President Xi Jinping has called on the military to learn lessons from the corruption case involving Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, emphasised the need to run the armed forces in accordance with the law when he met with senior officers of the Nanjing Military Area Command during an inspection tour in Jiangsu province on Sunday.
He said military officials at all levels, especially senior ones, should take a warning from the cases of Xu and Lieutenant General Gu Junshan, former deputy chief of the People's Liberation Army's general logistics department.
"Our military should guarantee unity and loyalty to the Party and the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the CPC," Xi said.
He emphasised that efforts to ensure the army is run in line with the law will be further strengthened.
Zhu Lijia, a public administration expert at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said Xi's speech was intended to ring alarm bells. It sent a signal that the anti-corruption campaign in the military will widen, and the authorities will apply a zero-tolerance policy to graft cases.
"The Xu and Gu cases show that correcting attitudes and standardizing behaviour are urgently needed in the military," Zhu said.
Xu, 71, who retired as vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission last year, was found to have taken advantage of his position to assist the promotions of others while accepting "extremely large" bribes, the military procuratorate said in October.
Gu is alleged to have accumulated goods and property worth more than 600 million yuan (S$127 million) through taking bribes, misuse of State funds and abuse of power, according to the military procuratorate.