Former top Chinese official jailed for life

09 May 2018, 12:39 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Quick Take: Former Rising Political Star Sun Zhengcai Gets Life in Prison

08/05 06:28Chinese Court Sentences Ex-Top Communist Official to Life Term for Graft - Media

At a trial in the port city of Tianjin, a local court sentenced Sun to life in prison.

Sun and his alleged associates were accused of accepting the money and assets in return for providing help to unspecified organisations and individuals, business operations and other matters, the court said.

BEIJING-A former top Communist Party official once seen as a potential successor and rival to Chinese President Xi Jinping received a life sentence on corruption charges-a punishment state media portrayed as lenient.

Regardless, Xi has emerged as one of China's most powerful leaders in decades, commanding authority over important decision-making bodies for China's politics, economics, and military.

He was also the most senior serving politician snared by Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign in 2017.

Mr Sun's fate was never in doubt as the party controls the courts and a guilty charge nearly always results in conviction.

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After the guilty verdict was read out at the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin on Tuesday morning, the once up-and-coming political star said that he had confessed to his crimes, regretted his criminal wrongdoings and would not be pursuing an appeal.

Mr Sun was replaced in Chongqing by Chen Min'er, a former aide and protégé of Mr Xi who was elevated to the 25-member Politburo at the national party congress in October.

During the conference, Sun, and a former party boss in Chongqing, Bo Xilai, were accused of being part of a plot to usurp the power of the Communist Party.

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".

However, critics have claimed Xi has used the crusade as a way to sideline political opponents and consolidate his power over the country. In February, the Communist Party announced plans to amend China's constitution to remove term limits for the president, leading many to conclude that Xi intends to rule for life.



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