China Arrests Ex-Police Official Days Before Major Party Meeting
(Bloomberg) -- China has arrested a former vice minister of public security, days before the ruling Communist Party convenes for its most-important summit of the year.
Sun Lijun was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes “a few days ago,” according to a statement from the country’s top prosecutor. That followed the conclusion of an investigation by the National Supervision Commission, the statement added. He had been in detention since in April 2020.
The prosecutor’s announcement comes as the party’s Central Committee prepares to gather from Nov. 8-11 at a heavily guarded military hotel in Beijing for the final major huddle in the current political cycle. That kick-started the closest thing China has to an election season and a dangerous period for cadres as President Xi Jinping looks to remove rivals and consolidate power ahead of a party congress next year where he’s expected to seek a precedent defying third term.
Sun was expelled from the party in September, accused of “cultivating personal power and forming an interest group” that had taken control of a key government department, the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection said at the time. Such moves had “severely endangered political security,” it added. Sun was also found to be in dereliction of duty during the Covid outbreak, the CCDI said.
Days later, China placed former justice minister Fu Zhenghua under a disciplinary probe, and is investigating him for possible violation of laws.
Beijing launched a nationwide corruption purge in the country’s law and politics system that covers police, prosecutors and courts in July 2020. That campaign had ensnared more than 170,000 officials and police officers by the end of July and is expected to continue until 2022.
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