China's Parliament to convene amid anti-graft campaign
Amid reports that 16 more generals were facing anti-corruption probe, China's annual Parliament will convene tomorrow and is likely to be overshadowed by the unprecedented campaign against corruption initiated by President Xi Jinping that has netted some top officials.
Beijing: Amid reports that 16 more generals were facing anti-corruption probe, China's annual Parliament will convene tomorrow and is likely to be overshadowed by the unprecedented campaign against corruption initiated by President Xi Jinping that has netted some top officials.
The 2,229 member Advisory legislature, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), comprised of nominated members begins its sessions tomorrow followed by the meeting of the nearly 3,000 delegates of the National People's Congress (NPC).
Some of the star CPPCC members included Hollywood star Jackie Chan whose son was released from a six-month detention for drug abuse.
Each session of the legislatures is set to last about 10 days and covers a wide-range of topics from new terrorism legislation, education, economy to the household registration system.
The sessions open amid speculation that the graft crackdown's next big targets will be Vice-President Li Yuanchao, former Vice Chief of the military General Guo Boxiong and senior executives at state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported today.
At least 16 People's Liberation Army (PLA) Major Generals have been taken away for investigation in relation to graft cases involving their former superiors, the report said.
Earlier, 16 top PLA officials including Xu Caihou, the former Vice Chairman of the Military Commission, the highest body of the Chinese military, was held for questioning along with several others including the Commanders of key military units like the missile forces.
Also the spy chief Ma Jian has been detained for anti-graft probe.
With Ma's detention, the anti-graft campaign, the biggest initiated by Xi to improve the credibility of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), ?virtually covers almost all the branches of the Chinese government where hundreds of officials have been held so far.
Ma's removal makes him the highest-ranking national security official to be investigated since the downfall of Zhou Yongkang, the country's former security czar.
Among the legislators themselves, many of the high- profile members faced investigations in the record clean-up initiated by the CPC since it came to power in 1949.
One of the high-profile figures under scanner has been Ling Jihua, the former aide of retired president Hu Jintao. He had been one of the advisory body's deputy chairman.
Other senior cadres who will be absent include former
CPPCC vice-chairman Su Rong, ex-China Resources chief Song Lin and former Guangdong political advisory body chairman Zhu Mingguo.
Since last year's sessions, nine CPPCC members have been removed, eight of which are suspected of corruption, while 27 delegates of the National People's Congress (NPC) who are also the focus of graft investigations will not attend the session.
Earlier in February, the central anti-graft agency announced inspections into 26 major state-run firms, including China National Petroleum Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the State Grid Corporation and conglomerates in other key sectors like logistics and telecommunications.
"There will definitely be many proposals about fighting against corruption in the SOEs," Zhu Lijia, a professor of public policy at the Chinese Academy of Governance was quoted as saying.
In its preview of the session, People's Daily, the CPC's mouthpiece, said new "tigers" -- a term used to refer to national figures -- will be announced this year and the leadership will discuss ways to improve regulations to better prevent corruption.
Analysts say that even if delegates have so far been untouched by the drive, they might still feel the heat of Xi's policies -- especially the push to curb extravagance.
In the past, delegates organised luxury banquets and exchanged gifts, but last year shunned the practice and are expected to continue to do so again.
While the party will likely showcase the unity, the sentiment among officials could be more chilled outside the Great Hall of People.
People close to elite families that are facing the intensified anti-corruption campaign say they are trying to severe connections with corrupt politicians, the report said.