Top Chinese general held in China's anti-graft campaign

Beijing, Aug 26 (PTI) A top Chinese general has been arrested for violating party discipline, becoming one of the most senior incumbent military officials to be targeted in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign which continues to shake the top brass of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

General Wang Jianping, 62, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department under the powerful Central Military Commission headed by Xi has been arrested for violating party discipline, Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported.

Wang, a former ally of China's disgraced security tsar Zhou Yongkang, was taken away by discipline inspector in Chengdu, Sichuan province, yesterday, the report quoted sources as saying.

The charges against Wang weren't immediately clear, but "violating party discipline" is a common euphemism in China for corruption, the report said.

Wang's wife and secretary were taken away that same day, the source said. 

His former secretary Su Haihui, deputy director of the armed police's training department, was also taken, he added. Two more of China's former top commanders taken away for corruption investigation, the report said.

Wang was arrested by military prosecutors in Chengdu while he was on an inspection trip.

His wife and secretary were taken away in Beijing yesterday, the report said. 

Wang is the first general still in active military service to be brought down since Xi launched his massive crackdown against deep-rooted corruption in the military in 2013.

His arrest followed the detention of Tian Xiusi, a former political commissar of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force and a member of the Communist Party's elite Central Committee.

Tian, 66, was detained by military graft-investigators and put under an internal probe last month.

While he holds the rank of general, Tian had already retired from the army when he was taken away.     So far nearly 50 top officials of the PLA including two former Chiefs were probed corruption in the unprecedented anti-graft campaign which also helped Xi to consolidate his hold on the powerful military, which also strengthened his position in the ruling Communist Party of China, (CPC) for
which he is the General Secretary. 

The report also said rumours were rife about the fate of Wang and his political ally General Xu Yaoyuan, a former political commissar of the armed police. 

As top leaders of the PLA's armed police from 2009 to 2014, Wang and Xu directly reported to then security tsar Zhou Yongkang.

Zhou, who was arrested on graft charges in 2013, was sentenced to life in jail in June last year. He was the most senior official to receive such a heavy sentence since the Cultural Revolution.