China’s Rocket Force commander under graft probe: Report

China’s Rocket Force commander under graft probe: Report

Commander Li Yuchao, his former and current deputies ‘believed to have been taken away by investigators,’ according to daily South China Morning Post

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) - China is investigating the commander of its Rocket Force for graft, according to a media report on Friday.

“Central Military Commission (CMC)’s anti-graft body, the Commission for Discipline Inspection, along with its audit office, has been investigating the force’s current commander Li Yuchao, as well as Zhang Zhenzhong and Liu Guangbin, his past and present deputies,” the daily South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed sources.

Li is the third Rocket Force commander since its establishment in 2015, and was promoted to China’s 205-member Communist Party Central Committee last October.

The report said the trio is “believed to have been taken away by investigators” after the probe began following the retirement of the Rocket Force’s first commander and then Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in March this year.

“The role of the Rocket Force is essential. The unit is responsible for assuring the safety of all strategic nuclear missiles and deploying all the nuclear warheads to specific locations under the CMC’s instructions,” Li Jie, a Beijing-based defense analyst, told the daily.

Previously, China’s anti-corruption body sentenced to prison two most prominent military figures – Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou – who were vice chairmen of the CMC.

Guo has been in jail since 2016 on bribery charges, while Xu died of cancer in 2015 while facing a court martial.

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