of Xu Caihou, a former three-star general and vice-chairman of the commission. He held the highest rank of the officers to face investigation in 2014.

According to Monday's announcement, officers in the latest group under investigation were charged with having violated Party discipline and laws, a phrase referring to corruption.

According to Caijing magazine, Guo's case involves the now-defunct land development business of his family. Nearly 100 creditors gathered in front of the Zhejiang military command in Hangzhou, on Jan 1 to demand that he repay money they had invested in a shopping mall planned by Guo's wife.

She reportedly collected more than 500 million yuan (S$108.7 million) from around 2,000 investors since 2011 and promised to start business operations in May that year. However, the construction has remained incomplete and the mall never opened for business.

The protesters gathered at the command said the mall was supposed to be built on a tract of land formerly designated for military use, and they believed Guo should also be responsible for it.

The other 13 officers under investigation include:

· Zhu Heping, head of the Joint Logistics Department of the Chengdu Military Area Command

· Wang Aiguo, former head of the Joint Logistics Department of the Shenyang Military Area Command

· Huang Xianjun, former head of the political department of Shanxi Provincial Military Command

· Duan Tianjie, deputy head of the political department of National Defence University

· Yuan Shijun, former commander of Hubei provincial military command

· Huang Xing, former head of the research guidance department of the Academy of Military Sciences

· Zhang Dongshui, deputy political commissar of the Second Artillery Force

· Liu Hongjie, who is in charge of logistics support at the People's Liberation Army General Staff Headquarters

· Cheng Jie, deputy chief of staff of Beihai Fleet

· Chen Jianfeng, former deputy head of the joint logistics department at Guangzhou Military Area Command

· Chen Hongyan, deputy head of the political department of the air force of the Beijing Military Area Command

· Wang Sheng, head of the logistics department of the Guangzhou Military Area Command air force

· Lan Weijie, former deputy commander of Hubei provincial military command, who was sentenced to life in prison in January for accepting bribes, owning property bought with unidentified sources and illegal possession of firearms.

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