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Chinese ex-official on trial for corruption as Xi Jinping’s purge continues | China

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A former senior Chinese official has been accused of a raft of corruption offences, expelled from the Communist party and put on trial, in the latest case in a purge led by leader Xi Jinping.

After a 17-month investigation, China’s top anti-corruption bodies announced the case against the former vice minister of state security Sun Lijun had been sent to prosecutors, state media reported.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Sun’s “political ambition” was extreme and that he had worked with others to destroy the unity and political security of the party, forming gangs and factions and seizing control of key departments. He had led “a corrupt life” with “no moral bottom line”, and embezzled an unspecified number of funds, the reports said.

The agencies also accused him of rumour-mongering, theft and deception, as well as leading an “extravagant” life, accepting large gifts and engaging in “pay for play” schemes. The agencies did not release specific details.

“His case has been transferred to prosecutors who will arrange for a trial in accordance with the law,” the agencies said, accusing Sun of resisting the investigation and not explaining issues “truthfully” to authorities.

As well as being vice minister for public security, Sun also played a key role in coordinating China’s early pandemic response. Thursday’s statement also accused him of deserting his pandemic response post.

Sun was arrested in April 2020, a month after appearing on Chinese TV reporting to Xi during a visit to Wuhan.

He was a highly connected senior official, who had also been named in media reports in relation to Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sun was involved in a Chinese government proposal to offer assistance to the former Malaysian prime minister by monitoring its reporters who were investigating the prime minister’s ties to the fund.

Xi’s long-running crackdown has seen millions of officials targeted, including hundreds of senior officials – often referred to as “big tigers”. There has been widespread speculation that the campaign has also been used to target political opponents or critics of Xi.

State-backed tabloid the Global Times reported on Thursday that Yin Jiaxu, former chairman of China North Industries Group, had also been targeted by anti-corruption bodies.

Yin was accused of illegally obtaining memberships to golf clubs and accepting large sums in money and real estate, the outlet said. According to the report, Yin was described as a “two-faced man who is alienated from the party”, expelled and was expected to stand trial.

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