China has had a long running problem with corruption in their government, though in recent years they have been looking to crack down on the problem. Ever since Xi Jinping took office as the President of the People’s Republic of China, high ranking officials of the country’s Communist Party have been the target of investigations that are looking to fix corruption within the ranks.
Wang Jianping joined the Chinese military in the late 1960’s, and rose through the ranks of the Communist Party. He reached the position of General in the People’s Liberation Army, and also served as the Deputy Chief of Joint Staff with the party, making him one of the most powerful men in the country. However, it doesn’t appear that it will last long as Jianping has been arrested for corruption, under the official charge of violating Communist Party discipline.
Jianping was with his wife on an inspection trip to Beijing when officials took both of them into custody and charged him with the crime. Though investigations of corruption had been ongoing for several years, this is the first time that a general in the military has been arrested for corruption, but not the first to earn the rank of general to be arrested. Tian Xiusi was also arrested after a long investigation.
The investigation’s first big bust was Zhou Yongkang, who was the Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission for the Communist Party. He served until 2012, and he was arrested for corruption that included gaming the oil market so that the company he was in charge of could make billions. After his trial, it was found that Yongkang was guilty of the crime and was sentenced to life in jail. This is also the man that Jianping had answered to directly while they were both with the Communist Party.
After Yongkang was arrested, Jianping was transferred to the General Staff Headquarters, which puzzled some. One source offered an explanation, saying “The key reason behind such an arrangement is to separate them from their power base in the PAP. It was because they were subordinate accomplices of Zhou Yongkang and other big tigers like Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou” who were also arrested in the investigation. Caihou passed away before standing trial while Boxiong was sentenced to life in prison.
A lot of people are finding themselves heading to jail now as a part of the massive crackdown in China as Jinping’s policy seems to be very effective. It has been estimated that there are more than 200,000 officials that have been charged with crime, with 80,000 of them receiving significant punishments. It is becoming a near daily occurrence to read the news in China to see that someone had been arrested for corruption, but Jianping’s arrest has been one of the most notable so far.
There are some detractors of the corruption crackdown, with people saying that the Communist Party is hoping to stop people before they get too influential and might stray away from the current agenda. After seeing the reasoning behind many of the arrests lately, it’s hard to say that the investigations haven’t at least done quite a bit of good for the Chinese government and economy.