China to prosecute two more military officers for graft

BEIJING - China's military will prosecute two more senior officers for suspected "serious discipline violations", the Defence Ministry said on Friday, using the usual euphemism for corruption.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made weeding out corruption in the military a top goal, with serving and retired officers warning that graft is so pervasive it could undermine the country's ability to wage war.

In a brief statement, the ministry identified the two as Wu Ruizhong, a former deputy political commissar at the Second Artillery Engineering University, and Qu Mutian, a former deputy commander of the transport command for the paramilitary People's Armed Police.

Both their cases have been handed over to military prosecutors, the ministry said, without providing further details.

It was not possible to reach either of them for comment, nor was it clear if they have lawyers.

China intensified its crackdown on corruption in the military in the late 1990s, banning the People's Liberation Army from engaging in business.

But the military has been involved in commercial dealings in recent years due to a lack of checks and balances, military analysts have said.

The anti-graft drive has felled several other senior military officers, including Guo Boxiong, once a vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission which Xi heads.