July 10, 2015 / 10:20 AM / 2 years ago

China military to prosecute another senior officer for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s military will prosecute another former senior officer for corruption, the Defence Ministry said on Friday, part of a sweeping campaign against graft which has already felled dozens of top people, including high ranking military personnel.

Weeding out corruption in the military is a top goal of President Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, which controls China’s 2.3 million-strong armed forces.

In a brief statement, the ministry said that Deng Ruihui, former political commissar for the Joint Logistics Department in the Lanzhou military region, is suspected of serious “breaches of discipline”, the usual euphemism for corruption.

“He is suspected of breaking the law, and has already been handed over to the military prosecutor for handling in accordance with the law,” it added, without elaborating.

The Lanzhou military region is one of seven military regions in China, and is in charge of security for a large swathe of western China, including the restive region of Xinjiang, where Beijing says Islamist militants operate.

Serving and retired Chinese military officers have said military graft is so pervasive it could undermine China’s ability to wage war, and dozens of senior officers have been taken down.

The anti-graft drive in the military comes as Xi steps up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas, though China has not fought a war in decades.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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