Anti-corruption campaign or Xi’s political purge

China’s opaque legal system in the investigation process raises concerns about ongoing corruption cases

Zhang Hongli, the former vice-president of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China or ICBC, has come under investigation for alleged corruption. 

The China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced this development earlier this month, marking yet another high-profile case in the ongoing campaign to root out corrupt practices within the nation’s banking sector.

The investigation forms just one chapter in a sweeping initiative initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the past decade. 

The primary aim has been to tackle the deep-seated corruption that has infiltrated the ranks of both government officials and business leaders. 

Consequently, numerous prominent figures in the banking industry have found themselves under the surveillance lens for alleged transgressions. 

Liu arrest

Officially, Zhang is facing allegations of serious disciplinary and legal infractions. 

Regrettably, the specific details of these charges remain shrouded in secrecy, leaving room for speculation and debate. 

This development follows the recent arrest of Liu Liange, the former chairman of the Bank of China, after an extended period of investigation. 

Li Xiaopeng is the former head of the Everbright Group. Photo: Dimsum Daily

He was apprehended on suspicion of accepting bribes and engaging in the wrongful issuance of loans. The anti-corruption watchdog has reported that he was guilty of severe violations of both discipline and law.

Similarly, at the beginning of October, Li Xiaopeng, the former head of the Everbright Group, faced consequences for his actions. 

He was removed from the Communist Party and dismissed from his public service position. 

According to reports from the Xinhua News Agency, Li was found to have accepted gifts and money, defied party policies on improving conduct, and “attempted to obstruct the investigation into his case.” 

Business activities

These actions are said to have included seeking benefits for others in the selection and appointment of officials and exploiting his authority to secure profits for his relatives in business activities.

Moreover, it was discovered that Li had accepted bribes, held stakes in non-listed companies, and misused his power to grant loans and business contracts in exchange for money. 

His removal from both the Communist Party and public service demonstrated the seriousness with which the Chinese government addresses such violations.

The future repercussions and implications of these investigations on China’s financial landscape remain uncertain. 

The Communist Party controls all the levers of power. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nevertheless, it is evident that Party General Secretary Xi is fortifying its anti-corruption campaign, even when it pertains to the highest-ranking individuals in the nation. 

One might question whether these high-profile investigations are primarily motivated by a genuine desire to combat corruption or if they serve other political or strategic purposes. 

China’s opaque legal system and the lack of transparency in the investigation process raise concerns about due process, fair trials, and potential political motivations behind these actions.

Eliminate rivals

Additionally, while the anti-corruption campaign aims to address wrongdoing within the government and business sectors, it’s essential to examine whether it might also be used as a tool to consolidate power or eliminate political rivals. 

The lack of transparency and the centralized authority in China’s political system can make it challenging to discern the true intent behind these actions.

IndraStra Global is a “Strategic Information Services Company,” primarily focused on data-driven academic research.

This article was originally published by Indrastra under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Read the original here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of China Factor.