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Xu Caihou confesses to taking bribes

Xu Caihou, former vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), has confessed to taking bribes, said military prosecutors here Tuesday.

The investigation into Xu's case has concluded and the filing of the case has begun, said a statement from the military procuratorate.

Xu was found to have taken advantage of his position to assist the promotions of others, accepting huge bribes personally and through his family, and to have sought profits for others in exchange for bribes. The amount of bribe was "extremely large", the statement said.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee expelled Xu from the Party and handed his case to prosecutors in June at a meeting presided over by President Xi Jinping. Xu had been under investigation since March.

Xu, 71, was CMC vice chairman from 2004 to 2012 and was made a general in 1999. Xu has been discharged from military service with his rank of general revoked.

The CPC Central Committee statement in June described his case as being "serious and having a vile impact".

"Anyone, no matter what authority and office he holds, will receive serious punishment if found violating Party discipline and law. We will never compromise nor show mercy," the CPC Central Committee warned.

China's leaders unfurled a fierce anti-corruption campaign when they took office in late 2012. At a CPC disciplinary watchdog meeting in early 2013, Xi vowed to make no exceptions in Party discipline and law, with no leniency, no matter who is involved.

According to the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) website, about 50 officials at provincial and ministerial level or higher have been investigated for corruption or other serious disciplinary violations since November 2012. They are vividly compared to "tigers".

The campaign has swept through military and civilian sectors, central and local governments, state-owned enterprises and public institutions.

In July, Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, was put under investigation -- the highest ranking official downed in the campaign so far.

In March, Gu Junshan, deputy head of the general logistics department of the People's Liberation Army, was charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power.

Two members of the 205-strong CPC Central Committee and five of the 171 alternate members have also fallen from grace.

A majority of these "tigers" were senior provincial officials or chief officials of provincial capitals. North China's Shanxi Province has five members of the province's top decision-making body under investigation.

Senior officials of central government departments, such as Jiang Jiemin, once head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, and Li Dongsheng, ex-vice minister of public security have also come under fire.

State-owned enterprises and public institutions are not immune. Song Lin, former chairman of China Resources, and He Jiacheng, onetime executive vice president of the Chinese Academy of Governance (CAG) have both found themselves in hot water.

As a party of 86 million, ruling a country of 1.3 billion people in the long term, the CPC has realized that they face an unprecedented situation and serious challenges, said Huang Weiting, a researcher with "Seeking Truth", the official magazine of the CPC Central Committee, who has closely followed the clean-up campaign.

The CPC leadership is fully aware that its ability to discipline its own members, especially those wielding power, affects its capacity to govern, he said.

In a decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law adopted last week and published on Tuesday, the CPC Central Committee said Chinese lawmakers will speed up legislation work for the country's anti-corruption law.

The goal is to set up an effective anti-graft mechanism so "government officials dare not, can not and do not want to go corrupt," the decision read.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 28Oct14]

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