Translated by Tashi Namgyal
Edired by Yangchen Tso
The Chinese government has sentenced Zhang Yongze, a former deputy chairman of the government of Tibet Autonomous Region, to 14 years imprisonment on alleged charges of bribery.
Under the policy of crackdown on tigers and flies at the same time, Xi Jinping’s government has punished numerous leading officials from occupied Tibet, south Mongolia, and Xinjiang on charges of corruption, bribery, and disloyalty to the party. On 10 January 2024, the Intermediate People’s Court of Xi’an in China’s Shanxi province sentenced Zhang Yongze to 14 years in prison and fined five million Chinese yuan for taking around 50 million yuan in bribes.
Nyima Ozer, a Tibet Human Rights researcher at TCHRD, told Tibet Times regarding this case, “Since Xi Jinping’s presidency, several Chinese officials have been removed on corruption charges. If we analyze these issues critically, those who were removed from various positions are only from Xi’s opposition party. Despite the issues being about corruption, in reality, he is putting utmost effort to stabilize his presidential power through different tactics against his political opponents.”
Since 7 September 2023, Zhang Yongze has been interrogated and investigated, suspected of accepting bribes. For 19 years, from 2003 to 2021, he took various official positions, such as the head of the Tibet Environmental Protection Department, party chief of Lhokha City, and Deputy Chairman of the government of TAR.
On 8 January 2024, the infamous Xi Jinping addressed the third plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. It stressed maintaining so-called ‘progress,’ upholding the CPC’s centralized and unified leadership and eradicating corruption from its roots. He further emphasized the idea that officials “Dare not to corrupt,” “cannot corrupt,” and “Do not want to be corrupted.”
Merely over the past three months, Xu Guojun, the former head of the Kaiping branch (Bank of China) in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery. Similarly, it was reported that Liu Liange, a former president of the Bank of China, has been arrested on suspicion of corruption and illegal loans.
In June and August of last year, Xi Jinping removed Qin Gang, the former foreign minister, and Li Shangfu, the defense minister, respectively, and made them disappear. Most critics regarding these cases consider the removal of these leading officials due to an internal political dispute and, especially, confusion in military affairs. On 1 August 2023, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection reported that Li Yuchao, the chief commander of PLA Rocket Force, Zhang Zhenzhong, a deputy commander, and Liu Guangbin, another concerned official, were under investigation on suspicion of corruption charges.