China sentences former political rising star to life in prison for corruption

Posted May 09, 2018

The former Communist Party boss had admitted in April to an intermediate court in the city of Tianjin that he had taken bribes of more than 170 million yuan ($27 million).

A former Chinese Communist Party official who was once tipped as a potential successor to President Xi Jinping was sentenced to life in prison for bribery yesterday, the latest senior cadre to fall in Mr Xi's sweeping anti-corruption drive.

Sun Zhengcai, a member of the ruling Politburo until he was unexpectedly ousted previous year, pleaded guilty to corruption in April.

Prosecutors accused Mr. Sun of taking bribes over a 15-year period during which he held leading positions in Beijing, at the Ministry of Agriculture, in the northeast province of Jilin and finally in Chongqing.

One of China's most high-profile politicians, Sun Zhengcai, once seen as a likely candidate to be China's next leader, was sentenced to life in prison for taking almost $27 million in bribes.

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Sun said that he would not appeal against the sentence, the media outlet added.

"I sincerely confess to and regret the crimes I committed".

When he was arrested, Sun, born in 1963, was the youngest member of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Politburo, which ran between 2012 and 2017.

Sun's case recalls that of Bo Xilai, one of his predecessors as Chongqing party chief, who was once considered among the country's most ambitious politicians and a potential rival to Xi.

Sun was sacked as Chongqing's party boss in July and placed under investigation for corruption in the run-up to the party's national leadership reshuffle in October.

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In addition to being imprisoned, Sun was deprived of political rights for life and all of his personal property was confiscated.

China's parliament also removed the two-term limit for the president paving the way for Xi to continue in power for life.

During last year's National Congress, Xi vowed to continue his anti-corruption campaign, claiming "he fight against corruption has formed an overwhelming posture and strengthened in development".

Xi has been promoting a massive anti-corruption campaign since he came to the office in 2012.

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