One-Time Potential Rival to China's Xi Draws Life Sentence
- Author: Joe Gonzales May 09, 2018,
May 09, 2018, 5:16
At a party meeting a year ago, a senior official stated that Sun and other senior figures prosecuted in Xi's anti-corruption crackdown were "conspiring openly to usurp party leadership".
A photograph posted on the court's Web site showed the former leader in the dock, head deeply bowed as two police officers looked on.
Sun Zhengcai. appears in court in Tianjin.
Prosecutors accused Mr. Sun of taking bribes over a 15-year period during which he held leading positions in Beijing, at the Ministry of Agriculture, in the northeast province of Jilin and finally in Chongqing.
Sun said that he would not appeal against the sentence, the media outlet added.
He pleaded guilty to the charges 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.
His actions had "gravely damaged the normal work order of national organizations and harmed the integrity of conduct by national employees", the statement said.
During last year's National Congress, Xi vowed to continue his anti-corruption campaign, claiming "he fight against corruption has formed an overwhelming posture and strengthened in development". China has confirmed that Sun has been appointed Communist Party boss for the southwestern city of Chongqing. Bo, who is serving a life sentence for corruption and abuse of power, was the Chongqing party chief and a potential rival to Xi, who had not yet taken power.
At the congressional gathering last October, Xi Jinping Thought was formally enshrined in China's constitution, making his political views and positions unassailable within the Party.