BEIJING (AFP) – A retired general ensnared in a high-profile corruption drive launched by Chinese Communist chief Xi Jinping has admitted taking “extremely huge” bribes in return for army promotions, state media said Tuesday.
Xu Caihou, formerly China’s second-highest ranking officer as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, “was found taking advantage of his position to assist the promotion of other people”, Xinhua news agency said, citing military prosecutors.
Xu, who was until 2012 a member of the Communist Party’s elite 25-strong Politburo, is the first of its former members to fall in Xi’s crackdown.
The announcement came as part of the decisions of the Fourth Plenum meeting of the ruling party’s Central Committee.
But the lengthy document made no mention of Zhou Yongkang, the powerful former security chief whose investigation was announced in July.
He is the most senior member of the Communist Party to be investigated since the infamous Gang of Four were put on trial in 1980.
The plenum had expelled several of Zhou’s top allies from the party, an announcement last week said, and the absence of news on his fate may indicate divisions at the top of the organisation.
Xu was stripped of his party membership in June when he had his case handed over to prosecutors.