China’s ex-chief of aircraft carrier programme expelled from CPC for graft

K J M Varma
·2-min read

Beijing, Jan 4 (PTI) China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled former chief commander of its ambitious multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier programme Hu Wenming for corruption and abuse of power, and launched a legal proceeding against him in one of the major defence scandals of the country, the top anti-graft agency said on Monday.

Hu was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for severely violating party discipline and being suspected of taking bribes and misfeasance, state-run Global Times reported.

The investigation result said that Hu had lost his faith, gone astray from the party spirit and did not fully implement the CPC’s important decisions. He also engaged in superstitious activities, resisted the investigation and violated party discipline by accepting banquets and bribes, the report said.

Hu was also found to be abusing his authority, which caused losses of assets of state assets, it said.

Considering that Hu has severely violated party discipline and national laws, and did not restrain himself even after the 18th National People's Congress, he has been expelled from the party and stripped of all benefits he enjoyed as a retired senior official, the report said, adding that all the bribes he took will be seized and he will be transferred to procuratorial organs.

Hu was one of the top officials from the defence sector to have been investigated under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive launched in 2013.

Over a million officials, including dozens of military officials have been punished under the anti-graft campaign amid criticism that Xi made effective use of it to consolidate his power.

China currently has two aircraft carriers -- Liaoning and Shandong.

Liaoning, a refit of the Soviet-era ship, was commissioned in 2012 while Shandong, the first domestically-built aircraft carrier, was commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy in December last year.

According to official media reports, China plans to acquire about five to six aircraft carriers in the coming years to project itself over a much bigger maritime area than its maritime borders. PTI KJV CPS AKJ CPS