A Former Top Chinese Official Gets Life Term for Corruption

He pleaded guilty to the charges in court and expressed repentance, according to Tianjin’s No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, which imposed his sentence less than one month after the trial opened in a relatively swift resolution of the case.

In return for the bribes, Sun and his associates allegedly provided assistance to unspecified organizations and individuals with engineering contracts, business operations and other matters, the court said.

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A Former Top Chinese Official Gets Life Term for Corruption
A Former Top Chinese Official Gets Life Term for Corruption

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Despite Sun’s conviction on criminal charges, Chinese leaders and party-run media have made it clear that Sun’s offenses were largely political in nature.

At a party meeting last year, a senior official stated that Sun and other senior figures prosecuted in Xi’s anti-corruption crackdown were “conspiring openly to usurp party leadership.”

Sun had been expelled from the party and dismissed from public office in September because he was suspected of “serious discipline violations,” a phrase that usually refers to bribery but increasingly also includes political disloyalty.

He was replaced in Chongqing by Xi protégé Chen Min’er, who was subsequently promoted to the Politburo.

Sun had been identified most closely with the party’s China Youth League faction associated with Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, which Xi — who also heads the ruling party — has effectively sidelined in his consolidation of power.

Xi in March saw through a constitutional amendment removing term limits on the presidency, setting himself up to remain head of state indefinitely.

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