Corruption crackdown snares former Chinese general

World Today

In this Wednesday, March 14, 2012 file photo, Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, right, and Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai attend the closing session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian)

The spreading anti-corruption crackdown launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping has caught its most senior figure yet. A former top Chinese general was expelled on Monday from the ruling Communist Party to face bribery charges.

Three other senior officials, including a former deputy police minister, also were expelled from the party to face corruption charges.

Gen. Xu Caihou, a former deputy chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission, which controls China’s military, is accused of taking money and property in exchange for promotions and other favors, Chinese state TV reported. It said his case had been handed over to military prosecutors.

Xu’s case marks the first time since the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution that such a senior Chinese general has been detained, according to experts. Xu was the most senior uniformed officer and ranked behind only then-President Hu Jintao, who was the commission chairman, in the military hierarchy.