China’s ex-top general jailed for life

Former general Fang Fenghui is the latest top brass to fall over corruption. China’s military’s has been a focus of President Xi Jinping’s ongoing anti-graft crackdown.

Fang Fenghui, ex-chief of joint staff of the People’s Liberation Army, was found guilty of bribery and having huge wealth that he had been unable to account for, according to Xinhua.
The 67-year-old accompanied President Xi Jinping in his first meeting with US President Donald Trump in 2017. Many officials have been jailed in what Mr Xi says is an anti-corruption drive. The efforts have had a particular focus on the country’s military, which is the world’s largest and is undergoing a modernisation campaign.
Fang Fenghui lost his post with no explanation in 2017 and disappeared from public view. The government later confirmed he was under investigation for alleged corruption. He was also a member of the powerful Central Military Commission, China’s supreme military body, and was close to Zhang Yang, who also served on the commission and was found dead in 2017 while being investigated for corruption.
Fang was expelled from the Communist Party last year ahead of his trial at a military court. All his assets have been confiscated, Xinhua adds, without mentioning how much money was involved. It is unclear whether he was allowed to retain a lawyer, Reuters news agency reports.
Other high-profile top military brass to be hit by corruption allegations include Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, two former generals and members of the Central Military Commission controlling the armed forces.
Guo was handed a life sentence in 2017. Xu died of cancer in 2015 before he could face trial. Another member of the Central Military Commission, Zhang Yang, committed suicide in November 2017 while being investigated for corruption.