After being accused of leading a “political clique” and being disloyal to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the former security minister of china, Sun Lijun has been put behind bars on Friday. Lijun is currently on a suspended death sentence as well.
Sun Lijun was sentenced after former police chiefs were sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this week. The five former police chiefs were involved in Lijun’s corruption case and the sentence has put the five-year-long case of China’s biggest purge in the security apparatus to an end.
The case is drawing closer after Xi Jinping’s government is expected to come into power for the third term on October 16. Xi’s Communist Party Congress has been in power for two long decades.
Sun is currently 53 years old and the life sentence could be extended to life in prison without parole after two years.
The revelations of court documents
According to reports by the state broadcaster CCTV, Sun had pleaded guilty in June on accounts of accepting 646 million yuan in total as bribes. The bribes were accepted in exchange for business favors, job promotions in government offices, helping criminals to escape justice, possessing illegal firearms, manipulating the securities market, etc.
CCTV also reported that all of his possessions and commodities will be confiscated along with the illegal gains. The report is a statement cited from the People’s court located in Jilin, a northeastern province.
The courts stated that Linjun had started accepting bribes early in his career, and around 2001 when he was the official heading foreign liaisons along with the Health Bureau of Shanghai. Cases of corruption, bribes, and fraud have been found throughout his career, including his term as a senior official in the foreign affairs of the Shanghai government office as well as while he was serving the Ministry of Public Security.
The court documents also reveal that Sun Lijun used his influence as a high-ranking government official to sway market prices, trading prices, and several stock volumes. He had helped others to avoid more than 145 million yuan losses. He was also charged guilty of illegally possessing two firearms.
The court had also charged five other members of Sun’s political group this week.
On Thursday, the same court that had suspended Sun Lijun also gave suspended death sentences to Former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua and Jiangsu Province head in In-charge for political and legal affairs, Wang Like. Similar to Sun’s sentence, both of these people are commuted to life without parole after two years.
China’s former disciplinary chief at the state security Ministry, Liu Yanping, 67, another one of Sun’s political group’s alleged members had been expelled from the party and dismissed from public office. So far, he had neither been arrested nor charged.
The sentence of Sun Lijun sends a clear message to other Security apparatus members that Xi’s party demands their utmost loyalty, according to an anonymous professor at a Chinese law university.
The professor said that President XI had zero tolerance for disloyalty and corruption. The consequences when found guilty could be very dire. The professor is also certain that Sun Lijun’s case will be included in the upcoming disciplinary reports from the party congress and will be presented as a major anti-corruption trophy.
China’s Disciplinary Board
The CCP’s top watchdog for corruption, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection(CCDI) made a documentary themed on anti-corruption which was named Zero Tolerance in January and it was broadcasted on CCTV all across China.
In the documentary, Sun admitted that he had been cultivating a corrupted “political group” that included police chiefs as members. The clique would accept bribes, especially small gifts from Wang Like of prices $300,000. Like referred to these gifts as “little seafood.”
Formerly a retired aide to Security head Jianzhu and a previous head official of the Ministry’s first bureau, Sun Lijun was appointed as the deputy security minister in 2018. The ministry is responsible for the country’s domestic security, including both Macau and Hong Kong.
Sun Lijun was also involved in the February 2020 Covid-19 outbreak as the head of a high-ranking team that was to be sent from Beijing to Wuhan. President Xi visited the city in March of this year and Lijun was seen welcoming him on National Television. A month later Sun Lijun was detained.