Chinese ex-general accused of bribery

The Associated Press BEIJING (AP) — A former chief of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s joint staff department was referred to military prosecutors on suspicion of bribery on Tuesday, state media reported, making him the latest high-ranking target of President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption in the armed forces.

Fang Fenghui’s case was transferred to the PLA’s criminal prosecution body, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The move virtually ensures his conviction at court martial, followed by a sentence of life or many years in prison. Xinhua said he was suspected of both giving and taking bribes, traditionally a common route to gaining promotion and potentially amassing enormous riches.

Fang dropped out of public view last fall, shortly after an August meeting with the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, leading to speculation he’d been placed under investigation.

Since coming to power in late 2012, Xi, who also leads the party and the armed forces, has launched a wide-ranging crackdown on corruption that has felled scores of mid-to-high-ranking officials.

Three former top generals have already been ensnared in corruption probes, including one who died of cancer before trial and another who committed suicide in November while under investigation. Like Fang, all had been members of the government and ruling Communist Party’s Central Military Commissions that oversee the armed forces.

The campaign has strengthened Xi’s iron grip on the party and military, while eliminating political threats and helping make him the most powerful Chinese leader in a generation.Speech

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